Commercial Truck Accident Liability Insurance | How Much is Needed for Injuries Caused
Whether you drive a car or a big rig, tractor trailer truck, you have to carry liability insurance. It’s the law. The only question is how much. Every state has minimum limits but can vary significantly. For example, here in South Carolina, the minimum amount required is $25,000 / $50,000. In North Carolina, by comparison, the minimum insurance necessary is $30,000 / $60,000. The first figure is how much coverage is available for any one injured party. The second number is how much coverage is available in total, no matter how many individuals are involved.
Semi trucks are heavily regulated by both federal and state laws. Currently, the minimum truck accident liability insurance required for a commercial truck is $750,000. There was a bill introduced by Representative Cartwright seeking to dramatically increase that coverage. If passed, the new minimum limit would be $4.4 million. That is quite an increase which Congressman Cartwright asserts is justified as the current level has not changed in over 34 years. It is expected that such proposal will be fiercely debated by trucking companies and the trucking industry at large. There are interesting arguments on both sides of this issue. Certainly, as tractor trailer accident attorneys, we see the immense harm that an overloaded truck in conjunction with an overly tired driver can cause. In many serious accident cases, there is insufficient insurance coverage available. However, on the other hand, such a dramatic increase in premiums will have the unintended effect of forcing many small trucking companies and/or independent owner/operators out of business altogether. More disturbingly, the fear is that maintenance and other costs will have to be offset to pay for any required increase in insurance. This potential outcome could make the roads even more dangerous with overloaded trucks with less maintenance. There is never an easy answer, but this issue clearly needs to be addressed and intelligently considered. We certainly place our hope and trust in our elected officials to make the best decisions for the right reasons.