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Shapiro & Appleton

Commercial Truck Drivers Must Carry Liability Insurance

As a Virginia-based attorney who has represented injury and wrongful death victims in truck accident lawsuits, I am glad federal law requires trucking companies to have substantial insurance to pay for the harms and losses their drivers and big rigs cause. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, a vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds that is not carrying hazardous material must have a minimum of $750,000 of financial coverage if an accident takes place to cover the costs of injury and property damage. The minimum levels of financial responsibility for trucks that carry hazardous substances at a weight of 10,001 pounds or more is $5,000,000 in case of an accident that is their fault. You can read all the minimum trucking liability insurance coverage rules on the FMCSA website.

A policy of insurance does not satisfy the federal financial responsibility requirements unless the insurer is legally authorized to issue such policies in each state where the truck operates or unless the insurer is legally authorized to issue such policies where the truck has its principal place of business. This means that if any commercial truck that hits you is supposed to have at least three-quarters of million dollars in liability coverage. Typically, a big rig with a trailer will have additional coverage on the cab -- the tractor -- separate and above the liability insurance on the trailer. Most times a company with a large fleet of semis, flatbeds, tanker trucks or other commercial vehicles will carry between $10 million and $20 million dollars of liability insurance so it can pay injury and wrongful death settlements or verdicts without being forced out business.

If you have been injured in an accident because of the negligence of a commercial vehicle operator or trucking company, please contact our Virginia personal injury law firm.

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