From the American Association for Justice: Washington, D.C. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) should update the minimum insurance requirements for trucks and buses, American Association for Justice (AAJ) President Lisa Blue Baron said today in public comments to the agency. The minimums have not been updated for more than three decades, putting the safety and financial security of all motorists at risk. In 2012, nearly 4,000 Americans were killed in large truck crashes, with many more injured, according to government statistics. “The safety of our nation’s roadways is critically important and AAJ commends the FMCSA for recognizing the need to strengthen protections for individuals and families who suffer from devastating highway accidents,” Blue Baron said in the comments. “We urge the Agency to commit to a speedy rulemaking process that addresses the findings of its recent report to Congress by raising minimum insurance requirements for large trucks and motor coaches. Congress recognized the importance of financial responsibility for trucking companies in ensuring safer roads. With the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, Congress sought to ensure the safety of a largely deregulated trucking industry by requiring insurance minimums to be regularly updated to levels that would effectively require insurers to conduct on-site inspections of trucks. The bill, implemented in 1985, set the initial minimum insurance for general freight carriers at $750,000. Contrary to the intent of Congress, the minimum insurance requirements have not been updated, even as medical inflation has steadily increased the costs of health care related expenses. At the same time, insurance premiums have decreased for the same level of coverage since the 1980s, FMCSA has noted. AAJ’s comments call on FMCSA to raise the minimum insurance requirement to $4.6 million, which was calculated based on rise of the medical consumer price index since Congress set the initial insurance level at $750,000 in 1980.
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By Michael W. McGuckin, Esquire; Attorney for the Reading, Pennsylvania Personal Injury Law Firm of Liever, Hyman & Potter, P. C. which limits their practice to medical malpractice, car, truck, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death cases, premises liability, nursing home neglect, and work injuries. Serving Berks, Schuylkill and surrounding counties for over 50 years.