The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 requires freight carriers to have minimum insurance coverage limits of $750,000. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has not updated these requirements in over 30 years. There has been pressure recently to raise the insurance requirements to $4.6 million. Almost 4,000 people were fatally injured in large truck accidents in 2012. Tens of thousands more were injured. Many victims of large truck accidents sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s). Treatment for a TBI can cost more than $8,000 per day! The insurance limits that may have been sufficient in the 1980’s are not sufficient today and must be increased. A report from the FMCSA that was issued to Congress in April, 2014 stated the following:
“Current insurance limits do not adequately cover catastrophic crashes due, in part, to the significant increases in medical costs associated with injury since the current minimum insurance levels were set in 1985.”
“The costs for severe and critical injury crashes can easily exceed $1 million.”
Many truck accidents involve multiple vehicles and/or multiple victims which leaves many truck accident victims with little or no recovery. Medical expenses have skyrocketed since the 1980’s. An increase in insurance limits would also increase safety as insurance companies insuring trucks for $4.6 million would be less likely to cut corners in order to protect their bottom line. Safety shortcuts in the trucking industry cause hundreds of trucking accidents every year.
Parents Against Tired Truckers:
Parents Against Tired Truckers and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways are part of the Traffic Safety Coalition and they give the following reasons for their position on raising insurance limits for trucks:
“Minimum levels of insurance for trucks have not been increased in over 30 years and are woefully insufficient.”
“Consequently a large portion of the damages caused by motor carriers at or near the minimum is imposed upon the American public.”
“The underinsured segments of the industry are effectively subsidized by American taxpayers through unreimbursed social welfare programs including Medicaid and Social Security.”
“If all of the industry were required to absorb more of the losses they cause, significant changes in the industry would occur, resulting in safer highways for all.”
Since 1980, all expenses related to trucking accidents have increased. In addition, trailers have been allowed to expand to 53 feet in length. Truck weight has also increased. We have accepted death and catastrophic injury as the cost of doing business and that cost has been shifted to the public and the American taxpayer.
Truck Accident Attorneys in Sarasota and Bradenton Florida:
If you have been injured by a negligent truck driver, please contact the truck accident attorneys at Michael L. Morgan Law Group, P.A., at (941) 953-4555. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no cost to you unless we recover on your behalf. We will work to obtain the best possible compensation for your medical bills, loss of income, future medical bills, future loss of income and pain and suffering. Please call us to schedule a free consultation.