For more than 30 years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has not updated minimum insurance requirements for trucks and buses. Congress passed the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 which requires that general freight carriers have minimum insurance coverage of only $750,000. With the rise of medical costs, $750,000 in insurance coverage is simply not enough for those seriously injured or killed by trucks or buses. There has been a recent push in Washington for the FMCSA to increase these minimums to $4.6 million based on the rise of the medical consumer price index since Congress set the initial level at $750,000.
Due to the size and weight of trucks and buses, when collisions do occur, they are often catastrophic. In 2012, nearly 4,000 Americans were killed (let alone those injured) in large truck crashes. Brain, spine and burn injuries frequently result from these collisions and the medical costs soon spin out of control. For example, according to the Brain Injury Association of America, the average hospital-based rehabilitation care for traumatic brain injuries is about $8,000 per day with treatment programs (like physical therapy) ranging between $600 to $1,000 per day. Congress saw this issue 30 years ago. Now is the time to update.
Another issue with truck and bus minimum limits being at $750,000 per accident is that the limits only cover injuries per accident. What this means is that if a truck causes a crash that involves numerous parties, the $750,000 must be split between all those who are injured. A recent 2012 study by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration stated that 16% of the total number of crashes due to large trucks involved multiple vehicles.
The attorneys at the LaBovick Law Group are well versed in dealing with large truck and bus accidents. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a truck or bus operator, call today for a free consultation.