Trucking companies are required by Texas law to have insurance. Texas follows regulations laid down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which requires all motor carriers, freight forwarders, and brokers to provide documentation of insurance.
Minimum Coverage All Trucking Companies Need to Have
FMCSA requires trucking companies to have the following coverages:
- Bodily injury liability;
- Property damage liability;
- Environmental restoration.
According to FMCSA, if the company is just transporting freight, it must have insurance of between $750,000 and $5 million “depending on commodities transported.” Companies transporting passengers must have $5 million in insurance — $1.5 million if they use only vehicles that seat 15 passengers or fewer.
Motor carriers, property brokers, and freight forwarders have the option to purchase surety bonds instead of insurance in the same amounts FMCSA requires.
Recovering Your Losses After a Truck Accident
If the trucking company is acting in accordance with federal law and at fault for your accident, it should have an insurance policy that will cover your injuries, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and any other related losses.
However, you may need to fight the insurer to get the recovery you deserve. That is where we come in. The team from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC will protect your right to recovery and will fight anything the insurer might use to devalue or deny your claim.
Your Options if the Truck Carrier Does Not Have Insurance Coverage
In some cases, you may find the truck carrier does not have insurance. In this case, a Houston 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer from our team may recommend filing a lawsuit to recover your damages.
You may also be able to find another party that is partially liable for the accident. For example, if the company that loaded the cargo did so improperly — and the improper loading contributed to the accident — you may be entitled to file a claim against the cargo company.
You may also have a case against the manufacturer or maintenance company if it contributed to the accident in any way.
Our team will investigate your wreck to determine all potentially liable parties. This may allow you to obtain a full recovery, regardless of whether the carrier has insurance.
How a Trucking Accident Lawyer Can Help You with Your Case
A truck accident attorney may be able to help with your truck accident case in the following ways:
Work with the Insurance Company
A truck accident lawyer in Texas will communicate with insurance company and manage the process of filing your claim.
Gather Evidence to Establish Liability
A lawyer will use the following types of evidence to establish fault and liability as well as the value of your damages:
- Accident or police report
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Photos and surveillance footage
- Medical bills and records
- W-2s or pay stubs
- Expert witness testimony
Obtain Expert Testimony
Sometimes, it is not clear who is at fault for the accident. If this is the case, we will discuss your case with an accident reconstruction expert to determine how the accident occurred. An expert witness will also establish how your injuries can continue to affect you over time.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement
An attorney works towards reaching a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The attorney will present evidence of fault and liability and will provide documentation of all your damages.
Take Your Case to Court
If you are unable to reach a fair settlement with the insurance company, you may be able to file a lawsuit to pursue a recovery in court.
What Expenses and Losses Can I Recover in a Truck Accident?
Some of the damages you may be able to claim when pursuing a recovery include:
You may be entitled to recover medical expenses such as surgery costs, emergency care, ongoing care, medication, doctor’s visits, and more.
Lost Income & Benefits
If you had to take time off work to recover, you may include the wages you lost in your demand.
Lost Earning Capacity
If your injuries forced you to take a lesser-paying job or retire, you may qualify to recover the loss of pay. You may also be able to recover lost benefits, pension, and 401(k) contributions.
Pain and Suffering
Truck accidents often cause severe or catastrophic injuries. You may also be able to recover for the pain and suffering and mental anguish you endured.
Act Quickly or Risk Recovering Nothing
Texas law allows injured parties only two years to file a lawsuit. If you fail to act, you may be unable to recover anything.
Seek Legal Help From a Trucking Accident Lawyer in Texas
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident with a truck, the injury lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC are here to help you file a claim and seek a recovery.
Get a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us at 713-850-8600.