liability insurance form on a computer tabletWhen a commercial semi-truck driver is reckless, impaired, or negligent, they put everyone around them at risk. Since tractor-trailers are considerably larger and heavier than most private automobiles, the federal government requires that they carry liability policies capable of covering substantial damage and serious injuries. However, even these enhanced insurance policies are not always enough to cover the costs of an accident.

Minimum Insurance Requirements for Interstate Trucks

Interstate trucking is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Every semi-truck that crosses state lines for business purposes is required by the FMCSA to have a minimum amount of liability coverage. However, this amount varies depending on the type, and weight of freight carriers expect to haul:

  • Non-hazardous freight moved by vehicles under 10,001 lbs. must have a minimum of $300,000 in liability insurance.
  • Non-hazardous freight moved by vehicles over 10,001 lbs. must have a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance.
  • Oil moved by private carriers must have a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability insurance.
  • Any other hazardous material or chemicals moved by private carriers must have a minimum of $5,000,000 in liability insurance.

Why Liability Insurance Limits Are Important

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Missouri semi-truck or 18-wheeler accident, you could be entitled to significant compensation. However, the amount of money you might receive in a settlement could be determined by how much liability coverage the trucking company does—or does not—have. While a $300,000 or $750,000 settlement might sound like a good deal, these minimum limits are not always enough to cover a combination of:

  • Medical bills
  • Surgeries
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Lost income
  • Reduced earning potential
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of limb
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability

Oftentimes, the insurance company will not even offer the maximum amount—even when you deserve it.

How a Lawyer Can Help You Get Justice

If you were hurt in a semi-truck crash, you need an attorney’s help. Insurance adjusters frequently tell accident victims to avoid lawyers, saying that a legal professional will only make a case more complicated than it needs to be.

However, there is something insurance companies do not want you to know: they are afraid of attorneys. They know they cannot fool a lawyer with low-ball settlements and scare tactics. If they are not willing to negotiate in good faith, a lawyer could file a lawsuit to get their client a fair offer.

Have You Been Injured in a Truck Accident in Missouri?

If you've been injured in a truck accident, you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cape Girardeau office directly at 573.335.3359 to schedule your initial consultation.

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