Truck accidents are particularly serious because of the extent of the damage they cause. Since they are large and weigh significantly more than other vehicles on the road, a truck accident can cause severe injuries, significant property damage, and can be devastating to recover from as a result. When accidents happen, drivers should be able to recover losses through an insurance claim. Yet, what happens if the person at fault for a truck accident doesn’t have insurance?
What If an Uninsured Truck Driver Hit Me?
While states set requirements for insurance coverage for non-commercial drivers, truckers must follow federal regulations for insurance. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drivers across the nation to carry minimum amounts of insurance based on their vehicle’s weight.
FMCSA insurance requirements include the following:
- $300,000 for trucks that are under 10,001 pounds and that don’t haul hazardous materials
- $750,000 in coverage for trucks that are over 10,001 pounds and that don’t haul hazardous materials
- $1,000,000 in coverage for private drivers and companies that haul oil
- $5,000,000 in coverage for trucks that haul hazardous material other than oil
When a truck driver is insured, the FMCSA must have a copy of the policy on file. Independent drivers must make sure they meet all insurance requirements on their own and employers must make sure their drivers have the proper amount of insurance.
While driving without truck insurance is illegal, legal penalties a trucker might face for driving without insurance won’t help a person recover the losses caused by an accident. However, drivers might have options if they’ve suffered because of an uninsured trucker.
Uninsured Motorist Policy
Some insurance policies have coverage for uninsured motorists. Depending on the details of a person’s policy, they might be able to use this coverage to recover losses associated with an accident. However, uninsured motorist coverage is often limited and may not cover the full extent of damages caused by an accident.
Personal Injury Protection
Some states, such a Pennsylvania, require drivers to use their insurance after an accident. Known as no-fault insurance, this might type of insurance might not require a person to pursue the truck driver for damages.
Additionally, some insurance policies include something known as personal injury protection (PIP). While it can cover the costs associated with medical care, PIP protection doesn’t provide compensation for things such as property damage, pain and suffering, and other repercussions of a serious truck accident.
Can You Sue an Uninsured Truck Driver?
Yes. If an uninsured truck driver caused an accident, you can call a truck accident lawyer and pursue them or their company for damages. While obtaining damages from an uninsured truck driver can be challenging, the company that hired or employed them is responsible for making sure the driver is qualified. This includes making sure they have proper insurance coverage. When companies fail to make sure they’re hiring legally insured drivers, they’re behaving negligently and should be held liable for an accident caused by hiring an unsafe and irresponsible driver.
If you were involved with an accident involving an uninsured truck driver, help is available from Arnold & Itkin LLP. Our firm is standing by to listen to what happened at (888) 490-0442. If we take your case, we’ll charge nothing for our help unless we obtain results for you.