Our attorneys have emphasized many times not only how dangerous truck accidents are, but also the high costs of these accidents that burden innocent injured victims and families. After a collision, many times victims are drowning with costs of initial medical bills for hospitalization, vehicle repair, prolonged medical treatment and physical therapy for healing, and lost wages for inability to work. Now, proposed federal legislation may make the costs and recovery of a truck accident even harder to bear for innocent victims by placing the high costs on their shoulders.
According to news from the American Association of Justice through their Take Justice Back campaign, U.S. Senators have proposed legislation that would eliminate accountability for trucks and buses when victims are injured or killed. Currently there is law on the books from the 1980’s that only requires truck companies to hold minimum insurance policies for $750,000 to cover an entire crash. This is the same cost no matter how many people are injured or killed in the crash. When there is a higher cost than what the company can cover, the motorists and taxpayers have to pay the rest. Even though policies may be for $750,000, what many do not realize is that fatal trucking accidents often cost over $4.3 million.
Furthermore, nearly 4,000 people die every year in truck crashes. Yet, next week the U.S. Senate vote on a transportation spending bill that may include an amendment that will delete the necessary resources that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration needs to increase insurance minimums to cover the costs of crashes.
Illinoisans could particularly suffer from such legislation. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, as of today, there have been 335 fatal crashes in our state in 2014. Of these crashes, 361 people have died. From this data, it is clear that fatal accidents are frequently occurring on our state’s roads, streets and highways And therefore, it is important that lawmakers protect the victims of negligence.