Most people have no idea what the term “MCS-90” means. The people who understand MCS-90 typically work in commercial trucking. This can include insurance providers who cover commercial trucking companies, truck drivers, or business owners. 

No matter why MCS-90 is relevant to you, it is important to know about it in the aftermath of a commercial trucking accident. Below, we will discuss the relevance and application of MCS-90 for truck accident victims. 

Understanding MCS-90

MCS-90 is a type of insurance “endorsement” or add-on to a standard plan for coverage. Most large-scale commercial motor carriers and trucking companies hold this type of insurance endorsement.

In particular, MCS-90 is an endorsement that requires trucking companies to comply with certain federal safety regulations.

MCS-90 helps to ensure that trucking companies can pay for any damages that they cause to the public. If a company’s MCS-90 endorsement is expired, it may face fines from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

This type of insurance add-on functions as a safeguard to protect members of the public. Heavy commercial vehicles can cause devastating injuries and extensive damage. When an accident involves a commercial truck, the MCS-90 endorsement can help to cover some of the costs suffered by the victims.

A Hypothetical MCS-90 Example

Suppose that you are driving a car down a U.S. interstate. A truck tips over on the roadway in front of you and you are unable to avoid colliding with it.

As a result of the crash, you might sustain severe injuries and require hospitalization for a month or more. In a case like this, you will likely experience serious financial challenges. 

These will probably include:

  • Hospitalization costs
  • Medications
  • Rehabilitation or ongoing therapies
  • Vehicular damage
  • Lost income from missed workdays
  • And more

After this type of crash, you could face thousands of dollars in expenses. This initial sum does not account for your emotional and physical suffering.

Typically, you would have the option to seek financial recovery through a claim with the commercial trucking company’s insurance provider. 

But suppose the truck driver was experiencing road rage at the time of the crash. In many instances, road rage incidents are not covered by standard insurance policies. If this is the case, you still have the option to pursue litigation with the help of a truck accident lawyer.

But suppose the trucker and the company that they drive for are unable to pay for your damages. Even if you win the lawsuit, you might not be able to recover the money that you need.

Exploring Alternatives Through MCS-90

If you find yourself in a situation like this, MCS-90 may become relevant to your case. Only companies that are involved in “interstate commerce” are required to carry MCS-90 insurance.

With this type of endorsement, companies that operate across state lines must show that they can cover any damage that the public suffers because of their actions. They are required to cover these damages even if their standard insurance would not.

Typically, companies purchase an MCS-90 policy add-on to meet federal requirements. This endorsement will cover any damages to the public that go beyond a typical commercial policy.

It may seem strange to think that an insurance provider would agree to offer this type of coverage. However, there are a few reasons that these endorsements work in favor of insurance companies.

First, the provider receives regular payments from trucking companies for their MCS-90 coverage. Also, MCS-90 endorsements give insurance companies the option to seek reimbursement from the insured motor carrier for any claims that are filed against the policy.

Still, the provider is taking a risk by offering MCS-90 coverage. If the trucking company goes bankrupt, the provider may be unable to recover its losses from an MCS-90 claim.

Parameters of MCS-90 Claims

It might seem like this type of insurance coverage is too good to be true. As a victim of a commercial trucking accident, can you really secure repayment for any damages through MCS-90 claims? Not necessarily.

Only certain types of accidents make victims eligible for MCS-90 repayments. First, the trucking company must be involved in interstate commerce. A company that works only within one state is not required to carry MCS-90 insurance. 

Even if the motor carrier operates beyond state lines, certain requirements must be met for MCS-90 coverage to apply to the accident. 

These requirements include:

  • The trucking company is liable for the accident
  • The trucking company’s standard insurance does not cover the crash
  • The victim does not have other options for financial recovery
  • The victim does not work for the motor carrier

The MCS-90 add-on has specific payment minimums, depending on the trucking company’s amount of insurance. In many cases, victims will be best served by filing a claim through the motor carrier’s standard policy.

Federal regulations require specific minimum payments depending on the truck’s cargo. These minimums are as follows:

  • Trucks carrying non-hazardous material — $750,000
  • Trucks transporting certain hazardous materials — $5,000,000
  • Trucks carrying waste, oil, or other hazardous substances — $1,000,000
  • Smaller trucks carrying hazardous substances — $5,000,000

Most trucks that are traveling on interstates do not carry hazardous materials. That is why MCS-90 limit requirements for this type of coverage are lower.

If you have been involved in a commercial trucking accident, it is important to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney. A qualified legal professional can assess the facts of your case and help you to determine the best legal options to pursue compensation.

To successfully recover MCS-90 compensation, it is critical to have an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side. MCS-90 claims are highly complex and a seasoned legal expert can help you to navigate the specific requirements of the law.

In most truck accident cases, victims will not be able to file MCS-90 claims. However, an accomplished personal injury attorney can help you to determine whether you are eligible for this type of compensation.

For more information, call us at (813) 222-8545 or reach out to us via email by visiting our contact us page.