Outdated Trucking Law Hurts Crash Victims | Take Justice Back

Outdated Trucking Law Hurts Crash Victims

Tracy Morgan along with two other passengers injured in a truck crash last month in New Jersey have filed a lawsuit to hold Walmart, the operator of the truck, accountable in court. This crash has elevated public and lawmakers’ awareness of unsafe trucking industry practices. Last night on The Last Word some of these unsafe practice were discussed.

But there is another trucking industry problem you may not be aware of that can leave many injured American motorists with inadequate compensation for the astronomical costs resulting from truck crashes. 

Fatal truck crashes often cost over $4.3 million in damages, but an outdated federal law passed in the 1980s only requires truck companies to hold minimum insurance policies for $750,000 to cover the entire crash–no matter how many people are killed or injured. Injured motorists and taxpayers are left to pay the difference.

Both Congress and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have taken steps to help remedy this outdated law to ensure Americans who are injured in truck and bus crashes received full access to justice. 

In April of this year, the FMCSA released a report to Congress that concluded the costs of injuries and fatalities arising from crashes far exceed the minimum insurance levels interstate operators are required to carry and has created a team to address the issue. 

Additionally, Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-17) introduced the Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act of 2013 (SAFE HAUL), H.R. 2730. This bill would adjust cargo trucks’ minimum insurance requirements to meet today’s costs and update for inflation going forward. 

You can help: Tell Congress to make our roads safer! Urge your representative to cosponsor the SAFE HAUL Act.