Trucking Insurance Companies
Trucking companies carry large insurance policies to protect themselves from liability in case of an accident. When a serious, catastrophic, or fatal crash is caused by a trucking company or its driver, that company’s insurer is responsible for paying the bill. Insurance companies have their own best interests at heart and will fight hard to minimize their payouts. This is why you need an experienced Texas trucking accident lawyer on your side.
Trucking companies are required to carry far greater amounts of insurance coverage than passenger vehicle drivers, as mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Under federal regulations, interstate truckers must meet minimum liability coverage requirements for bodily injury and property damage. Depending on the weight of the rig and what it is carrying, the required minimum policy limits can range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. In addition to FMCSA requirements, many shippers and brokers require truckers to carry liability insurance with limits of at least $1,000,000, regardless of what types of materials they are hauling.
A fully loaded 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 lbs., as compared to the average passenger vehicle weighing 3,000 lbs. In a collision with a big rig, passenger vehicle occupants are likely to suffer serious injuries or death. Because of the large amounts of coverage trucking companies carry and the serious nature of the injuries tractor trailers can cause, their insurers defend against claims aggressively to protect the large amounts of money on the line. They have teams of lawyers standing by, who know the regulations governing trucking companies and their drivers and who work to negotiate settlements (in the insurance company’s best interests) every day.
After a serious truck accident, aggressive tactics on the part of the insurance company may involve:
- Playing nice, presenting themselves as on your side
- Telling you that you do not need an attorney
- Promising to work with you to resolve your case fairly
- Offering a settlement that may sound fair, but is far from enough to cover the full extent of your losses
Do not let insurance company tactics pressure you into accepting the first offer. Remember, it is not their job to pay you what your claim is worth, but rather to pay you the lowest amount you will accept.
Of the large trucks involved in crashes, 55% were assigned the critical reason for the crash in the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, as reported by FMCSA. The top factors contributing to truck accidents assigned to large trucks and their drivers in this study included:
- Driver fatigue
- Prescription drug use
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
- Traveling too fast for conditions
“ELD” stands for electronic logging device, otherwise known as a black box. These devices are required for all motor carriers and drivers who must keep records of their hours of service (to help minimize driver fatigue), pursuant to FMCSA rules. The ELD synchronizes with the engine of the vehicle to automatically record a wealth of data, including:
- When the engine is running
- When the vehicle is moving
- Duration of engine operation
- Number of miles driven
- Hours of service of the driver
If a truck driver or trucking company negligence caused your accident, our experienced personal injury lawyers can use ELD evidence to support your claim. This may include evidence of speeding, hours of service violations, or other relevant information about the operation of the vehicle.
Truck accidents are complex cases involving federal regulations and multiple potentially liable parties. Trucking company insurers have teams of experienced truck accident lawyers on their side. Their goal is to minimize the amount of money the insurance company pays out for your claim. At Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP, we have a successful track record recovering compensation for injured truck accident victims. Call us at (903) 212-2822 and schedule a free consultation to find out about your options under the law.
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18-wheeler Driver Fell Asleep And Killed Driver.