When a tractor-trailer is involved in a serious collision, serious injuries usually are involved, if not wrongful death. The size of these large rigs usually means that the damage involved in a collision will be significant. Accordingly, obviously, a key issue in all of these cases is the nature and extent of available liability insurance coverage to provide redress to innocent third parties who are injured due to the negligence of tractor-trailer trucking companies and their employees.
If a tractor is hauling a trailer for another party, it may be that multiple policies of insurance can be stacked on top of each other to provide for greater coverage for the innocent victim. If a tractor-trailer company has insurance on its tractor and is hauling a trailer that is also involved in the collision and also inflicts damage then the coverage on the trailer and its owner may be stacked on top of the tractor’s coverage to provide for an additional layer of protection to the injured individual. While these cases are all factually specific, nonetheless, this possibility must be thoroughly investigated, particularly where serious injuries or wrongful death cases are involved. Thus, a factual investigation should be undertaken immediately to determine in whose name the tractor is registered as well as in whose name the trailer is registered. Federal and state inquiries must be made of both owners to determine the extent of their involvement in federal registrations and the extent of their coverages. While there may be available coverage under the tractor’s policy which might be sufficient depending upon the nature of the case, when multiple parties are injured in one of these serious collisions, it may take multiple policies to provide redress for all those injured by the negligence of a large tractor-trailer rig.