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Bill would increase insurance coverage in truck accidents

Injurious auto accidents lead to questions of insurance coverage and liability, and some of the most devastating crashes involve large commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, the minimum liability insurance required for the trucking industry may not cover the full cost of a serious accident. This leaves injured motorists wondering how they will pay for medical care and other damages.

Currently the minimum insurance requirement for motor carriers is a $750,000 policy, which is far from adequate when you consider that many fatal trucking accidents result in damages that well exceed $4 million. Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a report saying that the current insurance minimum for the trucking industry needs to be raised.

In hopes of bringing about that change, a bill has been introduced in Congress. The Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act of 2013 — or the SAFE HAUL Act — is aimed at raising trucking insurance requirements to meet current medical costs resulting from crashes. The legislation also provides for future adjustments for inflation.

The SAFE HAUL Act is a much-needed step toward getting truck accident victims the compensation they need. The current law went into effect in the 1980s and hasn’t been adjusted for inflation since then.

The trucking industry is highly regulated to help ensure that motorists in smaller vehicles are protected from the inherent risks posed by large commercial vehicles on our nation’s roadways. Still, each year more than 150,000 people suffer injuries or die because of truck accidents. If you or a loved one has been hit by a truck, then you should be aware of your options for holding the driver, the trucking company and the insurance company accountable.

Source: Take Justice Back, “Outdated Trucking Law Hurts Crash Victims,” Katie Gommel, July 15, 2014

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