Odds are high that you shared the road with one of those big, heavy semis today — the big rig trucks and tractor trailers that move all over our Indiana and Illinois interstates and highways. Some of our routes are famous for the high amount of commercial truck traffic they get each day.
You know the ones — think Borman Expressway, right?
Sadly, all too often those huge monster vehicles are involved in traffic accidents in our part of the country, and when there is an accident involving a semi truck, there are usually traffic fatalities and people dying in those crashes. The weigh factor of a big rig, tractor trailer truck carrying a full cargo load as it collides with a smaller and lighter vehicle (like a family car or minivan) alone can cause horrific damage, no matter what the speed the truck driver was going at the time of impact.
Knowing the huge danger of traffic deaths in commercial truck accidents, it is extremely important for accident victims and their families to be protected in the aftermath of these crashes. This includes making sure that these accident victims will have the security of knowing that the trucking company and owner/operator of that big rig semi truck will have the financial wherewithal to cover the huge medical expenses and long term care costs (and wrongful death damages) that all too often follow a semi truck crash.
What is a MCS-90?
Accordingly, federal law requires that every motor carrier moving along U.S. roads carry with it proof that the carrier has current insurance coverage to cover accident claims. This federal law mandates that the trucking company have as this official proof a form known as a “MCS-90 endorsement.”
In sum, the MCS-90 is evidence that in the event of an accident, the carrier can meet its financial responsibilities to victims of the crash. It is provided by the insurance company to its insured, the trucking company.
The MCS-90 is not an insurance policy. It is paperwork that evidences there is insurance coverage and financial means for the carrier to cover its responsibilities after a wreck. Under federal rules, something called a “BMC-91X liability filing” is sent to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and this document serves as confirmation to the federal authorities that a MCS-90 form has been provided to the carrier by an insurance company.
It is an endorsement to the trucking company’s liability insurance policy. It confirms that there will be money available to pay injury claims and death lawsuits arising from truck accidents where the trucking company is negligent and liable for damages like bodily injury, wrongful death, etc.
Why is MCS-90 Important to Injury Victims and Their Lawyers?
For several years, the federal government has mandated that trucking companies keep minimum insurance liability coverage policies active and in place, to protect the public against possible truck accidents involving serious injuries and high damages. Liability insurance is expensive, particularly for interstate trucking operations.
Here’s how the MCS-90 law helps truck accident victims:
1. The MCS-90 works to push trucking companies to keep those policy premiums paid up, even if times are tight and the insurance premiums are cutting into their bottom line.
2. The MCS-90 makes sure that even if the particular truck involved in the crash is not listed on the trucking company’s insurance policy as a covered vehicle, the carrier’s policy will still cover the crash. (Trucking companies who fail to put one of their big rigs on their policies cannot argue a coverage defense simply because that vehicle isn’t specifically listed on their policy.)
Serious big rig semi truck accidents are often tragic. People’s lives are forever changed as they are permanently injured in these truck crashes. Families are hurt. People die. Making sure that there is the financial means to deal with these tragedies is extremely important, and having an experienced truck accident lawyer to help truck crash victims can be invaluable in making sure that justice prevails.