Registration and Insurance Requirements
Capable Truck Accident Lawyers Assisting Boston Residents
Just like regular drivers, truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to insurance and registration requirements. The rules that apply to trucking companies are complex but carefully designed to ensure the safety of other motorists. Truck accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and even fatalities. This is due in many cases to the extreme size and weight of these vehicles, which makes them difficult to maneuver, slow and stop. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston truck accident lawyers have been assisting Massachusetts residents with asserting their right to compensation after an accident for decades. In addition to determining the cause of the truck accident, we will handle the case all the way through trial and appeal if the matter cannot be settled with the insurance company.
Registration and Insurance Requirements for Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies
The Department of Transportation requires interstate trucking companies to register with the agency and to obtain a USDOT number. In the registration process, the company will be required to provide specific information about its business. Before a trucking company can engage in interstate trucking activities, it must also file an application for operating authority.
From there, the types of documents that the entity must have vary. When it comes to insurance, for example, the company may be required to maintain certain levels of liability insurance. Motor carriers and freight forwarders must have public liability insurance that covers bodily injury, property damage, and environmental restoration. The bodily injury aspect of this insurance policy provides coverage for medical expenses that victims may incur in any motor vehicle accident involving the truck. The property damage portion, on the other hand, provides compensation for vehicle damage and other property damaged in the accident.
The exact coverage limit that the trucking company selects depends on the type of freight that the company intends to transport. If the company transports non-hazardous freight in vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less, for example, the minimum required coverage is $300,000. Hazardous materials can require the carrier to maintain an insurance policy of $5,000,000. In many instances, carriers choose to take out much higher policy limits to provide extra protection. In some instances, a commercial driver who contracts with a trucking company may be required to maintain a so-called bobtail insurance policy to provide additional coverage in the event of an accident.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a truck driver, an injury lawyer can help you bring a negligence claim against the driver and the trucking company that employs them to recover compensation for your injuries. In the claim, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that they would not have been injured but for the defendant’s lack of due care. In general, we are all required to exercise the same level of reasonable care and skill that a prudent person would use in their daily life. Applied to a trucking accident, this standard considers how a reasonable and careful truck driver would have acted if faced with a similar situation. This includes refraining from intoxicated driving, paying attention behind the wheel, and complying with all applicable trucking regulations, such as those affecting hours of service and cargo limits.
You may also be able to assert a claim against the trucking company in situations in which the trucking company failed to act with appropriate care. If the trucking company hired a driver with a history of bad driving or substance abuse, or failed to perform routine inspections on its vehicles, it may be liable for your injuries.
Also, Massachusetts recognizes a doctrine called vicarious liability that holds employers responsible for any negligent conduct that their employees commit during the course and scope of employment. If a driver is driving under the influence and causes an accident, for example, the trucking company can be held vicariously liable. As far as compensation, a successful plaintiff is entitled to recover compensation for medical bills, lost earning capacity, ongoing estimated costs associated with the injuries, pain and suffering, and loss of ability to enjoy life.
Seek Counsel from a Seasoned Boston Lawyer for Your Truck Crash Case
At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we have assisted many individuals and families with understanding their legal rights following a sudden truck accident. Navigating the legal process and protecting your interests can be frustrating, especially if your injuries are debilitating. Having assisted clients in Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Plymouth, Worcester, Lawrence, and Springfield, our attorneys have the experience that it takes to help you bring a careless driver or company to justice. For a free consultation, call us now at 1-800-379-1244 or contact us online.