The Role of Insurance in a Truck Accident Case

The Role of Insurance in a Truck Accident Case When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident, understanding how truck insurance works is vital  to obtain the compensation you deserve. Insurance policies, including the truck driver’s personal insurance and the trucking company’s commercial liability coverage, determine where the money comes from to cover your medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other losses from the accident. That is why the help of an experienced truck accident attorney is essential for  receiving fair compensation.

What are Virginia’s laws on commercial truck insurance requirements?

According to Virginia Code § 46.2-2143.1, the amount of insurance a truck company needs depends on how heavy their vehicles are. Trucks over 10,000 pounds need at least $750,000 in coverage, while for trucks between 7,500 and 10,000 pounds, the minimum is $300,000. Smaller vehicles like cars or motorcycles have different requirements. For injuries or death, the minimum is $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident, and for property damage, the minimum is  $50,000. If the truck operates across state lines, it must follow the federal rules.

Trucks need cargo insurance too. For those traveling only within the Commonwealth, the minimum is $50,000.

Excess liability coverage

Trucks typically have large insurance policies to cover damages, but if that’s not enough for your medical bills and car repairs (which are likely extensive), excess liability coverage steps in.

This coverage doesn’t just add more money, it also covers different types of costs, not just what the truck’s insurance covers. If your damages end up being more than what the truck’s insurance can handle, excess liability coverage makes sure you can still get the money you need.

What happens when there are multiple liable parties?

If you’re in a truck accident involving more than one person or company, things get more complicated. First, you must determine who’s to blame, e.g., the truck driver or the company that owns the truck. These parties typically have their own insurance to cover the damages.

Dealing with all these insurance policies means talking to different companies about different kinds of damages. Our attorneys will negotiate to get you the most money possible, considering the severity of your injuries and who’s at fault. If the negotiations fail, your case will go to court, which also involves everyone’s insurance companies.

What about vicarious liability?

In the event of a truck accident, both the driver and the company the driver works for could be held liable for the damages under the legal theory of vicarious liability.

The truck driver usually has their own personal insurance for when they’re not working; however, when they’re on the job, the trucking company’s commercial liability insurance covers them, meaning there are two insurance policies involved—one for the driver and one for the company.

The company’s insurance is important because it provides extra coverage beyond what the driver’s insurance can handle. This matters because truck accidents can lead to substantial damages, and having both insurances helps make sure there’s enough money to cover all the costs.

How can uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage help me get full compensation?

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is an important aspect of insurance protection, especially when you’ve been in a truck accident. This coverage is designed to step in when the at-fault party either doesn’t have insurance (uninsured) or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the full extent of your damages (underinsured).

In truck accidents, where damages can be substantial, having UM/UIM coverage is yet another safety net. If the truck driver responsible for the accident doesn’t have insurance at all or their insurance falls short, your UM/UIM coverage kicks in to bridge the gap. This coverage is essentially a financial fallback plan, ensuring that you are not left in a vulnerable position if the responsible party lacks adequate insurance to cover your medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and other losses.

Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident can be complicated and having UM/UIM coverage provides a layer of financial security. It allows you to pursue compensation for your damages even if the at-fault party’s insurance is insufficient or nonexistent. It’s a proactive way to protect yourself from potential financial hardships resulting from a truck accident where the responsible party lacks adequate insurance coverage.

At Phelan Petty Injury Lawyers, our team of seasoned truck accident lawyers in Richmond possesses extensive experience and knowledge in navigating the intricacies of insurance companies and their policies. We recognize that truck accidents often involve complex layers of coverage, which can significantly impact your compensation. With an understanding of the unique challenges posed by truck accidents, our attorneys are adept at handling negotiations with insurance providers. We are committed to securing the maximum compensation for our clients by drawing upon our experience to skillfully navigate the complexities of different insurance coverages and diligently advocating for your rights. If you’re seeking damages in a truck accident case, call our office or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We’re here to help truck accident victims across Virginia.

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