Brian White | October 26, 2020 | Truck Accidents
Very few people outside of the commercial truck industry or the insurance industry know what is meant by MCS 90. The exception is a truck accident attorney or anyone who might have been injured in a commercial truck accident. Unfortunately, they may be very familiar with MCS 90.
What is MCS 90 and Why Do I Need to Know About It?
The simple explanation is that MCS 90 is an insurance endorsement to a commercial truck insurance policy. Motor carriers and trucking companies operating across state lines must have the MCS 90 endorsement as part of their required liability insurance policy. When a company registers with the FMCSA, it must provide proof of liability insurance and the MCS 90 endorsement.
Why should you care about an MCS 90 endorsement to a truck insurance policy? The endorsement might be the only way you can obtain compensation if you are injured in a commercial vehicle accident.
Insurance Coverage Might Not Cover a Truck Accident Claim
Liability for a truck accident claim is important because occupants of passenger vehicles tend to sustain catastrophic injuries in a truck accident. It is common for victims in a truck accident to sustain a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, amputations, severe burns, and permanent disabilities.
Because the victim’s injuries are severe, the value of the damages caused by a truck accident can be extremely high. It is common for a person who sustains a permanent disability to incur millions of dollars in damages.
It is important to ensure that the trucking company has sufficient liability insurance to pay truck accident claims. However, insurance policies have numerous exclusions, including truck accident liability insurance policies.
If the cause of the commercial vehicle accident is excluded from the truck’s liability insurance policy, the insurance company is not legally liable for your claim. In other words, it does not pay you anything for your injuries or damages.
Can I Sue the Truck Driver and the Trucking Company?
If the insurance company is off the hook for your injury claim, you can sue the truck driver and the trucking company for damages. Unfortunately, most truck drivers do not have millions of dollars in assets to pay a personal injury judgment. If the trucking company closes or files bankruptcy, you might receive no money or very little money for your accident claim.
Is there anything you can do?
How Does MCS 90 Apply in Truck Accident Cases?
MCS 90 endorsements protect accident victims in these situations. If the truck’s liability insurance policy excludes the accident, the victim can file a claim under the MCS 90 endorsement.
When an insurance company issues an MCS 90 endorsement, it agrees to be responsible for damages caused by an accident involving the truck. The coverage applies even if the primary insurance contract excludes coverage for the accident.
The insurance company can sue the trucking company or motor carrier to reimburse any money it pays for an injury claim under the MCS 90 endorsement. The victim is not impacted. The victim receives payment for damages and injuries regardless of whether the insurance company recoups its losses.
Are There Exceptions You Should Know About MCS 90 Claims?
Anything that sounds too good to be true must have drawbacks. The motor carrier or trucking company must operate across state lines.
Companies are only required to purchase MCS 90 endorsements if they participate in interstate commerce. If the trucking company only operates its vehicles with Texas, MCS 90 does not apply.
The MCS 90 endorsement only applies if all of the following factors occur:
- The standard liability insurance policy for the truck does not cover the accident
- The trucking company is responsible for the cause of the truck accident
- You are not an independent contractor or employee of the trucking company
- You sustained injuries and do not have another source of compensation for your damages
Another drawback is the minimum policy limits. A trucking company is only required to purchase an MCS 90 endorsement for minimum coverage, just like the minimum automobile insurance requirements in Texas.
The minimum coverage for the MCS 90 endorsements depends on the vehicle and the cargo.
For example, trucks that do not carry hazardous materials or property and have a gross weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more must have at least $750,000 in MSC 90 coverage. This amount might not pay for all damages in a catastrophic injury truck accident case.
On the other hand, if the truck is carrying certain hazardous substances, the minimum coverage increases to $5 million. However, some hazardous materials only require $1 million in MCS 90 coverage
Requiring interstate trucks to have additional liability insurance coverage is in the public’s best interest. It helps ensure that accident victims receive the compensation they deserve after a large truck accident. However, these claims are not without problems.
If you are injured in a truck accident, you should take steps to protect your legal rights, including contacting a truck accident lawyer as quickly as possible.
What Should I do After a Truck Accident in Texas?
The first priority is to seek medical treatment for our injuries. Because most truck accidents result in traumatic and life-threatening injuries, victims are transported to the hospital by ambulance or a medical helicopter. Prompt medical treatment increases your chance of recovering from your truck accident injuries.
Also, prompt medical treatment and following your doctor’s treatment plan means that your injuries are well-documented with medical evidence. Medical evidence of injuries is a crucial piece of evidence in truck accident cases.
As soon as you can do so, schedule a consultation with a truck accident lawyer. Personal injury claims involving large truck accidents are incredibly complicated. There are many issues and factors that are unique to commercial vehicle accident claims.
An attorney who has experience handling commercial truck accidents understands the necessity of quickly notifying parties to preserve evidence, such as the data from the truck’s black box. The lawyer also understands the laws and federal regulations that might apply in a truck accident case, such as MCS 90 endorsements.
Do not provide a statement to the insurance provider or trucking company. It is also not advisable to speak with a claims adjuster, investigator, or other party without consulting with a lawyer first.
Also, do not sign anything without an attorney reviewing the document. The insurance company might offer you what appears to be a large settlement. It can be tempting to accept the money, but the settlement amount could be much lower than the actual value of your injury claim.
The trucking company and its insurance provider have unlimited resources and teams of professionals to protect their best interests. Make sure that you hire a truck accident lawyer who will do the same for you.