How prevalent are trucking accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 342,000 reported accidents involving large trucks in 2013. Of those 342,000 accidents, there were an estimated 95,000 injuries and 3,964 fatalities. Because of their high prevalence and lasting impacts, many people in the United States have been and continue to be affected by large trucking accidents.
Who tends to be injured or killed in large truck accidents?
Given the weight differences between normal cars and large trucks, it seems obvious that occupants of everyday cars are hurt and killed more often than large truck drivers. Even so, the numbers are still rather shocking.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that of the estimated 95,000 people injured in large truck crashes in 2013, 72% were occupants of other cars, as opposed to large truck drivers. In accordance with normal reporting procedures, figures of the injured do not differentiate between kinds of injury. As such, among the 95,000 injured are those suffering with anything from scrapes and bruises to missing limbs and paralysis.
Of the 3,964 fatalities in 2013, 71% were occupants of cars or small trucks. Between 2012 and 2013 there was a 13% increase in the number of non-occupant individuals killed by accidents involving large trucks.
What about Missouri?
These numbers represent nationwide totals, this is an issue specific to Missouri as well. According the Missouri Highway Patrol Statistical Analysis Center, there were 109 persons killed in accidents involving commercial motor vehicles in Missouri in 2014. While this might seem like a relatively small number, the harm from each death affects that person’s family and loved ones, as well as the family and loved ones of the people who survive. An additional 3,185 people were injured in accidents with commercial motor vehicles that same year.
How much insurance are trucking companies required to carry?
The minimum coverage required by Federal law is $750,000.00 unless the company carries hazardous waste, and then, it’s $5,000,000.00. You can read the statutory authority here. While $750,000.00 may seem like a lot, trucks can cause significant damage which, when properly evaluated and analyzed, can be grossly inadequate. For example, in a recent case, there were three injured parties, one of which was killed one of which suffered an amputation and had over $400,000.00 of medical bills. $750,000.00 was not nearly enough coverage. There have been multiple attempts at requiring more insurance, but all efforts have failed to this point – the trucking lobby does not want their clients having to pay higher premiums.
What can you do if you have been involved in one of these accidents?
Accident injury lawyers are an important part of the process of acquiring compensation, especially given the limited insurance coverage required by Federal law. If you have been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck and would like information about pursuing compensation, please contact the Northland Injury Law firm for a free consultation at 816-400-4878. The accident and injury law team at is waiting to assist you. An experienced trucking accident lawyer will be ready to advise you of your options and help you determine the best course of action.