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Does Federal Law Require Truck Insurance?

Truck accidents occur for many reasons. Truckers are often tired and inattentive due to working long hours. Trucks are heavy and require longer braking distances and are generally unwieldy. Compared to smaller vehicles, when a truck accident occurs the likelihood of injuries and property damage being severe is greatly amplified. Due to the potential for catastrophic injuries, fatalities and property damage, federal law requires interstate trucks to carry large amounts of insurance to protect drivers and trucking companies from paying large claims out of pocket which they can’t afford and to guarantee payment to victims.

Under Title 49, Section 387 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations, the insurance requirements for interstate trucks are determined based on weight and the classification of cargo. These requirements are as follows:

  • A commercial truck with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more, carry non-hazardous cargo, is required to have a minimum of $750,000 of liability insurance to cover injuries to people and damage to property.
  • A commercial truck with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more, carrying HAZMAT (hazardous material), except for explosives, is required to have insurance coverage of $1,000,000.
  • A commercial truck with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds, carrying HAZMAT cargo and/or explosives has to have $5,000,000 in coverage.
  • Trucks with a gross weight of less than 10,000 pounds carrying non-hazardous cargo are required to carry $300,000 of coverage.
  • Trucks with a gross weight of under 10,000 pound carrying HAZMAT goods of any kind are required to have insurance coverage of $5,000,000.

In addition to the federal regulations above, most states also have laws in place requiring minimum coverage for commercial trucks.

The minimum insurance coverage requirements for trucks are much greater than for smaller vehicles. This is due to the potential for damages and injuries being much greater due to the physical size and weight of trucks. This also translates into the potential for higher compensation amounts to be paid to victims of truck accidents. That is why any victim of a truck accident needs to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer immediately.

Because there are significant amounts of available insurance money on the table, the payout for truck accidents can be substantial. In fact the average cost of a truck accident is nearly $125,000. There may also be more than one defendant involved in a truck accident multiplying the amount of available insurance money.

Because of the large amounts of insurance coverage available, the trucking companies will also have highly skilled insurance agents and attorneys whose main focus is to make truck accident victims settle for the least amount possible. A truck accident victim should be represented by a competent lawyer who knows the true value of the claim and is will to go as far as possible to recover the highest award. Many law firms are little more than settlement mills that are motivated by the quick easy payout. Many of these attorneys have no courtroom trial experience. A truck accident attorney should be willing to fight vehemently all the way through the courts, if necessary, to maximize the award.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has successfully represented countless victims of truck accidents. Our attorneys have taken on the largest trucking companies and their insurance companies and won significant cash awards for medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of income. If you or a loved one was injured, or if you lost a loved one, due to a truck accident, contact a truck accident attorney at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today. It is important to your case to act quickly while all the facts are still clear. There is no charge for an initial consultation. Call us today at 727-451-6900.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765