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Pennsylvania Truck Accident Victims Are Protected By State and Federal Insurance Regulations

Vehicle accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks often lead to catastrophic injuries and serious property damage.  Many Pennsylvania truck accident victims are left in financial turmoil as they suffer losses caused by medical costs, lost wages, vehicle damage, emotional trauma, and physical pain. At the same time, insurance companies offer commercial policies and try to minimize the liability of their tractor-trailer clients.  This can make it difficult for truck accident victims to receive the compensation they deserve after a collision.

Insurance Requirements Under Pennsylvania Law

Under Pennsylvania law, all drivers must carry a certain amount of insurance. This includes medical benefits, also known as no-fault coverage, as well as liability car insurance. An injured individual’s medical bills will be paid through no-fault coverage. Liability coverage refers to coverage for bodily injuries, and it can also be purchased for property damage claims.

Truck Accidents May Involve Several Insurance Companies

One major difference between car accidents and truck accidents is that truck accident cases can involve several insurers.  Trucking, hauling, and leasing companies may argue about which insurance company should compensate the victim in a truck collision.  Often, the truck driver maintains his or her own policy.  The tractor and trailer may be covered under one insurance policy, or there may be stacking coverage, when the tractor and trailer are owned separately.

Insurance requirements for big rigs are more complicated than those for cars.  Commercial trucking companies that operate within one state (intrastate) are subject to that state’s laws regarding their insurance coverage minimum limits.  Interstate commercial trucking companies must follow the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which require at least $750,000 in liability coverage.

The Federal Government Protects Victims of Truck Accidents

The federal government protects the public through regulations requiring that trucks carry different levels of insurance coverage, depending on the nature of the materials hauled.  One example of the federal government’s method of protecting the public is the MCS-90 endorsement.  While it remains the motor carrier’s obligation to determine the required limit of insurance, this endorsement proves that the motor carrier is in compliance with the minimum financial level of responsibility.

Basically, this endorsement serves as a financial guarantee to the public that there will be some source of funds to pay for a loss when the trucking company is liable.  An example of a situation when the MCS-90 endorsement might apply would be if an accident occurs and a specific driver or vehicle is not listed in the policy.  The insurance company would not be able to use the fact that the driver was not listed as a valid defense.

At Needle Law, we help truck accident victims understand how insurance issues affect their claim for compensation.  In addition to the complexities posed by trucking accidents, such as whether federal and state regulations were followed, our experienced truck accident attorneys can help identify potential causes of the accident and develop a strong case so that the victim is properly compensated.  For decades, we have advocated for accident victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania.   We provide a no-obligation consultation and can be reached by calling 570-344-1266.

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