The Shell Games of Insurance Companies
Some trucking companies are avoiding paying damages for accidents by playing a legal shell game. Such a game leaves families in the lurch to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of a crash. It is happening so often, that now the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other federal agencies are looking into the issue.
A recent accident involving a driver with Quickway Transportation of Nashville, Tennessee and a bus carrying a softball team from North Central Texas College has investigators digging deeper. Even with 35 crashes with 20 involving serious injuries, the U.S. Department of Transportation has given the company a satisfactory rating.
The number of accidents is not nearly as alarming as the low-dollar amount of insurance required to be carried. The law, as it stands only requires companies to carry a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage. That isn’t much in terms of the high cost of medical care, funeral expenses and all of the other ways that families are left picking up the pieces of shattered lives after an accident.
Brigham McCown, formerly an attorney for the US Department of Transportation, now works as an expert consultant in the transportation industry, agrees.
“Once you go through this million dollars, you’re left to try and recover from the company, if it’s around and if it has assets,” McCown explained.
Investigators found that Quickway Transportation has two sister companies, also located in Nashville: Quickway Services and Quickway Carriers. The law, as it is, allows for the setup of different companies so that in case there is a legal concern where a substantial amount of company assets would be at risk due to liabilities, the at-risk company can be shut down and operations can continue under one of the other business entities.
According to McCown, it is happening far more often than ever before and federal agencies are seriously considering raising the minimums that trucking and transportation must carry in order to cover those liabilities.
No one deserves to be caught up in the legal games that companies pay in order to avoid paying for damages after a serious accident. Having a legal professional on your side that knows the law and will do the due diligence on your side is important. You and your loved ones deserve compensation after an accident to help cover the high cost of medical and rehabilitative care, time off the job, pain and suffering and other expenses.