If you’ve been in an accident with a truck or tractor-trailer, consider hiring an experienced Charleston truck accident law firm with resources to manage a case from start to finish.
Bringardner Injury Law Firm is experienced in fighting for compensation from commercial truck insurance companies in South Carolina. Get in touch with our lawyers to evaluate your case and let us work on your behalf to pursue your claim or lawsuit against the trucking company.
Why the Law Requires Commercial Truck Insurance in South Carolina
Compared to passenger vehicles, crashes with tractor-trailers often result in much more severe harm and injuries. Because accidents involving tractor-trailers can be so devastating, the law requires large trucks to carry more insurance than standard vehicles.
Requirements for Commercial Truck Insurance in South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Transportation sets state requirements for commercial truck insurance in our state. The state requires passenger vehicles to carry insurance for bodily injury and property damage liability. Auto insurance must cover at least:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 for all people injured in a single accident
- $25,000 for all property damage in a single accident
You may hear people refer to this as 25/50/25 liability insurance.
Commercial vehicles are often required to maintain more insurance coverage.
Federal Truck Insurance Requirements
Federal law expands on state-specific truck insurance requirements. It sets minimums based on several variables. These include:
- How much the truck weighs
- What it is carrying
- Where it is going
Carrying freight across state borders requires the truck to meet state and federal tractor-trailer insurance requirements.
A truck that weighs less than 10,001 pounds and carries non-hazardous freight requires a minimum of $300,000 in insurance coverage. For trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more, federal law requires at least $750,000 in coverage. These minimums apply whether the truck travels within South Carolina or across state borders.
Hazardous materials can cause much more harm in a crash than non-hazardous cargo.
Therefore, the insurance minimums are significantly higher for hazardous freight, such as oil, flammable gases, waste, poisons or radioactive materials. Hazardous materials require a minimum of $1 million or $5 million in coverage, depending on the type of material the truck carries.
Other Insurance Sources in a Truck Accident
Commercial truck insurance in South Carolina is the first place an attorney may investigate to seek compensation after an accident. However, your case may involve multiple parties and insurance companies. We can pursue every avenue to determine if you have other insurance sources that could cover your expenses.
Below are potential, case-specific forms of insurance that a company in the trucking industry may be insured by.
Commercial trailer insurance
Commercial trailer insurance covers the various types of trailers a truck may pull. They can include:
- Car carriers
- Dump truck trailers carrying sand, rock or other building materials
- Log trailers carrying lumber
- Refrigerated trailers
- Flatbed trailers
Commercial trailer insurance includes liability coverage in case the driver is at fault in an accident. It also covers things that matter to the trucking company and drivers, such as collision, debris removal, cargo and loss of income.
Umbrella insurance works with a company’s commercial truck insurance in South Carolina. It covers the same things, but it also casts a wider net. It extends beyond other liability coverage limits to pay for additional costs.
Insurance from other parties
Other parties may be involved in an accident with a commercial truck. One example is a freight forwarder — also called a forwarding agent. This party acts as a broker that organizes transportation between carriers and companies that need products shipped. Freight forwarders carry insurance to protect their investment in the shipping process.
Finding Out How Much Insurance Is Available in a Truck Accident
A company with commercial truck insurance in South Carolina may immediately offer you a settlement amount. The chances are that the faster you get this figure, the more likely it is a lowball amount.
Trucking companies and their insurers don’t readily disclose their available coverage. More insurance may be available to cover your losses.
An attorney can discover the kinds of insurance coverage you may be able to recover through filing a lawsuit.
The complexity of insurance in tractor-trailer accident cases
Accidents involving large trucks can be complex. There are multiple parties involved, including you or your loved one, passengers in your vehicle, the trucking company, the semi-truck driver and possible third parties such as brokers. With each party’s insurance company involved in the aftermath, there is much to untangle.
Rather than settle with an insurance company’s first offer, you can partner with an attorney to navigate your case. When you contact our experienced lawyers at Bringardner Injury Law Firm, we can get to work right away. We can navigate the up-front tasks for you, such as filing paperwork and meeting deadlines. However, we also dig deeper into your claim.
- Review the accident circumstances
- Interview witnesses
- Uncover evidence regarding the fault of the trucking company and its driver
- Assess maintenance records, driving logs, training certifications and other pertinent information
- Locate relevant insurance policies covering the parties involved
- Accurately total your losses and negotiate with the insurance companies to recover every dollar you are owed
When you work with Bringardner Injury Law Firm, you can focus on recovery and leave the court proceedings of your case to us. As experienced litigators, we’ve helped others reach big settlements and verdicts in their truck accident cases.
Partner With Us To Pursue Commercial Truck Insurance in South Carolina
If you or someone you love experienced harm in a truck accident in or around Charleston, or anywhere in South Carolina, we can help fight for your full compensation through commercial truck insurance in South Carolina.