Generally speaking, if you have been in a truck accident and have damages, the at-fault party and their insurance should cover your expenses. Truck companies are required to have liability insurance in all 50 states of the U.S.
If the at-fault party does not have truck insurance, there is the possibility that the trucking company may be held partly or wholly responsible for the driver’s actions. If the company has insurance, you may be able to recover a settlement through them.
Liability insurance for trucking companies generally covers any damage to other motorists in a truck accident, providing the truck company is responsible and at-fault. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also requires any commercial trucks to have adequate insurance up to $5 million, depending on the type of cargo transported.
Commercial carriers are generally insured. Unfortunately, however, although insurance is mandatory for companies, you may get into an accident with a truck where the driver or trucking company was either underinsured or not insured at all.
However, if a trucking company is inadequately insured or has let their insurance coverage lapse, your truck accident case may get significantly more complicated, and it could be challenging to receive a settlement.
If you suffered injuries in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured commercial truck, not all is lost, and you could still recover an adequate settlement. It can be helpful to consult with a truck accident lawyer to find out what your best options are for recovering compensation from an uninsured or underinsured liable party.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In the unlikely event that neither driver nor trucking company is adequately insured, you could file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance if this is part of your car insurance policy. Uninsured motorist coverage generally protects you from uninsured and underinsured motorists, and this can include truckers and trucking companies.
However, if your injuries are extensive and serious, you may reach your insurance coverage limit quickly, and it could be in your best interest to file a lawsuit against the liable parties.
Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Truck Accident Lawsuits
Even if the at-fault party does not have truck insurance, you might be able to recover compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. In the event that your loved one died in an accident with a truck, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party or parties.
If you are considering filing a lawsuit, you will need to identify all the potentially liable parties, which may not only be the driver, but could also be the trucking company, a third-party company, or a truck manufacturer, for instance. Going after the driver in a lawsuit may be your first instinct, especially if they caused the accident by driving too fast or not paying attention.
However, truck accidents differ from car accidents and consider that a trucking company typically has responsibility for their drivers and vehicles. This means you could potentially sue a trucking company as well as the driver in an attempt to recover compensation for your damages.
Compensation in Truck Accident Cases
Compensation that could be available for accident victims in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can include medical bills, rehabilitation such as physical therapy, lost income, funeral costs, and a domestic or health aide. You could also receive awards for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship. There may be other types of compensation available to you, depending on your individual truck accident case.
Acting Quickly Can Be Important
Accidents with a truck can be catastrophic and cause extensive injuries as well as fatalities. If you have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in an accident, you may be hesitant to fight for your rights and compensation. We understand that healing and grieving may be the priority now, but do not wait too long to initiate action, and find out about your rights and legal options as soon as you can.
Especially in cases where the at-fault party does not have truck insurance, it can help to discuss your case with a truck accident lawyer to find out how you could still recover a settlement that covers your accident-related costs in the present as well as into the future.
Also, consider that statutes of limitations generally set time limits for personal injury and wrongful death cases, and missing those deadlines can prevent you from recovering what is due to you. In California, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to pursue a claim, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for Advice
If you have been in an accident with an uninsured trucker or trucking company, contact us and tell us about your case. We might be able to help you recover compensation. You will not incur any upfront attorney’s fees if you decide to work with us. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now for your free initial consultation at (800) 794-0444.