Unfortunately, truck accidents are more common than you’d expect and the financial impact can be tremendous for victims. It’s important to know your rights after a truck accident and the ways insurance companies try to avoid liability. The simple answer is trucking companies in Texas are required to have insurance coverage. The term “full coverage” does not exist. Instead, full coverage refers to a combination of coverages to protect a motor vehicle. The answer becomes more complicated because Texas trucking companies must abide by state and/or federal insurance laws. The questions to consider involve minimum coverage requirements, intrastate and interstate transport, commercial insurance coverage, insurance payouts and the recent House 19 Bill involving commercial motor vehicles.
Learn about Truck Accident Risk Management and Safety Tips here.
Trucking companies, known as motor carriers, are required by Texas law to file proof of commercial automobile liability insurance for each registered vehicle. The insurance requirements for truck drivers and trucking companies ensure they are covered in the event of a serious accident or injury. In Texas, trucking insurance providers will ask three key questions to help determine the most appropriate truck insurance and liability limits:
All drivers, including commercial drivers, must carry at least the following coverage:
If the operator fails to provide proper proof of insurance, an investigation could follow. This investigation can include:
The amount of truck insurance for intrastate is set by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). It sets the minimum amount of commercial insurance coverage at $500,000. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets the laws regarding how much coverage is needed by a Texas trucking company. The amount of coverage depends on the weight of the commercial truck and type of materials they transport.
Purchase liability insurance
Purchase a surety bond
Form MCS-90 – Proof of insurance issued by the carrier
Form MCS–82 – Proof of an existing surety bond
In addition to the minimum insurance a trucking company must carry, it can obtain additional insurance coverage. The four main types of commercial insurance coverage are:
The minimum coverage requirement.
Offers more than the minimum coverage.
Allows trucking companies to subtract cost of defense from coverage.
Adds $250,000 to trucking company insurance policy.
Negligence is the legal term to describe who was responsible for a truck accident. This means proving the trucking company or its driver failed to act as a responsible person would and cause the accident. Proving negligence, or fault, requires your attorney showing you were a victim, how the accident occurred and why you deserve money. In Texas, several elements are used to help prove your case:
The Texas legislature has passed House Bill 19, a law that will impact lawsuits involving commercial motor vehicles commenced after September 1, 2021. The bill defines “commercial motor vehicles” as vehicles being used “for commercial purposes in interstate or intrastate commerce to transport property or passengers . . . .” The bill applies not only to 18-wheelers, but also to Uber and Lyft vehicles, delivery trucks and any other vehicle being used for commercial purposes.
Under the law, an owner or operator may move to bifurcate (or separate) the trial of claims against an employer defendant relating to a commercial motor vehicle accident predicated upon the liability of the employee (i.e., negligent entrustment) and otherwise concerning a demand for both compensatory and exemplary damages.
Overall, the law provides commercial motor carriers and their counsel a multitude of new procedures and considerations to limit the admissibility of highly prejudicial evidence and causes of action at the time of trial. This makes it more important to work with an experienced attorney familiar with the tactics of commercial carriers and insurance companies to deny your rightful reimbursement.
Trucking companies must have insurance for their vehicle to be on the roadways. That does not mean they are willing to pay if they are responsible for injuring you. Contact the Texas truck accident attorney about your case. We offer a free case evaluation. You have the right to receive money for your injuries regardless of the type of insurance coverage the trucking company has.