Following a truck accident, you may think you can take legal action regardless of the other driver’s insurance status. However, depending on the state you live in, you may be limited in what you can do if the driver does not have truck insurance.
Some states hold no-fault insurance systems which means that you cannot sue or can only do so on a limited basis if the other driver does not have insurance. In many instances, you’ll soon learn that you may be relying on your own insurance company to pay the bills after getting into an accident with an uninsured truck driver. But unfortunately, if you do not have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, you may have to pay for the accident out of your own pocket.
Keep in mind that if you suffer from serious injuries after a truck accident, you may be able to directly sue the at-fault party in a civil lawsuit. However, this can be complicated, which is why you will need an experienced truck accident lawyer to help recover compensation for you.
For more than 30 years, the accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC have been helping victims of truck accidents get back on their feet again. We understand the complexities of insurance law. Once you hire our firm, we will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve following the truck crash.
The short answer to this question is yes. But it can be complicated depending on who owns the truck.
To operate a commercial truck in the United States, the owner of a trucking company is required to carry truck insurance. The company is required to file the insurance and its Operating Authority/MC Number with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation. Not only does a trucking company by law need to have insurance for its fleet, but many shipping companies do require proof of insurance before it hires the company to ship its freight.
But does the truck driver need to have separate truck insurance in order to operate the vehicle? If the driver owns or leases the vehicle and wants to be an independent contractor, then the truck driver is required to have primary liability insurance. This insurance protects any property damage or injuries that occur in a truck accident.
If the vehicle is owned by the trucking company, it should have not only primary liability but general liability insurance. This insurance protects the business from any lawsuits or accidents that occur.
Just because the truck driver does not have insurance, does not mean you have no options. If the at-fault driver was employed at the time of the accident, you may be able to sue the trucking company for your injuries.
Learn more about the options available to you following a truck accident:
In some cases, there may be more than one at-fault party in truck accidents. Some parties may include:
In these cases, you may be able to seek compensation under those parties’ insurance coverage. It is important to seek legal advice because determining liability when there are multiple parties involved can become complicated quickly, especially when it comes to trucking cases.
The first step you will take after the accident is to contact your insurance company to see what they can do for you. You may be surprised to learn that you hold uninsured motorist coverage. Many states, including Washington, DC, and Maryland, require that you purchase uninsured motorist coverage when buying a car insurance policy. This type of supplemental policy is meant to protect you if you get into an accident with an at-fault uninsured motorist. The coverage will pay for any damages that occurred so you won’t have to pay out of pocket.
Another supplemental policy you may hold is underinsured motorist coverage. While not a required form of insurance, underinsured motorist coverage will cover any expenses that the truck driver’s insurance company cannot pay because that driver does not have enough liability coverage to cover your damages.
An insurance adjuster will be able to explain these policies to you if you already have one.
You will need to contact your insurance provider right away following your involvement in a truck accident with an uninsured driver. A police report will be used to begin the claims process as well as identify the liable party.
When the at-fault driver does not have truck insurance, you may wonder how you will cover your medical bills, and recover after lost wages if you’ve been out of work. Truck accidents usually result in catastrophic injuries which can take months to recover from. Your own insurance will only cover so much before you will be expected to pay out of pocket.
Most insurance companies will discuss the ways you can go about recovering compensation through liability insurance, as well as if you hold personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP insurance will pay your bills as well as any passengers involved in the accident regardless of who is responsible for the truck crash.
In these situations, accident victims may still be able to make an insurance claim. But remember, your insurance adjuster isn’t looking to give you all of your recoveries–they will want to settle as soon as possible for as little as possible.
This is why you need a passionate lawyer who can work with law enforcement and car insurance policyholders to determine who is at fault, and what your legal rights are.
Following a truck accident, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation for your losses. In general, you may seek financial recovery for:
However, the type of compensation and amount of compensation you may recover will ultimately depend on the type of insurance you and the at-fault driver hold.
For example, in Washington, DC, the victim’s insurance company may cover medical bills and lost wages if they hold first-party coverage. Under first-party coverage, the insurance company will handle the reasonable and necessary medical expenses of the driver and any passengers that resulted due to injuries sustained in an accident, no matter which driver is at-fault.
