Any car crash in Alabama could lead to serious injury, but semitruck crashes often lead to catastrophic injuries and major property damage expenses. The massive difference in size between the two vehicles might result in severe injury to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. The vehicle itself may no longer be safe to drive after the crash.
Those injured in a commercial vehicle collision will depend on the insurance carried by the truck driver or their employer to pay for their hospital bills and to replace their lost wages. How much insurance does a commercial vehicle typically have?
Alabama has modest state-level requirements
In theory, some commercial vehicles on the Alabama roads could have as little as $25,000 worth of bodily injury liability coverage. If the crash were to hurt two or more people, then the coverage available would increase to $50,000. There should also be $25,000 worth of property damage liability coverage to pay for the repairs to or replacement of the other vehicle.
However, many heavier trucks, especially those that drive between states, will have substantially more coverage than that. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires $750,000 worth of liability coverage from heavy trucks that cross state lines for transportation purposes. Such coverage can go a lot farther than a basic $25,000 toward covering the extensive cost generated by traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and similar catastrophic crash injuries.
Major compensation claims can be hard to settle
Some people assume that if there is a sizable insurance policy available, they won’t have any trouble paying for their costs after a crash caused by a commercial vehicle.
Unfortunately, many people learn the hard way that insurance companies may negotiate aggressively when they face major claims. Other people will realize that the commercial vehicle that caused their crash doesn’t have that larger policy required by the FMCSA. They may need help pursuing a civil lawsuit against the driver or their employer in civil court.
Learning about what protects you as an Alabama driver and getting the right help when asserting those rights will make it easier to limit the impact of a commercial vehicle crash for you and your family.