Collisions with commercial trucks usually cause extensive injuries to the drivers of other vehicles. Texas state laws require commercial trucks to take out insurance coverage to help compensate people who are injured in a truck crash. We answered some frequently asked questions regarding Texas truck insurance requirements, including insurance coverage for truck companies and how to make a valid claim. If you’re injured in a truck accident, going against insurance on your own may be difficult. Our truck accident lawyers are ready to help you pursue compensation if you suffered injuries in a crash with a commercial truck.
What Is the Minimum Liability Insurance for Commercial Trucks?
Trucking companies in Texas are required under federal and Texas state laws to carry proof of minimum liability insurance policies for every registered vehicle. The insurance will go towards compensating victims of truck accidents and paying for economic and non-economic damages, such as medical bills, lost income, the cost of vehicle repair, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.
The minimum coverage for damages in Texas depends on the type of commercial truck and the goods being transported. Required minimums can be found in 43 Texas Administration Code (TAC) §218.16(a). For instance, a truck that weighs 26,000 pounds or less and transports household goods within the state must have at least $300,000 in liability insurance.
For a truck that weighs over 26,000 pounds and is used to transport household goods within Texas borders, the state law requires a minimum of $500,000 of liability insurance. But when the household goods are transported outside the state, and the cargo weighs 10,000 lbs or more, it must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, which require minimum liability coverage of $750,000.
Trucks that convey oil are required to have at least $1,000,000 worth of liability coverage, and those transporting any hazardous material must have a minimum of $5,000,000 in liability coverage under both the Texas state laws and FMCSA regulations.
What Are the Other Insurance Coverages for Commercial Trucks?
Trucking companies in Texas are required to have other insurance coverage for their trucks in addition to the minimum liability insurance. These include:
Truck Cargo Insurance
This type of insurance covers the loss or damage to the goods being transported. Trucks carrying household goods must have at least $5,000 to cover loss or damage to a single shipper’s cargo and a minimum of $10,000 for loss or damage to multiple shipper cargo.
Physical Damage Insurance
This insurance covers any physical damage to the truck from acts like vandalism, collisions, theft, and natural disasters. If the truck is damaged beyond repair, the insurance company is required to replace it.
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
This insurance covers any accidents or damages that occur when the truck is used for non-business purposes or personal use, such as running errands or visiting people. It will cover property damage, medical bills for other injured persons, and repair costs if there is damage to the trailer.
This insurance covers the trucks when they are not hauling any loads and no trailer is attached. For example, when going to pick up a new load or in between dropping one load off and picking up the next. Bobtail insurance will cover property damage, medical bills for other injured persons, and the cost of legal action.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This insurance coverage covers the truck driver from any damages caused by someone who has no insurance or is inadequately insured and crashes with the truck.
Rental Reimbursement Coverage
This insurance covers the cost of renting a truck while the damaged truck is being repaired for an accident insurance claim.
Are Out-of-State Trucks Required To Have Texas Insurance?
Commercial trucks operating in Texas must carry insurance that meets the Texas state minimum liability insurance requirement. However, out-of-state trucks passing through Texas to another state are to comply with the insurance requirements of their home state.
What Insurance Are Truck Drivers Required To Have?
Truck drivers are also required to have liability insurance. However, this depends on their working status with the trucking company. Truck drivers who are independent contractors must obtain their own liability coverage as the trucking company is not required to provide insurance coverage for them.
Truck drivers, who are employees of a trucking company, are usually covered under the company’s insurance policies. You are more likely to recover larger damages from the company than from the individual truck driver because the trucking companies have a broader insurance policy.
Determining if a truck driver is an employee of the company or an independent contractor is an important aspect of your personal injury case because it will affect whether you will be reimbursed for all the damages or for some damages. An experienced truck accident lawyer from Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers will help you establish this and pursue to get you maximum compensation for your injuries.
How Do I File a Personal Injury Claim After a Collision?
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a trucking accident due to the negligence of the driver or the trucking company, you can file an insurance claim against the trucking company and the relevant insurance company to recover the damages suffered.
Here are some specific things you can do:
- Seek emergency medical attention after the trucking accident and keep every medical record related to the treatment of the injuries from the trucking accident.
- Involve the police to ensure an official record of the incident. A police report is crucial for filing an insurance claim.
- Take photos of the accident scene and get statements from eyewitnesses.
These documents are important for filing a commercial insurance claim to prove fault and to determine whether you played any part in the accident. Claim adjusters will use also this information to investigate your claims and determine the extent of the trucking company’s liability insurance.
It’s advisable to consult a truck accident lawyer before speaking with the claim adjuster. An experienced attorney will help you investigate the accident, prove your claim, and pursue to recover maximum compensation for your injuries.
Commercial Truck Insurance by Embroker
Commercial Truck Insurance Texas by Simplex Group