However, if the victim instead holds personal injury protection (PIP) or no-fault insurance coverage under their policy, they likely cannot make a claim against the other party. But in some cases, if the injuries sustained are significant enough or if medical bills exceed the insurance amount of the policy holder, the victim may be able to make a claim under their insurance and that of the other driver.
Because each state has different laws regarding insurance coverage, you must speak with your insurance agent and learn what your specific policy does and does not cover.
If you have been involved in a trucking accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you need to contact an attorney to begin a personal injury lawsuit.
If you live in Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia, the truck accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long will work with you to help secure compensation be it from the liable parties directly, the trucking company, or the involved coverage groups.
It is an unfortunate reality for many truck accident victims that they are involved in an accident with uninsured drivers or those who lack adequate insurance coverage. But the lawyers at Regan Zambri Long can help provide you with legal options to take on these commercial trucks and move forward with recovery.
If you have suffered injuries, lost income, and are in the middle of medical treatment, find out how we can help you with your truck accident case in a no-obligation, free case evaluation. Begin the attorney-client relationship in our free consultation by calling (202) 960-4746 or sending us a message today. We work on a contingency fee basis meaning you don’t pay until we win.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of a collision with a truck driver who does not hold truck insurance, know that you do have options for financial recovery. To learn more, visit our Truck Accident FAQ.
Your state’s liability laws will ultimately determine how your percentage of fault can impact your truck accident case and how much compensation you can recover.
For example, Washington, DC utilizes contributory negligence which means that if you were even slightly at fault for a collision, you could not collect damages. However, in 2016, the District implemented The Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016 which protects vulnerable roadway users while allowing plaintiffs to pursue a claim so long as they are less than 50 percent at fault for his or her injuries. But there are limitations to who and what the Act covers, so be sure to contact a truck accident lawyer to learn if the Act applies to your situation.
Further, states like Virginia and Maryland, both follow the contributory negligence rule which bars victims in an accident from recovering damages if they were even slightly at fault for a collision. This doesn’t mean you are without hope. Sometimes a crash may seem like you played a part, but a good lawyer can review the facts of the case and evidence to determine if you truly shared in fault.
Following a truck accident, regardless of insurance coverage, you should seek medical attention, even if you don’t believe you have anything wrong. Sometimes injuries do not make themselves known immediately such as traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, etc.
Once you’ve gotten the medical attention you need, call a truck accident lawyer who has experience not just in filing insurance claims, but in taking these cases to trial. Unfortunately, when injuries are so severe, these cases end up in court to ensure the victim(s) get the compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident with an uninsured truck driver, there are certain documents and evidence you will need to help secure the justice you deserve. Items like the following can make a big difference when bringing forth a claim:
However, if you are unable to gather all of this on your own, a truck accident lawyer from Regan Zambri Long can help.
If you are struggling with the aftermath of a truck accident with an uninsured driver, Regan Zambri Long can help. Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis which means we do not collect payment until after your claim or case has been settled. Further, we only take a percentage of your award so you are never paying more than what you recovered.
When you are involved in a truck accident with an uninsured driver, you’ll likely have millions of questions going through your head– How am I going to recover from this? Who’s responsible for my bills? What if I can’t return to work?
At Regan Zambri Long, we know time is of the essence when it comes to these horrific collisions and the sooner we can get started on your case, the more successful you will be. Because of this, we work with the professionals to gather the evidence needed before the trucking company can get their hands on the scene to hide proof.
Further, we’ll put in the time and effort to show that you were not responsible for the collision and that liability lies with another party, be it the truck driver, trucking company, mechanic, manufacturer, or a government agency for not keeping up with roadways.
We know that DC, MD, and VA uninsured truck accidents are complex, especially when it comes to shared liability laws. However, we have the track record to prove that we put in the time and resources to give you the best possible outcome.
Know that while you never need to hire a truck accident attorney to represent you in a case, when you are dealing with an uninsured truck driver or a trucking company, they will likely have more resources at their disposal than you have. Furthermore, the trucking companies have lawyers on their side who handle negotiations and insurance settlements to keep victims from securing the maximum compensation they are entitled to. But when you work with an experienced truck accident law firm in the DC Metropolitan Area, you can rest assured that the compensation you get is what you deserve.
For a no-obligation, free consultation, contact the uninsured truck driver accident attorneys of Regan Zambri Long at 202-960-4596 or by connecting with us online.