More Insurance is Available in Virginia Commercial Trucking Wrecks
Trucking crashes are often more serious than those involving cars. However, few people know that typically more insurance is available in Virginia commercial trucking wrecks.
When the vehicle that causes your injuries is a tractor trailer or even a smaller commercial vehicle the chances are that the amount of available insurance coverage on the at fault driver is going to be higher.
Typically, interstate truckers are required to have at least $750,000.00 of insurance coverage by federal law. If they are carrying hazmat or have other endorsements for things like hazardous materials, then the amount is usually $1 million minimum.
In fact, these minimums on big rigs should really be higher than they are currently. These limits went into effect a long time ago and Congress has failed to increase the mandatory minimum limits for truckers over time.
If the vehicle that caused you bodily injury is a commercial vehicle than we are more likely to be able to make sure to get you a full and fair recovery out of that automobile accident.
Unfortunately, many regular drivers meaning people driving family cars not associated with a business carry far less insurance coverage. The minimum insurance in Virginia for an automobile policy is $30,000.00 per person. This doesn’t go very far.
Even people who are smart enough to have bought higher limit policies are often going to have a total maximum insurance coverage of something like $50,000.00, $100,000.00 or $300,000.00 policies. It is a rare individual who has half a million or a million dollars’ worth of automobile accident insurance on their own personal auto. So if you get hit by a commercial vehicle the amount of available insurance may be less of a problem in your case.
The other thing about commercial drivers, particularly ones who work for companies with dozens or hundreds of trucks is that there is a higher obligation on those drivers and on the trucking company to care about fleet safety and make sure there’s proper training of their drivers.
Normally the drivers of an 18‑wheeler have to be a commercial driver licensed individual. The CDL is one way to make sure that the person is knowledgeable enough about how to operate a big truck and meet certain minimum standards of physical health to be able to be safe on the road.
Additionally, good safe trucking companies make sure that their drivers obey the law and are professional in the way they approach driving the truck. Not all companies treat this obligation to be expert drivers as seriously as they should.
Often the cases that I work on as a Virginia personal injury attorney show that some truck drivers are really dangerous on the road. Some are inexperienced and others have been driving for a long time but were never properly made to follow the best practices for a professional driver. One thing that I found is very common among truck drivers is they may have some kind of sleep disorder problem whether insomnia or sleep apnea that causes them to be sleepy-headed and less attentive than they should be behind the wheel.
There’s nothing scarier than a guy falling asleep behind the wheel in one of these massive trucks weighing a dozen tons. The weight of commercial vehicles can run anywhere from 10,000 pounds up to and over 26,000 pounds. Many are quite a bit higher than that in their weight especially once they’re loaded.
In our community in and around the ports of Hampton Roads like the Norfolk International Terminal, there are lots of big rigs carrying lots of freight on our city roads at all hours of the day and night. Every one of those is a potential disaster waiting to happen.
I hope you and your family are never hurt by a commercial truck but if you are that is the kind of serious case that requires hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure that you do get all of the compensation that you’re entitled to for any injury caused by a reckless truck driver. You can find out more by reading our commercial vehicle wreck FAQs.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Virginia commercial trucking wreck, you should consider calling our trucking accident injury lawyers at (757) 333-3333.