Illinois Commercial Vehicle Insurance Requirements
It’s barely a comfort, but when you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, it’s highly likely the trucking company has insurance. This fact doesn’t repair your injuries or take away the traumatic memories of the event, but it does increase the likelihood of your being compensated for the property damage and injuries you’ve suffered.
However, knowing the truck has vehicle insurance and being compensated by the company are two different things. An insurance company is a business that often seeks to pay the lowest amount possible, which may not be what you deserve or need to get back on your feet.
Instead of handling the insurance company alone, consider working with a Chicago truck accident attorney who understands the insurance requirements for commercial vehicles and has experience dealing with insurance adjusters. You have enough on your plate without fighting alone for a fair settlement as well.
Commercial Vehicle Insurance Basics
Under Illinois law, all commercial vehicles must be able to prove continuous insurance coverage to operate within the state. A commercial vehicle, whether it’s a small car or 18-wheel truck, is one that is operated for a business-related purpose.
The insurance required for commercial vehicles is not necessarily the same as what’s required for personal vehicles. Because of the higher level of risk associated with commercial vehicles, the law generally requires a greater amount of insurance coverage to ensure a trucking company can be held financially responsible if it’s at fault for an accident.
Commercial carriers in Illinois must have liability insurance, which is the type of insurance that pays for your injuries and property damage. The limit that the liability policy will pay can range significantly, but the minimum limit the business must carry is established by law.
Other types of insurance commercial carriers can purchase are general liability, physical damage to their vehicles, motor truck cargo, non-trucking liability, uninsured motorist insurance.
If a carrier is found to not have liability insurance, it will be subject to fines and other penalties.
Additionally, the trucking company must maintain proof of insurance within each vehicle.
Federal Commercial Vehicle Insurance Requirements
Carriers must comply with both state and federal insurance guidelines. In some cases, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires a greater amount of insurance on a truck than the state.
The specific amount of insurance required depends on the type of vehicle and the materials being transported. In general, the FMSCA requires trucks that weigh greater than 10,000 lbs. to have public liability coverage of $750,000 if carrying goods and $5 million if carrying hazardous materials.
The policy should cover personal injuries, property damage, and environmental restoration.
Why Should This Matter to You?
You might wonder how specific Illinois and federal commercial vehicle insurance requirements are relevant to your situation. You’re juggling all of the consequences of the accident and this might seem like an unnecessary detail to dwell on. However, the type and limit of coverage the truck carried will greatly affect your likelihood of recovering a fair amount.
If the truck that caused your accident and injuries was not insured, this may be another cause of action you need to bring against the company. It may also signal you have a significant legal battle ahead of you and it’s best to have a knowledgeable attorney by your side. If you can’t recover from the business’s insurance, you’ll have to seek compensation from the trucking company itself, which it will likely resist. An experienced Chicago trucking accident attorney will fight for your rights and do his or her best to ensure you don’t walk away empty-handed.
If the truck does have insurance, like it should, it still may be an uphill battle to recovery. The higher limits imposed on trucking companies are specifically for people like you, so that you aren’t left with a small and unhelpful settlement following your injuries. This doesn’t mean the insurance company will initially offer you a large check.
Working with an attorney who has litigated these types of cases before is crucial to understanding your rights, the laws that govern these types of vehicles and accidents, and maximizing your recovery.
Our truck injury lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. understand you’re going through a difficult time and you need someone strong on your side. They’ll work tirelessly for you, communicating with your and the truck’s insurance companies and seeking the best settlement possible.
Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free consultation.