Trucks that carry hazardous materials must have specific insurance. If the driver is not properly insured, it can have a profound impact on your case.
Trucks are required to obtain insurance that meets Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) standards. Trucks are insured differently depending on their measured liability. For example, if a truck driver has a poor driving record, then it is likely more expensive to insure them. In the same vein, if a truck is more dangerous and at-risk for an accident, then their insurance will be higher as well so that it can cover for more damages. This is true in the case of trucks that carry hazardous materials. Hazardous materials are strictly defined by type and by weight. A truck may be carrying hazardous materials, but if it is not the primary cargo and not over a certain amount, then the driver may not need to have hazardous material carrier insurance.
When it comes to commercial truck cargo, there are various materials that will necessitate this type of insurance:
If a driver does not possess the proper insurance and drives a truck carrying the above materials, then both the driver and the trucking company will incur fines and violations. The minimum penalty is $275; however, this may actually incur criminal charges, and the related fines, if the violation is serious enough.
Truck drivers need to take every precaution to ensure they are properly insured. If they are not, and they are involved in a collision, then this can create serious problems for victims of these accidents. The company, among a variety of precautions that should be taken, should strictly evaluate all cargo to determine if it meets the hazardous material standard and make sure that the driver is properly licensed to transport these materials. In order for a commercial driver to be able to transport these materials, they not only need to possess a commercial driver's license (CDL) per FMCSA standards, but must possess an "H" endorsement.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and FMCSA, drivers that carry hazardous materials must possess a hazmat safety permit. Primarily, radioactive materials and explosives are the materials that require safety permits.
A HMSP is also required for those carrying materials that are toxic if inhaled:
Commercial trucks carry a wide range of cargo types in their many trips around the country. This includes hazardous materials, large equipment, other vehicles, and more.Learn More
Because of the potential for catastrophic injuries in a truck accident involving hazardous cargo, motor carriers hauling hazardous materials are required to have a special permit to transport certain types and quantities of hazardous materials. These include radioactive materials, explosives, materials that are poisonous to breathe and certain compressed gases.
About 3,100 carriers in the U.S. are required to have the special permits.
Arnold & Itkin represents victims of truck accidents nationwide. Our aggressive truck accident lawyers are prepared to stand up to trucking companies to secure a just settlement that recognizes the severity of your injuries. We have extensive experience handling commercial motor vehicle accidents and a track record of success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.
To learn more about our services and how we can help you, contact our offices today.