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Federal Officials Consider Raising Minimum Trucking Insurance Limits

By: Allan M. Siegel

Collisions involving commercial tractor-trailers are among the most devastating accidents on the road. Due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks, trucking accidents frequently result in injuries, especially when the accidents involve motorcycles or passenger cars. Often, these injuries are catastrophic or even fatal.

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In an effort to ensure that victims injured in truck accidents obtain the full amount of compensation they need, the federal government is currently evaluating the need to raise minimum insurance limits for commercial truck drivers and trucking companies.

Here are few key points about the ongoing debate and why it's important for insurance limits to be raised:

  • The current minimum insurance limit for truckers under federal law is $750,000 - a limit that has not changed in 30 years. The limit is per incident, not per person.
  • Wrongful death claims stemming from trucking accidents nearly always exceed the $750,000 limit.
  • When the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 was passed, congress envisioned that insurance limits for interstate commercial trucks and buses would be regularly increased.
  • Despite the fact that health care costs have increased dramatically over the years, minimum insurance requirements have remained the same. This places victims who require extensive medical care at risk.
  • When commercial truck and bus companies are not held liable for the full amount of victims' damages, Medicare, Medicaid, and other taxpayer-funded programs front the bill.
  • Raising minimum insurance requirements for commercial carriers can help create a stronger sense of responsibility and accountability - which in turn can lead to safer roadways and company cultures.

At the end of the day, victims and families who suffer losses as a result of another's negligence have every right to recover their damages - and they shouldn't have to accept less because trucking companies don't carry enough insurance. As a firm that has represented many victims and families affected by truck and tractor-trailer crashes in Maryland, Virginia and D.C., CSCS fully supports increasing minimum insurance requirements for interstate commercial carriers.

At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our team has secured many positive recoveries in tractor trailer, 18 wheeler, and other commercial vehicle cases. In several cases, we have obtained awards for victims in excess of $1 million, including a $1.8 million recovery for a client who was struck head-on by a truck that crossed the center line. We believe victims have the right to full and fair compensation, and we fight to ensure they secure the maximum compensation possible.

If you have questions about commercial vehicle accidents, insurance limits, and your rights, contact our firm for a FREE consultation.