Blog Post

Interstate Vs. Intrastate Motor Carriers

The Law Offices of Adrian Crane, P.C. April 29, 2015

The financial and administrative regulations, their applicability and their implications are complex as they apply to any truck accident happening in Texas, so it is best to contact a law firm such as The Law Offices of Adrian Crane who have the knowledge, resources and experience that are necessary in handling truck accident claims and lawsuits for victims or families who have lost a loved one in a truck crash.

There can be a difference between the regulations that pertain to commercial interstate motor carriers and commercial intrastate motor carriers. Under many circumstances in Texas, the federal regulations are applicable even in intrastate carrier situations. Furthermore, many people sometimes confuse the definition of the meaning of the two terms interstate and intrastate.

The definition of how each commercial motor carrier vehicle (often called 18 wheelers, tractor trailers, big rigs, Mack Trucks, semi-tractors, semis) is regulated differs as does the way it is insured. This also affects the laws that pertain to claims made by victims who have been injured in truck accidents.

The term “intrastate” means that the goods being shipped on any type of commercial motor vehicle will be staying within the politically boundaries of the state it originates from. For example if a 18 wheeler picks up a load in Houston and it is delivered to Dallas, and the goods never left the state of Texas, the trip was “intrastate”.

The term “interstate” means that if a shipment is picked up in Houston, Texas and the goods are delivered in New Orleans, Louisiana, the trip was interstate, because it crossed the state boundary in transit between Texas and Louisiana.

Interstate carriers and intrastate carriers need to look at two different authorities when trying to discern the definitions of each. In other words, laws that pertain to interstate carriers define on a more elaborate basis what includes and what excludes a carrier from being defined as interstate. The same applies to the laws that define intrastate. Obviously, the fact that a carrier must consult both sets of laws as it pertains to them means that a lawyer representing someone injured in a trucking accident must also do the same.

The same logic applies for commercial motor carriers that cross international borders. These carriers must be conversant not only with the laws of the states they pass through and their applicability but also must be knowledgeable with the laws of the countries that they pass into and out of. Again, an attorney representing an injured person must also be conversant with all of the laws that may pertain to their case.

Not only do regulations differ as applied to tractor-trailer trucks and 18 wheeler trucks as they pertain to where these rigs travel, but regulations also differ depending on whether or not the loads are categorized as partial or full loads.

Trucking companies at times will have a mix of both in state (intrastate) only and interstate authorized equipment, and so it is up to the attorney representing someone or their family who was killed or injured in a trucking accident to ascertain whether or not the equipment used was appropriate depending on not just whether the vehicle was traveling interstate or intrastate but also if it was properly traveling depending on whether or not the load was hauled with the correct equipment.

Making sure the load went onto the proper equipment becomes not just an issue for the insurance carrier after an accident but also for any claims adjuster and any attorney representing an injured party in connection with any accident that has happened. The insurance carrier is always going to want to find out whether they are legally responsible for the damages caused by the accident as is the attorney; laws apply to force insurance carriers to reasonably pay claims that are not applicable to carriers who are self-insured or who did not carry insurance.

The insurance carrier may refuse to pay claims when the carrier did not have proper coverage as it applied to any particular accident. A denial of coverage could cause a financial disaster for the trucking company and also for any victims of an accident; a threatened denial of coverage is sometimes used as a negotiating tactic.

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For a free no obligation consultation with an attorney on a Texas truck accident injury case or Texas wrongful death claim call an attorney with The Law Offices of Adrian Crane, or contact them through this website.