What Are Your Options When You're Hit By An Uninsured Trucker?

If you have recently been injured in a collision in which a semi or heavy duty truck driver was at fault, you may be wondering about your financial (and legal) next steps. Although the other driver's trucking insurance should help compensate you for any medical expenses incurred, there are a few situations in which this coverage may be compromised -- and in some cases, the trucker may even be driving without a valid insurance policy. In this case, you will likely need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver to recover funds for treatment and other expenses. Read on to learn more about the specific insurance exclusions that may impact your claim, as well as what you can do if the defendant's insurance won't pay.

What can potentially compromise a trucker's insurance coverage?

  • Use of prescription or other drugs. Commercial trucking insurance companies differ from personal auto insurance companies in the type of policies offered. Often, these commercial policies include a lengthy list of situations in which coverage may be denied. One common exclusion is the recent use of certain prescription narcotics and illegal drugs. If a driver is involved in an accident and tests positive for certain illicit substances, his or her insurer may deny certain claims submitted as a result of the accident. (This is one reason so many trucking companies conduct periodic random drug tests on all drivers.)
  • Negligent use of vehicle. These policies may also disclaim any liability for damage caused by the operator's misuse or negligence. For example, if a driver recklessly fails to properly secure the cargo and it comes loose, injuring another motorist, traditional liability insurance may not cover this claim.

What should you do if a driver's insurance policy is not covering costs you've incurred?

Fortunately, even if the other driver's insurance is refusing to pay for expenses associated with the accident, your own personal auto policy will provide you with some compensation. Generally, your policy will help pay to repair damage to your vehicle, along with the costs of any medical expenses immediately following your accident.

However, your insurance policy is unlikely to pay the costs of ongoing care, such as physical therapy, or compensate you for lost wages or other setbacks you've experienced. To recover these costs, you will likely have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. If your lawsuit is successful, you will receive a judgment against this driver, and may be able to seize assets or even garnish wages. In other situations, the driver may be willing to settle with you to avoid the cost and hassle of a trial. You will want to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney at Gabrielson Law Offices, Ltd to determine all your available options.