The National Safety Council (NSC) recently released data that shows a 43% increase in fatal truck accidents in 2019 when compared to 2010. Alongside this harrowing statistic, the number of multimillion-dollar jury verdicts for truck accident victims is also increasing.
However, the payout increase for plaintiffs is largely represented only on paper due to low trucking company insurance caps. Currently, the average minimum insurance coverage required in the trucking industry is only $750,000. Even a $2 million verdict – which would be below average today – would be shorted by more than 50%. This disparity between what is owed and what is actually collected will only increase as the verdict amount goes up.
Trucking companies can be ordered to pay whatever remains unpaid to a plaintiff through their own finances. This solution is not always useful, though, because most trucking companies don’t have several million dollars available to pay injured parties. Instead, they might file for bankruptcy, and the plaintiff is still left with whatever capped amount the insurance company paid.
While some insurers and trucking companies have tried to argue that limiting truck accident verdicts is the solution, the better choice seems clear to others: increase the minimum insurance requirements that trucking companies need to purchase. If so many crashes cause severe and fatal injuries, which, in turn, cause such high-value damages, then it seems to make sense that the insurance trend should follow suit, and required minimums should go up by a considerable margin. This improvement would benefit motorists who are hit by negligent truckers and trucking companies, who would have fewer financial worries if a crash does happen.
Need legal help after a truck accident in Atlanta? Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC would like to hear from you. Our experienced team knows how to carefully navigate a truck accident claim to pursue the most amount of compensation available, which could mean filing against numerous insurance policies and demanding damages directly from the trucking company for amounts left unpaid by insurance. Contact us now to get a free consultation.