When you get into an accident with a commercial truck, chances are the impact will be catastrophic. Cars are often totaled, and injuries from the collision can be more extensive and serious than in a crash with another car. Whether the damage is to your body, vehicle, or both, you will want to be covered financially for all that transpires after the accident. It’s important to understand the Texas commercial truck insurance requirements, so you can know how much truck companies are insured for, as well as how to pursue a claim if you find yourself in this difficult situation. Otherwise, as our Pasadena auto accident lawyer explains, could walk away with nothing.
Types of Required Truck Insurance for Trucking Companies
Under Texas law, trucking companies are required to provide proof of liability insurance for each of their registered vehicles. However, the minimum amount of coverage depends upon what kind of truck it is, as well as the cargo it’s carrying. If you are in a collision in Texas, it’s important to contact an experienced Houston truck accident attorney so that you know your rights and receive maximum compensation, but this information can help you get started:
- Minimum insurance requirements. Commercial truck liability insurance is intended to cover the cost of victims’ financial damages in the case of an accident. But the amount that insurance covers varies greatly. The amounts are determined by both federal and state law. Trucks that operate only within the borders of Texas might not be subject to federal law, while interstate trucks must be in alignment with both state and national laws.
- 26,000 pounds of cargo or less. Trucks carrying less than 26,000 pounds and transporting only household goods must have a minimum of $300,000 of liability insurance. However, if the goods are being transported beyond state lines and weigh over 10,000 pounds, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires minimum coverage of $750,000.
- 26,000 pounds of cargo or more. If a truck weighs over 26,000 pounds and is transporting only household goods, it must have at least $500,000 of liability insurance under both Texas and federal law.
- Oil transport and hazardous materials. Both Texas and FMCSA rules state that trucks carrying oil must have at least $1,000,000 in liability coverage, and those transporting hazardous materials of any time need to have a minimum of $5,000,000. Other types of insurance coverage may also be required.
Texas Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements for Drivers
Outside of the trucking company as a whole, truck drivers are also sometimes required to have their own insurance. If they are independent contractors, they must carry their own liability policy. However, if they are an employee of a truck company, they are usually covered by the company’s insurance. Since the truck companies carry much larger policies, you will usually recover damages more easily from a company than the individual driver.
But how can you tell if a truck driver is independent or employed by a large company? It can be difficult and requires the help and discernment of an experienced Houston truck accident attorney.
How to Effectively Pursue an Insurance Claim
If you are in a truck accident and you wish to file a claim against the company's or driver’s insurance, it is important to document everything and avoid these 5 common mistakes. Seek medical attention right away, and make sure you get copies of all medical records related to the accident. If you are able to, you should also take photos of vehicular damage and get statements from any witnesses.
Sound overwhelming yet? It certainly can be, especially if you are severely injured. This is where an experienced Houston truck accident attorney can help. One of the smartest things you can do after getting checked out by a doctor is to contact an experienced Houston truck accident attorney as soon as possible. A quality truck accident attorney will conduct a thorough investigation on your behalf and help determine who is at fault. They can then pursue maximum compensation.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit as a result of a truck accident in Texas, you can receive a variety of damages, including compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and recovery from emotional trauma.
At SJ Injury Attorneys, we have experienced truck accident attorneys who know how to effectively fight on behalf of truck accident victims. Contact our office online or give us a call today to get started filing a claim and pursuing the appropriate route toward getting the compensation you deserve.