Most drivers in Austin, TX, don’t give a moment’s thought to commercial trucking insurance requirements — until they’re injured in a truck accident. Suddenly, commercial trucking coverage limits become a pressing concern.
Not every commercial truck driver in Austin carries the same amount of insurance. A trucker’s insurance can have a significant impact on your finances if you’re counting on using the payout you receive from a truck accident claim to cover your medical bills and lost wages.
Different Insurance Requirements for Commercial Trucks
All vehicles in Austin are required to carry basic insurance coverage in the event of an accident. All Austin motor vehicle drivers are subject to Texas laws, which require 30/60/25 coverage:
- $30,000 coverage in injuries per person
- $60,000 per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
Since the size and weight of commercial trucks can lead to more serious accidents and injuries, it’s no surprise that truckers are legally required to carry coverage limits that far exceed the requirements for personal vehicles.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for regulating insurance policy limits on commercial trucks. In addition to these federal regulations, states have the option of placing additional requirements on commercial trucking policy limits.
The State of Texas doesn’t place any additional requirements, meaning commercial trucks in Austin are simply subject to the insurance requirements set forth by the FMCSA.
Required Insurance Coverage for Commercial Trucks in Austin
Any truck in Austin, TX, with a gross weight rating of over 10,000 lbs and engaged in interstate commerce must carry minimum insurance coverage of $750,000. However, insurance requirements increase depending on what type of cargo the truck is carrying.
Trucks designated as carrying low hazmat cargo are required to carry minimum coverage of $1,000,000. Examples of low hazmat materials include:
- Hazardous waste
- Other hazardous materials
If a truck is carrying hazmat materials in tanks with a capacity that exceeds 3,500 water gallons, it’s required to have high hazmat insurance coverage. High hazmat coverage carries a required minimum of $5,000,000.
Accident Compensation After an Austin Truck Accident
Commercial truck insurance requirements become extremely important if you’ve been involved in a truck accident. Such accidents tend to involve a greater number of vehicles and lead to more catastrophic injuries, so trucks have high insurance limits for a good reason.
Injuries can range from minor to severe when another driver or passenger is injured in a truck accident. More serious injuries naturally lead to higher insurance compensation since they’re more expensive to treat.
Some truck accidents result in catastrophic injuries, like a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury. When a victim sustains such an injury, there’s a good chance they’ll need ongoing medical procedures or lifelong care.
In addition to medical expenses, the victim and any dependents, like children or a spouse, are suddenly financially deprived of the years of income the victim was expected to earn.
All of these financial losses and more can be recovered through a truck accident claim — but only if an experienced lawyer handles the proceedings. Insurance companies lose money when they pay out for accident claims. This means that the more expensive the injuries, the harder an insurance company will fight to minimize payout.
A Lawyer Makes Truck Insurance Work for You
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, a truck accident lawyer in Austin can help with filing your claim. Working with a lawyer helps maximize the compensation you and your loved ones received to offset the cost of injuries.
The smartest move is to speak with a lawyer before talking to an insurance company, not after. A lawyer can assess your general case value and advise you on how to avoid making statements to an insurance agent that disqualifies you from receiving the compensation you deserve.