Truck’s Insufficient Insurance Coverage Leaves American Family Struggling
Maiv’s family deserves justice, but outdated trucking insurance laws have left her family facing the high cost of medical care and other losses from the crash that stole Maiv’s autonomy. These same outdated and insufficient insurance laws undermine every American’s safety on the road and deny essential relief to those injured or killed in trucking crashes.
Maiv was driving home from visiting her sister’s house in Minnesota. Ahead of her, a semi-truck allegedly driven by a truck driver who had been on the road for more than 20 hours, which is well over the maximum allowable driving hours, spun out of control on icy roads. The huge truck jackknifed across lanes of traffic, blocking them all, and came to a standstill. In the ensuing time, there were no reflective triangles placed on the road to warn approaching drivers of the hazard. As a result, Maiv never saw what was coming and she smashed head-on into the truck.
After the crash, it took emergency services three hours to get Maiv to a hospital. And today, Maiv, a young mother, is in a permanent semi-vegetative state. She is incapable of living independently and needs around-the-clock care.
Unfortunately for Maiv and her family, the truck involved in the accident was only carrying close to the minimum insurance policy. The minimum figure was set by the U.S. Congress in 1985 and never updated. So, Maiv and her family are left struggling to pay the exorbitant cost of her medical bills.
The current insurance minimum was set almost 30 years ago, and it’s time for change. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, whose primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries, has confirmed that these minimums are inadequate to cover modern day medical cost. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations has also noted the liability insurance requirements have languished for decades and need to be improved.
As the number and size of trucks on U.S. roads grow, so does the danger to passengers and other drivers. Fundamental, market-based change is needed to ensure successful, safe roadways for all Americans – and care for those who are injured and suffering.