It should come as no surprise that trucks and large commercial vehicles can cause tremendous damage to other motorists in the event of a crash. The National Safety Council’s statistics show that, although large commercial trucks account for only 5% of all registered vehicles, they are involved in nearly one out of every ten fatal accidents.
Even when a truck collision does not result in anyone’s death, it can leave victims with painful injuries that are expensive to treat. For this reason, laws require trucking companies to have sufficient financial resources to address injuries or other losses resulting from a crash. The MCS-90 endorsement serves as proof that a company has such resources.
An accurate and up-to-date MCS-90 endorsement is essential to avoid fines and penalties imposed by the Department of Transportation.
This form, formally known as the Endorsement for Motor Carrier Policies of Insurance for Public Liability under Sections 29 and 30 of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, verifies the amount of insurance coverage a trucking company has in a truck accident.
The insurance coverage can come from a private insurance policy the trucking company pays for. Secondly, the company could have a surety bond, which is a promise by one party that they will pay lawful damages awards and judgments on behalf of the trucking company.
Lastly, the company can self-insure, essentially declaring that they have sufficient assets and capital to pay claims they are ordered to pay.
Commercial trucks traveling across state lines must complete the MCS-90 endorsement to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Act.
The MCS-90 form is not insurance in and of itself. Instead, it verifies that the trucking company has sufficient resources to pay a claim in the event they are found liable for a victim’s injuries. This provides crucial peace of mind to truck accident injury victims due to the nature of liability insurance.
In most motor vehicle wrecks, including trucking accidents, a party found to be at fault for causing a collision and injuries to another must pay damages to that party. However, some insurance policies have exclusions or limitations wherein the insurance company will not pay.
In this situation, truck accident victims could theoretically have a valid claim against the trucking company for substantial damages, but the trucking company is unable to pay.
The MCS-90 endorsement essentially guarantees that the trucking company has some other source of funding to pay claims up to minimum coverage limits.
These minimum coverage requirements include:
Before an MCS 90 form is issued, the trucking company will have to document and verify the source of the coverage that they have. Although fraud can always occur, this verification step is meant to reduce the likelihood of a trucking company operating without sufficient coverage.
Because the MCS-90 form is registered with the Department of Transportation, there is no way for you to tell on the road whether a commercial truck has the MCS-90 endorsement. However, once you have been involved in a crash, an attorney can obtain a copy of a trucking company’s MCS-90 for you in Oregon.
This form will provide you and your personal injury attorney with valuable information that you need to seek compensation if the company’s primary liability company will not pay.