People who are injured in tractor trailer accidents in Virginia and elsewhere often suffer terrible injuries that change their lives. They need to recover the most.
But for years many legislators, personal injury lawyers and others have been alarmed at the low figure the federally-mandated tractor-trailer liability insurance minimum limit has been set at. It has remained at $750,000 for the last 32 years.
Congressman Matt Cartwright from Pennsylvania has been campaigning for the figure to be increased for some time. Recently he reported a breakthrough.
“I have some excellent progress to report from Washington,” he wrote in an email. “As you know, inadequate liability insurance for commercial carriers has for decades meant that there has been inadequate compensation and an undue burden on Social Security and Medicare in cases of catastrophic injury resulting from commercial vehicle crashes.”
On October 3, 2013, Cartwright wrote a letter to Anne Ferro, the head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, urging that the FMSCA take action to review the adequacy of the federally-mandated tractor-trailer liability insurance minimum limit. He was joined by a number of co-signers. Ferro responded to his letter on the back of an FMCSA report that concluded:
1. Current limits are inadequate in covering catastrophic crashes.
2. Simply increasing existing limits to adjust for healthcare inflation would require raising limits:
a. From the current $750,000 to $3,188,250 for general tractor-trailers;
b. From the current $1 million to $4,251,000 for low-hazard hazmat tractor-trailers;
c. From the current $5 million to $21,255,000 for high-hazard hazmat tractor-trailers;
d. From the current $1.5 million to $6,376,500 for small buses; and
e. From the current $5 million to $21,255,000 for large buses.
Now the agency has formed a rulemaking team to further evaluate the appropriate level of financial responsibility for the motor carrier industry.
This is an important matter for anyone who has been hurt in a tractor trailer accident or has lost a loved one. Those who have suffered serious injuries often have lifelong medical needs. Our Virginia trucking accident injury lawyers have represented many clients who have been hurt in crashes involving commercial vehicles. Call Cooper Hurley at 757.455.0077 or follow this link to get a free copy of the Best Book About Virginia Trucking Accidents.