LAKEWOOD, CO – Colorado police charged truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos with four counts of vehicular manslaughter for a massive highway accident. All told, the incident killed four people and destroyed 28 vehicles. Even still, this may not result in a multi-million dollar settlement.
Even suing Mederos’s employer may not be the pathway to netting a big settlement. Yes, Castellano 03 Trucking LLC could be deemed responsible for the wreck and the conduct of its driver. Yet, federal law mandates that Castellano 03 Trucking carry $750,000 in liability insurance. And lo and behold, that’s all they carry.
According to Dan Sloane, an attorney with Denver Trial Attorneys, it’s a sad situation when federal regulations don’t supply enough money to settle the situation. In fact, Sloane and his firm have sued a number of trucking companies but says a number of smaller trucking firms only carry the minimum amount of insurance. For the record, this particular company actually only has a fleet of five trucks.
Bottom line, anybody victimized in this situation will ultimately have to fight for money. Furthermore, Sloane suspects that the company will file for bankruptcy to avoid being on the hook to pay a settlement.
Most large trucking companies carry millions in auto insurance to deal with this kind of potential problem. As a matter of fact, companies that haul oil are required to have a million in liability while those that carry hazardous chemicals, must have 5 million.
For the victims, regardless of any settlement amount, nothing can bring back their loved ones. In fact, many of these people feel pursuing a settlement isn’t even worth it.
In 2014 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration suggested an increase in mandatory minimums for insurance liability for trucking companies. At the time they wanted to raise it from $750,000 to $10 million. Unfortunately, the FMCSA later retracted this proposal.