The destruction that accidents involving large commercial trucks can cause is substantial. For this reason, commercial truck drivers and companies must follow specific regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Additionally federal and state laws tell commercial interstate trucks what minimums in insurance coverage they must carry to lawfully travel about a state or across the country. Due to the carnage that commercial truck accidents tend to have, settlement amounts to victims can be very high. Many times, commercial truck accident settlements exceed what victims obtain after a common accident between two sedans, for instance.
These guidelines and insurance requirements are designed to ensure that victims of semi-truck accidents can be assured that they can obtain financial compensation after an accident to help them pay for their damages. Having federal insurance requirements for commercial trucks protect victims of these serious accidents from truck drivers or trucking companies who, without the insurance, would otherwise not have the financial means to meet the cost of a settlement.
What are the Federal Insurance Requirements for Commercial Trucks?
Federal insurance requirements take into account the weight of a commercial truck as well as the type of cargo that the truck is hauling. Trucks are grouped into two categories, those that weigh 10,000 pounds or more and those that weigh less than 10,000 pounds. For trucks that weigh at least 10,000 pounds and higher they must have the following insurance coverage mandated by the federal government:
- A minimum coverage of $750,000 for non-hazardous cargo.
- A minimum coverage of $5,000,000 for HAZMAT cargo.
For trucks that weigh less than 10,000 pounds, these trucks must carry the following federal insurance minimums:
- A minimum coverage of $300,000 for non-hazardous cargo.
- A minimum of $5,000,000 for HAZMAT cargo.
Victims of Virginia commercial truck accidents can feel some sense of security knowing that they can pursue a suit for financial compensation. While these insurance minimums seem sufficient, they haven’t been updated in more than 30 years. The cost of living today is much higher than it was 30 years ago and when the FMCSA reviewed these insurance minimums what they discovered is that $750,000 is insufficient for today’s costs associated with commercial truck accidents. This concern was brought to the attention of lawmakers who blocked action on making any increases to the insurance amount.
Connect with a Virginia Beach Catastrophic Injury Attorney
The issue regarding inadequate minimums is something that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. It is reasonable to believe that it will be brought up to lawmakers again especially with the rising number of commercial trucking accidents combined with the fact that it was only narrowly blocked in congress. If you have been in a Virginia beach catastrophic traffic accident, the Virginia Beach serious injury attorneys at Virginia Beach Injury Law can help you with your Virginia Beach personal injury claim. The Hampton Roads personal injury attorneys at Virginia Beach Injury Law are experienced at handling the most severe and cataclysmic accidents. Call today at (757) 802-4662 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our talented Norfolk car accident attorneys.