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What is MCS-90 and when is it Applicable?

Posted on 02/27/24

MCS-90 is an insurance endorsement carried by commercial trucking companies or independent owner-operators. This insurance endorsement is not well known outside of the general trucking industry, but it is designed to help individuals recover guaranteed compensation after an accident occurs, even if there are issues with an overall injury claim. In the event the insurance carrier does deny a commercial truck accident claim, the MSC-90 certainly becomes relevant.

Understanding MCS-90 for a New York Truck Accident Claim

If a person files a claim against a trucking carrier or a truck driver after a collision and is able to successfully recover compensation, MCS-90 is not going to matter. However, this important endorsement certainly plays a role if the insurance carrier denies the claim.

Under the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, every commercial motor carrier and individuals who receive money to transport property or passengers must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and carry proof that they have the financial ability to cover any damages their vehicles may cause, which, in most cases, requires proof of an MCS-90 endorsement.

The MCS-90 endorsement functions differently from standard insurance policies. It serves as a safeguard when auto liability insurance fails to cover an incident. To qualify for compensation under MCS-90, certain criteria must be met:

  • The individual seeking compensation must not be employed by the trucking company and must not be at fault for the accident.
  • The accident is not covered by the truck driver or trucking company’s auto insurance policy.
  • All other potential sources of compensation have been fully explored and exhausted.

Should these conditions align with the circumstances of your incident, pursuing compensation through MCS-90 could be a viable route.

We encourage you to fill out your truck accident claim as quickly as possible. The personal injury statute of limitations in New York is three years from the day an injury occurs. Failing to file a lawsuit within this time frame typically it means the victim will be unable to recover compensation. However, three years is quite a long period of time, and we strongly encourage individuals to file their claims as promptly as possible in order to ensure the best chance of recovering full compensation.

How Much Does MCS-90 Pay?

The MCS-90 endorsement serves as a guarantee to the public that a minimum amount of coverage is available to pay for damages caused by a commercial trucking accident when the carrier’s insurance fails to cover the claim. The specific payout amount under MCS-90 depends on the type of transport the commercial vehicle is engaged in and the substances it carries. Here are the general minimum requirements:

  • For carriers transporting non-hazardous property in interstate or foreign commerce, the minimum coverage amount is $750,000.
  • For carriers transporting oil listed as a hazardous substance, hazardous waste, hazardous materials, and hazardous substances defined in applicable federal laws, in interstate, foreign, or intrastate commerce, the minimum coverage is $1,000,000.
  • For carriers transporting certain extremely hazardous substances, the minimum coverage amount is increased to $5,000,000, regardless of the transport being interstate, foreign, or intrastate commerce.

It’s important to note that these amounts are the minimum required by federal regulations and serve as a safety net for the public. The actual compensation available under an MCS-90 endorsement can vary and may depend on the specifics of the accident, the extent of the damages, and the legal interpretation of the endorsement’s coverage in the context of the accident.

Do You Need an Attorney to Recover This Compensation?

There is no particular requirement that truck accident victims work with an attorney after the incident occurs. However, a truck accident victim will have a much better chance of recovering the monetary compensation they deserve if they have an experienced New York truck accident lawyer by their side. When an attorney is involved, they handle every aspect of the claim, including investigating the incident and determining liability. A truck accident lawyer will be responsible for handling negotiations with the other parties, and they will be there to help with any claim denial.

Ultimately, if MCS-90 is the only way a person will recover compensation, an attorney can help improve the chances of success.