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How Much Insurance Should Trucks Carry Under Federal Law?


There are many reasons that truck accidents happen. Truckers are often fatigued and inattentive from working long hours. Trucks require much longer braking distances than other vehicles and are not as maneuverable. Due to their high center of gravity they can turnover easily. When a large truck is involved in an accident the likelihood of injuries and extensive damage is much greater than with a passenger vehicle. Due to the potential for causing fatalities, injuries and extensive property damage, federal law requires interstate trucks to carry large amounts of insurance to shield the drivers and trucking companies from paying large claims while guaranteeing payment to innocent victims of truck accidents.

Federal Insurance Regulations

Title 59, Section 387 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations, separates the insurance requirements for interstate trucks into five categories based on weight and the classification of cargo:

I. A commercial truck with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more, carrying non-hazardous cargo, is required to have a minimum of $750,000 of liability insurance to cover injuries to people and damage to property.

II. A commercial truck with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more, carrying hazardous material (HAZMAT) except for explosives, is required to have liability insurance coverage of $1,000,000.

III. A commercial truck with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds of more, carrying HAZMAT and/or explosives is required to have $5,000,000 in liability coverage.

IV. A truck with a gross weight of less than 10,000 pounds and carrying non-hazardous cargo is required to have $300,000 of insurance coverage.

V. A truck with a gross weight of under 10,000 pounds carrying HAZMAT of any type is required to have $5,000,000 of insurance coverage.

Most states also have additional laws in place requiring minimum coverage for trucks.

Finding the Best Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

Due to the potential for damages and injuries being much greater than for smaller vehicles, the minimum coverage for trucks is much greater. This higher coverage equates to a higher potential payout for the victim of a truck crash. That is the reason a victim of a truck crash should contact an experienced truck accident lawyer immediately.

Since there are significant amounts of available money, the payout for a truck crash can be significant. It has been estimated that the average cost in a truck accident is nearly $125,000. The available amount may also be multiplied if there is more than one defendant involved in the claim such as the trucking company and the consignor who improperly loaded the trailer.

When there are large amounts of insurance money on the table, there will undoubtedly be highly skilled insurance agents and attorneys whose main objective is to entice the truck accident victim into settling for the least amount possible. It is imperative in these cases that the plaintiff is represented by an experienced and competent lawyer who knows the true value of the claim and is willing to go the distance to recover the highest award. Many law firms are little more than settlement mills whose motivation is the quick and easy payout. Many of these attorneys lack the courtroom experience to maximize the award for their clients. The qualified truck accident attorney should have the means to front the cost of a long vehement battle, the investigative team to uncover all the facts, along with medical experts and accident reconstruction experts.

Vititoe Law Group has successfully fought for countless victims of truck crashes, winning the highest awards possible. Our big-rig trucking attorneys have successfully fought the largest trucking companies. If you or someone you care about was injured, or you lost a loved one in a crash involving a truck, contact a skilled truck accident attorney. Call 818-851-1886 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. There is no cost to you unless we win, but do not hesitate, the time is limited for you to file your case. 

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