Injured in a Truck Accident? Here’s Why MCS-90 Is Important
Commercial trucks may be integral to America’s economy, but they present a serious injury risk to ordinary drivers. Much larger and around 20 times heavier, big rigs can crush or completely obliterate smaller cars in collisions. Truck accidents cause thousands of serious injuries and deaths each year – typically to victims outside of the truck. If you get injured in a truck accident, you need to understand MCS-90. This is an insurance endorsement that can impact how much financial compensation you receive.
What Is MCS-90?
All commercial trucks must be covered with minimum amounts of automobile insurance under state and federal laws. In California, for example, a truck that transports general freight must carry at least $750,000 in liability insurance to pay for potential accidents. MCS-90 is an insurance add-on known as an endorsement. This means it comes in addition to a standard commercial truck insurance policy.
An MCS-90 endorsement will pay for an individual’s medical bills and lost wages even if the insurance policy does not cover the crash. MCS-90 creates an obligation owed by a trucking company to pay any judgment that results from the negligent operation, maintenance or use of a motor carrier, even if the incident is not covered by the insurance policy to which the add-on is attached.
Do All Truckers Have MCS-90 Endorsements?
MCS-90 is only a requirement for motor carriers who engage in interstate commerce in the U.S. This means that if a truck carries cargo, shipments or passengers across state lines, the company must obtain MCS-90 coverage (or an equivalent in the form of self-insurance or an MCS-82 surety bond).
If a commercial truck only transports goods or passengers within state lines in California, however, the company does not need to purchase an MCS-90 add-on. This is because the financial responsibility requirement that includes MCS-90 is a federal law (The Motor Carrier Act of 1980), not a state law.
Why Is MCS-90 Important?
You might assume that any traffic accident you get into involving a trucking company or truck driver’s fault will be fully paid for by the commercial trucking company. After all, you did not cause the accident; under California’s fault-based law, this means you should not be responsible for paying for your medical bills and property repairs. Unfortunately, there are some truck driver and company actions that a standard insurance policy won’t cover.
For example, many insurance companies won’t pay for a truck accident that was caused by a truck driver’s road rage or aggressive driving. If an angry truck driver tailgates you and eventually causes a rear-end collision, for example, the average insurance policy wouldn’t cover your losses – even though the crash was not your fault. The MCS-90 endorsement offers critical coverage in this scenario.
With the MCS-90 add-on, an insurance company must accept liability and pay any claim from someone injured in a commercial truck accident, even if the cause of the accident was not a covered event on the policy. MCS-90 ensures that regardless of the circumstances of your truck accident, you will get the financial compensation that you deserve if you were not at fault for the wreck.
Do You Need a Truck Accident Attorney for an MCS-90 Claim?
Truck accident insurance claims involving MCS-90 endorsements can be complicated. Although the nature of this add-on requires an insurance company to pay your claim, the insurer will do everything in its power to avoid paying you fair compensation. This is why it’s important to hire a truck accident attorney in Walnut Creek if you get involved in an accident with a commercial truck. Your attorney will aggressively advocate for your rights and pursue maximum financial compensation from all available sources of insurance coverage on your behalf.
To speak to an experienced truck accident lawyer today, contact Milanfar Law Firm, PC for a free consultation.