Elk Grove Truck Accident Attorney
Does Federal Law Require Trucks To Carry Liability Insurance?
Federal law requires that trucks be insured, and carry proof of that insurance, if they are traveling between states or countries, or if they are carrying hazardous materials. Trucks cannot be operated or driven unless and until they have the appropriate insurance. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates higher insurance premiums in certain trucking industry situations as proof of financial responsibility. This liability insurance covers damages and injuries to others as the result of a truck accidents.
Insurance Requirements for Haulers of Non-Hazardous Materials
For trucks traveling interstate or between countries that do not carry hazardous materials, if the truck weighs less than 10,000 pounds, the carrier, or employer must have $300,000 of liability insurance. For trucks traveling interstate, between countries, and not hauling hazardous materials, if the truck weighs more than 10,001 pounds, the carrier, or employer must have $750,000 of liability insurance. However, industry expectations are that the carrier will have $1 million of liability insurance.
Insurance Requirements for Haulers of Hazardous Materials
Insurance requirements for haulers of hazardous materials depend on the substance or type of material that the truck is carrying. Whether a truck weighs less or more than 10,000, if a truck is carrying certain hazardous materials within a state, between states, or between countries, the carrier must have $5 million of liability insurance. Hazardous materials that require this $5 million minimum include explosives, gases, radioactive materials, and poisonous inhalants. If either a for-hire or private truck weighs more than 10,001 pounds and is hauling other hazardous materials not listed above, such as oil, then the carrier must have $1 million of liability insurance.
Insurance Requirements for Trucks and Buses that Carry Passengers
If a truck or bus travels between states or countries, and carries sixteen passengers or more, including the driver, the motor carrier, or employer must have $5 million of liability insurance.
If a truck or bus travels between states or countries, and carries fifteen or fewer passengers, including the driver, the motor carrier is required to have $1.5 million of liability insurance.
There are some exceptions to these passenger motor carrier insurance requirements. Taxi cabs that carry less than seven passengers, school buses, and commuter vehicles with fewer than sixteen passengers on a daily round trip are not required to have the higher insurance premium.
Sometimes motor carriers are allowed to purchase surety bonds instead of insurance in the same amounts listed above.
Penalties for Violations
A violation of the FMCSA insurance requirements can result in large fines and the loss of commercial driver’s licenses. Moreover, if a truck is involved in an accident and has no insurance, the motor carrier, or employer may be subjected to criminal charges and/or additional penalties.
Accidents involving trucks are not to be taken lightly. The physical injuries that result from such an accident can be devastating and serious, and even fatal. If you or a loved one are involved in a truck accident, it is important to consult with an experienced Elk Grove Truck Accident Attorney to determine whether you have a potential claim.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious accident involving a large truck or commercial vehicle, call me now at (916) 694-0002, or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
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