When a client of ours suffers a catastrophic injury there is always a search for insurance coverage to manage the extensive harms and losses experienced by the injured and their loved ones. A tree of inquiry is to be followed and it naturally begins with the driver’s insurance policies. Texas has a glut of uninsured drivers—the Department of Transportation shows as of 2014, 1 in 6 drivers is using our roads without maintaining financial responsibility.
Inadequate coverage by the owner or driver leads to an inquiry of the injured party—did they have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM)? Many people overlook the importance of purchasing this additional bit of insurance. To every driver we recommend purchasing this layer of insurance.
Sometimes there are third-party policies that may provide coverage in a catastrophic injury cases. In Texas, these policies are referred to as Umbrella Policies and usually only exist when the primary policy exceeds $300,000.00. These policies are on top of regular auto policies and must be separately searched for using databases built to find this specific layer of insurance. These excess or umbrella policies are usually meant to cover events that are not typically covered by standard policies and the policies must be read to verify applicability.
The next query is to seek the possibility of other negligent parties such as employer liability for cases involving commercial vehicles such as delivery trucks, semi trucks, 18 wheelers, construction vehicles and vehicles driven for the benefit of an employer, or in the course and scope of employment. Commercial policies, often referred to as CGL (commercial general liability), are specifically for vicarious liability issues. Knowing how to read the policies for exclusions and coverage is key to knowing what money is on the table to cover the catastrophic losses.
Trucking accidents can have layered coverage for the driver, owner, operator, and company. Typically there are layers of insurance that cover separately the owner, operator, and the company, depending on the way the driver is employed. The Motor Carrier Safety Act sets standards for insurance and endorsements on drivers and big rigs.
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury and are trying to dig through the layers of coverage and/or find coverage for your harms and losses, let us help navigate the claim so you and your family can focus on gaining quality of life and living back.