Los Angeles, CA

What Are the Insurance Requirements for California Commercial Trucks?

California requires all motor vehicles to have minimum amounts of insurance coverage, including commercial trucks. However, commercial trucks that operate in multiple states are also subject to federal laws for insurance requirements. Therefore, a commercial truck might be required to have higher insurance limits if it crosses state lines.

What Are the California Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements?

The amount of liability insurance coverage required for commercial trucks in California depends on the type of freight being transported. All trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds must have minimum commercial truck insurance in California in the amount of:

  • $300,000 if transporting household goods
  • $750,000 if transporting general freight
  • $1,000,000 if transporting oil
  • $5,000,000 if transporting hazardous materials
  • $20,000 per vehicle and $20,000 per catastrophe in cargo insurance

Commercial truck owners must file proof of insurance before obtaining motor carrier permits in California. A commercial truck must also comply with federal commercial truck insurance requirements if it crosses state lines. 

Interstate Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires minimum commercial truck insurance based on several factors. Generally, the federal commercial truck insurance requirements for interstate travel include the following:

  • $300,000 when transporting non-hazardous freight in trucks weighing less than 10,001 pounds
  • $750,000 when transporting non-hazardous freight in trucks weighing more than 10,001 pounds
  • $1,000,000 when transporting oil
  • $5,000 when transporting hazardous materials

Other types of commercial truck insurance that owners may purchase include bobtail insurance, cargo insurance, and physical insurance. There may be other insurance policies truck drivers and owners might want to purchase based on their needs and risk level, including mechanical breakdown insurance, limited depreciation insurance, and non-trucking liability insurance. 

Filing Insurance Claims for Los Angeles Truck Accidents 

A commercial truck accident differs in several ways from a crash involving only passenger vehicles. For instance, several parties could share liability for damages caused by the truck accident. Parties who could be liable for your damages include, but are not limited to:

  • Truck drivers
  • Trucking companies
  • Loaders and shippers
  • Truck manufacturers
  • Cargo loaders
  • Repair and maintenance facilities
  • Other motorists

Each of these parties might have insurance policies that apply. Therefore, you could have multiple insurance claims for a truck accident case.

Sorting out liability for a truck accident can be challenging. Each party blames the other parties involved in the truck crash. Insurance companies work hard to avoid or limit liability for damages. 

Therefore, hiring an experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyer as soon as possible is in your best interests. 

What Damages Can You Receive From a Commercial Truck Insurance Company?

Truck accident victims can seek compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. A lawyer prepares a settlement demand that explains the damages you sustained because of the truck accident and how much those damages are worth. 

Economic damages in a truck accident case could include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Physical, occupational, and other rehabilitative therapies
  • Skilled nursing and/or personal care
  • Household services
  • Lost wages and a reduction in earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

In addition, your settlement demand includes an amount for non-economic damages. These damages can include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Disabilities and impairments

Some California truck accident cases could support a claim for punitive damages. However, punitive damages are only awarded in rare cases that involve extreme conduct from the at-fault party. For instance, if the truck driver intentionally crashes into another vehicle in a fit of “road rage,” that might warrant a punitive damages award.

Why You Need a California Truck Accident Lawyer After a Crash

Truck accident attorneys have the resources to investigate truck crashes, including hiring trucking industry professionals, accident reconstructionists, and other experts to assist with the investigation. Determining the cause of the truck crash is crucial to identify the parties liable for your damages. 

An attorney can sort out liability to file insurance claims against all parties who contributed to the cause of the accident. Filing multiple insurance claims increases the amount of money available to pay your damages. 

A truck accident lawyer also handles the disputes between the at-fault parties to negotiate fair settlements for your truck accident claim. If the parties refuse to agree to fair settlements, an attorney can file a lawsuit and take the case to court.

The first step is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The quicker you have legal advice, the less likely you are to make errors and mistakes that could hurt your case.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA

If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers – Los Angeles Office
4929 Wilshire Blvd Suite 960,
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(877) 300-4535

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Office
350 S Figueroa St Suite 276
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(877) 751-8953