How Insurance Limits May Affect Truck Accident Personal Injury Claims

By: Joseph A. Smith

When actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was involved in an auto accident involving a tractor-trailer it made national news. But these types of accidents are more common than people realize, and far too often those accidents are catastrophic – resulting in the death or serious injury of a person. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 76% of those fatalities were the occupants of the passenger vehicle. A quick online search reveals that just since June 1, 2014, in Virginia there have been at least five separate accidents involving tractor-trailers resulting in four dead and six seriously injured.Truck Accidents

Yet in spite of these realities, the minimum insurance requirement for truck and bus companies is only $750,000, and 89.5 percent of large truck insurance policies are for less than $1 million. That may seem like a lot of money, except that minimum has not been raised in over 30 years and when you consider that the economic loss in accidents involving death or catastrophic injury can easily exceed $1 million.

The Federal Motor Carry Safety Administration (FMCSA) has found these minimums to be inadequate and has proposed that Congress increase the minimum required under law. Had the insurance minimum increased at the same rate as inflation it would $1.62 million or if it had kept pace with increase in medical costs the insurance minimum would be even greater -- $3.18 million. Unfortunately, in June of this year the House of Representatives voted to block the FMCSA's ability to raise the insurance minimums, a year after ignoring a bill proposed by Congressman Matt Cartwright that would have raised the minimum to $4.42 million.

These realties make it even more important that if you or someone you love is in an accident with a tractor trailer, you contact a firm that has experience in these matters and is going to fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has represented countless individuals in tractor trailer cases and ensured they were fully compensated for their losses. If you or someone you know has been injured in a tractor trailer accident, please call the personal injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. for a free consultation.