If you’ve suffered a serious injury due to the negligence of a truck driver, you’re going to want to obtain compensation for not only tangible expenses, such as medical bills, but so-called “non-economic” damages as well, such as pain and suffering. Your best chance of doing so will be to obtain money from the insurer that covers the trucking company.
Truck drivers, as well as trucking companies, are required by law to carry insurance – these policies typically pay much more than those that cover passenger vehicles.
While you would think insurers would do the right thing and make you a fair settlement offer. Unfortunately, that usually doesn’t happen. More than likely, you’re going to need to hire a truck accident attorney to fight for your rights. The Eberst Law Firm has a long track record of not only protecting our clients’ rights, but also helping them obtain the money they deserve.
The following are examples of the kinds of insurance coverage trucking companies and drivers must have.
Minimum Liability Coverage
Every person who operates a motor vehicle in the state of Florida has to carry a minimum amount of $10,000 in liability insurance. When it comes to commercial truck insurance, however, the minimums are much higher. The amount of required coverage will vary, depending on the kind of cargo the truck is transporting. For example, a truck carrying typical household goods will need $300,000 worth of coverage. However, if it’s carrying hazardous materials, that number jumps all the way up to $5 million.
Personal Injury Protection
All Florida motorists, whether they drive regular passenger vehicles or huge semi-trucks, have to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP insurance covers drivers, whether they’re at fault or not, up to the limit of their policy. PIP is designed to help pay for injury-related expenses for people hurt in an accident. It pays for 80 percent of so-called “reasonably priced” medical bills, 60 percent of lost wages due to being unable to work, and up to $5,000 in benefits should a fatality occur.
Property Damage Liability
This type of insurance provides coverage for any property damage the negligent truck driver causes, such as vehicle damage. It could cover any repairs that need to be done, or it could cover the costs of replacing the vehicle. Other types of property damage covered include signs, buildings, fencing and much more.
Bodily Injury Liability
As the name implies, bodily injury coverage pays for severe injuries and/or fatalities caused by a negligent truck driver. It will also pay for legal representation should a truck driver or trucking company be sued.
Other Types of Coverage Available to Truck Drivers
There are several other kinds of coverage a trucking company can purchase. These include the following:
- Medical payments insurance – This pays for medical expenses associated with injuries due to a trucking accident. In many cases, this type of policy will pay up to $10,000.
- Collision coverage – This pays for damage to the truck if it is involved in an accident.
- Hired truck insurance – If someone drives a truck they don’t own, this type of policy will offer liability protection if an accident occurs.
What to do if You’re Involved in a Truck Accident
Being in a truck accident is obviously terrifying. Semi-trucks typically weigh 10 times more than passenger vehicles, so you can see what kind of damage they can do. Hopefully, of course, you’ll never have to deal with this type of situation. If you do, always remember to take care of your health first, and your legal claim second.
- If possible, get your vehicle out of harm’s way and immediately call 911 to report the accident. Not only will emergency vehicles arrive, but so will police. An officer will make a report of the accident. This accident can be a very powerful piece of evidence in your case.
- Once everyone involved in the accident is out of danger, use our phone to take pictures and video of the accident scene – if, of course, you are physically able to do so. Photograph or video things like skid marks, all vehicles involved in the accident, and any objects that may have spilled from the cargo hold of the truck.
- Exchange contact information with the truck driver, making sure to obtain their insurance information, driver’s license number, and whatever information you can find pertaining to the company that owns the truck.
- Get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as you can and schedule a consultation. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss the details of your case, and the attorney will let you know whether or not they will be able to help.
Contact the Lawyers at Eberst Law Firm
As soon as an insurance company becomes aware of an accident involving one of the trucks it covers, it will immediately dispatch a team of professional adjusters to investigate the scene. These are seasoned experts who are only loyal to their employer – not the people who have been injured due to the actions of a negligent truck driver. They will do anything they can to either reduce the amount of money a victim will receive, or deny that claim outright.
Since the trucking company, as well as the insurance company, will do everything possible to protect their interests, you’ll need to do the same thing – as quickly as possible. That means hiring an attorney who has the experience needed to build the strongest case they can on your behalf. The stronger your case, the better the chances you’ll obtain compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered.
The truck accident attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm have the experience and skill to help. We will work tirelessly to force the insurance company to pay you what you deserve. Schedule a free case review as soon as you can by using our online form or calling 888-CALL-JON.