If you are reading this, you have probably been injured in a truck accident and are in desperate need of insurance coverage to pay medical bills, cover lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and other damages. While it may be tempting to file an insurance claim as soon as possible, doing so without seeking legal advice is a huge mistake that could either reduce your insurance settlement or result in denial of coverage altogether.
Today, we brought our Cooper City truck accident attorney Bradley Hartman to outline the things that you need to know before filing an insurance claim and seeking compensation after a motor vehicle accident involving a truck, semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or 18-wheeler.
Federal and state trucking regulations and requirements in Florida
Each year, more than 70,000 Americans sustain injuries – ranging from minor to severe – in road collisions involving large trucks. And 4,000 others die as a result of catastrophic truck accidents in Florida and all across the United States.
Given the destructive force of commercial trucks, colliding with which can result in severe injuries or even death, there are quite a few federal and state trucking regulations that not only require truck drivers and their trucking companies to carry liability insurance policies, but also restrict how much cargo a truck can carry, how many hours of sleep a truck driver must get, and other regulations and restrictions.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers and their trucking companies fail to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. And given that liability insurance policies for trucks are far greater than those carried by non-commercial drivers, it only makes sense to seek insurance coverage for your injuries and damages sustained in a collision with a commercial truck.
But hold your horses, our Cooper City truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman warns.
What are the minimum liability insurance requirements for commercial trucks?
Under Florida laws, drivers of regular cars and non-commercial vehicles are required to carry liability insurance with a minimum limit of $10,000. But when it comes to commercial trucks, Florida law has other insurance requirements. And this makes sense considering that the extent of damages from a collision with a large truck usually exceeds those from a collision with a passenger car by 5x to 10x times.
The minimum liability insurance requirements for commercial trucks depend on the vehicle’s weight and can reach up to $750,000. The very minimum can be $50,000 in rare cases, but those are for the smallest trucks carrying insignificant amounts of cargo.
Trucks carry a minimum of $5 million in property liability insurance
But most trucking companies in Cooper City and all across Florida are smart. In an attempt to avoid personal injury lawsuits, they usually carry insurance policies that exceed the state minimum required by Florida law. While this is undoubtedly good news since you may be entitled to a larger insurance settlement, if your damages are greater than the amount that can be provided by the at-fault truck driver’s insurance policy, you may not be able to bring a lawsuit against the trucking company to recover additional damages.
However, whether or not you can sue a trucking company in Florida depends on the circumstances of your truck accident. Also, it must be noted that trucking companies are required to carry a minimum of $5 million in property and personal injury liability insurance. Our best trucking accident attorneys in Florida explain that this is because many trucks transport hazardous materials (HAZMAT), which can cause catastrophic consequences in motor vehicle collisions.
Get compensation for injuries in a trucking accident
Now that you know what the minimum liability insurance requirements are for commercial trucks in Florida, it is time to file an insurance claim accordingly. Get a free consultation from our Cooper City trucking accident attorney at the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman to conduct an unbiased investigation into your claim, collect extensive evidence, and prepare a strong case to obtain a fair settlement in your favor.
Call our offices at 954-438-1000 or fill out this contact form for a free case evaluation.