Following a truck accident, you may think you can take legal action regardless of the other driver’s insurance status. However, depending on the state you live in, you may be limited in what you can do if the driver does not have truck insurance.
Some states hold no-fault insurance systems which means that you cannot sue or can only do so on a limited basis if the other driver does not have insurance. In many instances, you’ll soon learn that you may be relying on your own insurance company to pay the bills after getting into an accident with an uninsured truck driver. But unfortunately, if you do not have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, you may have to pay for the accident out of your own pocket.
Keep in mind that if you suffer from serious injuries after a truck accident, you may be able to directly sue the at-fault party in a civil lawsuit. However, this can be complicated, which is why you will need an experienced truck accident lawyer to help recover compensation for you.
For more than 30 years, the accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC have been helping victims of truck accidents get back on their feet again. We understand the complexities of insurance law. Once you hire our firm, we will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve following the truck crash.
The short answer to this question is yes. But it can be complicated depending on who owns the truck.
To operate a commercial truck in the United States, the owner of a trucking company is required to carry truck insurance. The company is required to file the insurance and its Operating Authority/MC Number with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation. Not only does a trucking company by law need to have insurance for its fleet, but many shipping companies do require proof of insurance before it hires the company to ship its freight.
But does the truck driver need to have separate truck insurance in order to operate the vehicle? If the driver owns or leases the vehicle and wants to be an independent contractor, then the truck driver is required to have primary liability insurance. This insurance protects any property damage or injuries that occur in a truck accident.
If the vehicle is owned by the trucking company, it should have not only primary liability but general liability insurance. This insurance protects the business from any lawsuits or accidents that occur.
Just because the truck driver does not have insurance, does not mean you have no options. If the at-fault driver was employed at the time of the accident, you may be able to sue the trucking company for your injuries.
Learn more about the options available to you following a truck accident:
In some cases, there may be more than one at-fault party in truck accidents. Some parties may include:
In these cases, you may be able to seek compensation under those parties’ insurance coverage. It is important to seek legal advice because determining liability when there are multiple parties involved can become complicated quickly, especially when it comes to trucking cases.
The first step you will take after the accident is to contact your insurance company to see what they can do for you. You may be surprised to learn that you hold uninsured motorist coverage. Many states, including Washington, DC, and Maryland, require that you purchase uninsured motorist coverage when buying a car insurance policy. This type of supplemental policy is meant to protect you if you get into an accident with an at-fault uninsured motorist. The coverage will pay for any damages that occurred so you won’t have to pay out of pocket.
Another supplemental policy you may hold is underinsured motorist coverage. While not a required form of insurance, underinsured motorist coverage will cover any expenses that the truck driver’s insurance company cannot pay because that driver does not have enough liability coverage to cover your damages.
An insurance adjuster will be able to explain these policies to you if you already have one.
You will need to contact your insurance provider right away following your involvement in a truck accident with an uninsured driver. A police report will be used to begin the claims process as well as identify the liable party.
When the at-fault driver does not have truck insurance, you may wonder how you will cover your medical bills, and recover after lost wages if you’ve been out of work. Truck accidents usually result in catastrophic injuries which can take months to recover from. Your own insurance will only cover so much before you will be expected to pay out of pocket.
Most insurance companies will discuss the ways you can go about recovering compensation through liability insurance, as well as if you hold personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP insurance will pay your bills as well as any passengers involved in the accident regardless of who is responsible for the truck crash.
In these situations, accident victims may still be able to make an insurance claim. But remember, your insurance adjuster isn’t looking to give you all of your recoveries–they will want to settle as soon as possible for as little as possible.
This is why you need a passionate lawyer who can work with law enforcement and the car insurance policyholders to determine who is at fault, and what your legal rights are.
If you have been involved in a trucking accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you need to contact an attorney to begin a personal injury lawsuit.
If you live in Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia, the truck accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long will work with you to help secure compensation be it from the liable parties directly, the trucking company, or the involved coverage groups.
It is an unfortunate reality for many truck accident victims that they are involved in an accident with uninsured drivers or those who lack adequate insurance coverage. But the lawyers at Regan Zambri Long can help provide you with legal options to take on these commercial trucks and move forward with recovery.
If you have suffered injuries, lost income, and are in the middle of medical treatment, find out how we can help you with your truck accident case in a no-obligation, free case evaluation. Begin the attorney-client relationship in our free consultation by calling (202) 960-4746 or sending us a message today. We work on a contingency fee basis meaning you don’t pay until we win.