Texas Truck Insurance Requirements
When a car collides with a commercial truck, the passengers of the smaller vehicle are more likely than the truck's passengers to suffer serious injuries. An accident of this nature may leave individuals and families with high medical and rehabilitation costs. These expenses may exhaust the coverage of your insurance policy and leave you in financial distress. Fortunately, there may be multiple sources of compensation available. With the help of an 18-wheeler accident lawyer, you may be able to turn to several insurance companies for benefits to cover the costs of your injuries.
Our Houston truck accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin can help you understand your recovery options. Call our firm at (888) 493-1629 now for your free consultation.
Commercial Auto Insurance Requirements in Texas
In Texas, the minimum liability insurance coverage is defined under §601.072 of the Transportation Code.
The minimum amount of insurance coverage allowed under the law as follows:
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death of one person
- $60,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons
- $25,000 for property damage
This is the very basic amount allowed and is known as "30 / 60 / 25 coverage." All trucking companies have a duty under §502.046 to be able to demonstrate financial responsibility for their vehicles. This can either be done through the documents described under §601.053-such as a motor vehicle liability insurance policy, an insurance binder, or a surety bond certificate, to name a few options-or through a liability self-insurance. It also must comply with all requirements that are spelled out in §1952.052, as well as §§2301.051 to 2301.055.
FMSCA Insurance Requirements for Large Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates nearly all aspects of commercial trucking. From alcohol testing to hours of service requirements to insurance and liability, the FMCSA vividly explains each law so that truck driver negligence and employer negligence related accidents can be prevented. In 49 CFR §§ 355 et seq., the minimum requirements for truck insurance is explained.
The following is a brief overview of the minimum amount of insurance each truck driver must carry:
- Small freight vehicles under 10,000 GVWR must carry $300,000 in insurance.
- Commercial trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more GVWR carrying non-hazardous property must carry $750,000 in insurance.
- Commercial trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more GVWR carrying hazardous substances (defined in 49 CFR 171.8) must carry $5,000,000 in insurance.
- Commercial trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more GVWR carrying oil listed in 49 CFR 172.101 must carry $1,000,000 in insurance.
- Commercial vehicles weighing under 10,001 GVWR carrying Class A or B explosives, poison gas, or radioactive materials must carry $5,000,000 in insurance.
These rules are set in place with the safety of the community in mind. When a person is involved in an accident caused by a negligent, drunk, or tired truck driver, they will seek compensable damages through the truck driver's insurance company. If a truck driver fails to carry the legal minimum amount of insurance, they may be left paying for the individual's injuries out of their own pocket.
Driver vs. Company Liability: Who Is at Fault?
Truck accidents can be complicated. As mentioned, figuring out who is at fault and who can be held liable is often very challenging. In many cases, more than one party may be liable for compensation. Determining whether or a truck company is liable can be key to a case, especially when your injuries result in extensive expenses and damages.
An employer may be considered responsible for the wrongful acts of a truck driver when:
- The acts were unintentional
- The acts were committed in the scope of employment
- The driver is an employee, not an independent contractor (in most cases)
When you can prove that a trucking company is liable, you can hold them accountable for the actions of their employee. This means you can bring a claim against them through their insurance company—which often involves far better coverage than a typical truck driver policy might. When there are multiple defendants involved in an accident, it is important to take every step necessary to obtain maximum compensation. That is why our team is here to help.
Filing an Insurance Claim Following a Trucking Accident
It takes an experienced legal mind to identify sources of compensation and then pursue those claims effectively. In some cases, victims may have claims against four or more different insurance companies. Without legal counsel, you may file for the wrong type of claim or miss out on potential monetary damages available to you. Why risk it? With the right lawyer on your side, you can be confident you are positioned to pursue full damages. At Arnold & Itkin, we are prepared to fight aggressively for you. We can ensure you recover the maximum compensation available from all sources, and we can help you navigate through the complexity of insurance claims in order to ensure that you pursue all options for insurance compensation. You deserve the best possible representation at this time. Our truck accident attorneys understand how to fight for you.
Common Costs Victims Face After a Trucking Accident
You may be facing a variety of costs and expenses after your accident, including:
- Medical / hospitalization bills
- Cost of wages missed while recovering
- Loss of future wages
- Cost of rehabilitation / therapy
- Out of pocket expenses such as housekeeping or home modifications
- Property damage, including damage to your vehicle
Imagine the Following Situation…
A south Texas shipper loads a local chemical plant's product in a tanker truck being hauled by a trucking company based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The driver's commercial license was issued in Alabama and the rig's tractor is licensed in Florida. If the driver and truck are involved in an accident, injured victims may have claims against four or more different insurance companies—including their own auto insurers. This scenario involves questions on choice of law, appropriate venue, and jurisdiction over defendants, as well as issues regarding accessibility of assets in multiple states.
You need a truck accident lawyer experienced with handling complicated claims to ensure maximum recovery from all responsible parties. You need the lawyers from Arnold & Itkin.
Our Houston Truck Accident Lawyers Serve Clients Nationwide
You deserve to know all of the avenues available to you for remuneration. The sooner you reach out, the better your chances of a positive outcome. Our legal team has the resources and know-how necessary to handle complex insurance issues, including those involving third-party claims. It may be that a company has produced defective truck equipment, shown employer negligence in hiring, or demonstrated other forms of negligence. Our team is prepared to work tirelessly to identify who is responsible for the damages caused by your trucking accident.
For more information or a free case review, please call Arnold & Itkin today at (888) 493-1629.