Heavy Trucks and Inadaquate Insurance
A data analysis from the United States Government finds that the current minimum liability insurance requirements for commercial trucks, truckers, and/or 18 wheelers are, in dollar amounts, inadequate. According to the FMCSA, at least 4,000 people are killed each and every year in wrecks with trucks. 80,000 more people are seriously injured in such accidents. Despite trucks making up fewer than 4% of all vehicles on American roads, they are part of 12% of all motor vehicle fatal crashes.
The Federal report comes to the conclusion that the current minimum liability insurance requirements for heavy commercial trucks are simply “completely inadequate to compensate those who have been seriously injured in a collision involving multiple vehicles or multiple injured individuals.” Take note that it was Congress that established the minimum required level of liability insurance at $750,000 in 1980. Adjusted for inflation, this $750,000 is now only worth $292,000 in 1980 purchasing power.
It is true that large trucking companies may have more than the minimum required level of coverage. The problem is that often the smaller hauling and trucking companies carry the bare minimum. The aforementioned analysis of our trucking industry indicated that at least 87% of the violating companies are those small trucking companies which have fleets of less than ten trucks.
Many people do not understand that hundreds and hundreds of these deadly crashes which involve unsafe trucks do not get recorded as any type of safety violation. A Federal 2005 Government Account-ability Office (GAO) examination of the facts discovered that almost one-third of heavy commercial vehicle accidents that states are actually required to compile and report to the government were actually never recorded. In addition, federally mandated state accident reports were frequently not accurate. An analysis by the American Association for Justice follows another GOA study from July 2009 which discovered that at least 1,000 commercial heavy truck companies that were ordered to take their trucks out of service due to federal safety violations got around compliance by continuing to operate under a different name, often with the same employees, address and owners.
It is our strong opinion that the U.S. Congress should immediately increase the minimum liability insurance minimums for commercial truck and hauling companies to a minimum of $5 million per incident.
If you have been in an accident with a heavy truck, all of this may seem confusing. These complex issues are why you need an experienced legal team in your corner to fight with you against the truck companies. Carabin Shaw has that experienced legal team standing by to help you and your family at this difficult time.
In injury cases, your initial consultation with our firm is free and no obligation to you. We have our team standing by and available 24 hours 7 days a week. We will fight as hard as the law allows to get you the maximum compensation that the law and the facts of your specific case. Let us work with you to get you what you deserve and make those who injured you or your family pay.
Are you in Corpus Christi? Have you been in an accident with an 18 wheeler or other big rig?
The Carabin Shaw Offices in Corpus Christi are located two blocks south of the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Our Corpus Christi telephones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 361.444.1111.