How Much Insurance do Trucking Companies Carry to Cover My Claims?
Trucking companies often don't carry enough insurance to cover the damages caused by fatal and catastrophic crashes. This Guide outlines how Wright Law PLC approaches cases to maximize recoveries when insurance may be limited.
Minimum insurance is not enoughMany people are shocked to learn that trucking companies are only required to carry $750,000 in insurance coverage. This minimum level was set in the 1970s, and has never been adjusted to increase for higher costs of living in present day versus then. If it had been adjusted, the minimum level of insurance would be closer to $5,000,000 presently.
Many people are also shocked to learn that most trucking companies also don't have any liquid assets, which means that you cannot collect against them, if serious injuries or the death of a loved one occurred. For these reasons, it is critical that a trucking lawyer understand where and identify all the other potentially at-fault parties.
Supply Chain SafetyAn experienced trucking lawyer understands that one must examine not only the insurance policy of the trucking company that hauled the load, but also those participants like shippers who hire trucking companies and the brokers who can broker loads to trucking companies. The law requires shippers and brokers to hire safe, qualified trucking companies, and not just the trucking company that is willing to haul the load for the cheapest price.
Fraud in the supply chainWhen a trucking company agrees to haul a load very cheaply, one must wonder if they have enough money to maintain the trucks and hire qualified and safe personnel.
Large trucking companies also utilize a procedure whereby they "broker" loads they have accepted to smaller, potentially unsafe trucking companies. The large trucking companies have a financial incentive to broker the loads whenever they can find someone to haul the loads more cheaply. They profit the spread of the difference between what they are paid by the shipper and what the smaller company is willing to haul the load for. This can result in millions of dollars in profits to the larger trucking company.
However, the problem arises when the smaller trucking company, often by fatigued unsafe driving, causes crashes. At that point the large trucking company denies responsibility for the damages but acknowledges to the shipper that they were responsible to the shipper for the load.
Victims can be left with insufficient insurance to cover their damages unless their lawyer understands how to uncover this fraudulent scheme.