truck accident

Trucking is a big industry in Montana. Wide, open roads and hazardous weather conditions make Montana a dangerous state to drive a commercial vehicle in, however, and their size makes them the cause of many accidents across the state. Accidents involving trucks tend to be more severe, resulting in more serious injuries, larger amounts of property damage, and fatalities. If you were recently injured in a trucking accident, keep reading to learn more about how to proceed with your claim and how trucking insurance works. 

Montana Commercial Trucking Insurance Requirements

Montana’s laws and regulations surrounding commercial vehicles determine how much liability insurance a truck must carry. The amount varies greatly by type of vehicle and what it carries. For example, a truck carrying freight weighing 10,001 lbs or less is required to carry less coverage than a heavy-duty truck transporting hazardous materials. 

A trucking company’s insurance policy should cover events and damages like:

  • Bodily Injury
  • Accidental Death
  • Property Damage
  • Punitive Damages

How is Liability Determined in Montana Trucking Accidents?

Determining the liable party in a trucking accident is more complicated than passenger vehicle collisions. Although the driver is typically the one to be held accountable in a negligent accident, other parties may be involved as well. In addition to the truck driver, the trucking company may also be held liable for their driver’s actions. Typically, that happens if the company hires a driver with a history of speeding or distracted driving.

Some truck accidents are caused by malfunctions or problems with the truck itself; in those cases, the manufacturer may assume some liability. There have even been cases in which the company that loaded the cargo on the truck has been held responsible for causing an accident. For example, overloaded or improperly loaded cargo has spilled onto the road, causing serious accidents.

The more parties involved in an accident claim, the more complex the claim and liability are to determine. Each insurer will perform their own investigation into the cause and aftermath of the accident. Montana uses modified comparative fault when determining fault in a trucking accident. That means that one or more parties can be at fault and are assigned a percentage to represent their contribution to the accident. Insurance companies collect evidence like eyewitness statements, police reports, dashcam footage, and more to help determine who was at fault in a trucking accident. They’ll go over the details of the case, including the driver’s time on the clock and the condition of the truck, to determine the fault. 

Montana Truck Accident Lawyers

Were you offered a lowball settlement from a trucking company’s insurance after an accident? Do you disagree with the decisions made by your or the other insurance company when determining fault in your accident? At AFJ Law firm, we handle truck accident disputes for our clients to help them get the compensation they deserve. Accidents involving trucks and commercial vehicles are among the most serious types of collisions, and we’re ready to help you recover damages for any injuries or property damage you sustained because of another driver. Contact AFJ Law Firm today for a consultation to go over your legal rights and options for recovering damages.