Interstate vs. intrastate trucking: What’s the difference, and why does it matter?

Categories: Personal Injury

Regarding interstate vs intrastate trucking, the difference lies in where a truck travels. An interstate trucker can legally travel across state lines or national borders when transporting freight. Comparatively, an intrastate trucker is only authorized to deliver freight within one state.

If you have been involved in an interstate or intrastate trucking crash in San Luis Obispo, CA, Ernst Law Group can help you. Our San Luis Obispo semi-truck accident attorney is available to review your case. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

What is interstate trucking?

An interstate trucker can travel between states or nations. Examples of trucks used to transport interstate freight include:

  • Flatbed trailers
  • Dry vans
  • Tankers
  • Semis
  • Refrigerated trailers

What is intrastate trucking?

An intrastate trucker can pick up and deliver freight exclusively within one state. Types of intrastate trucks include:

  • Box trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Garbage trucks
  • Concrete-mixing trucks
  • Dump trucks

What is the difference between intrastate vs interstate trucking licensing requirements?

An intrastate trucker must travel within California with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). A CDL is required for a trucker who wants to operate vehicles that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more
  • GVWR that’s less than 26,000 lbs. and is designed, used, or maintained to transport more than 10 passengers, including the driver.
  • Serves as a combo vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more lbs.
  • Tows another vehicle that has a GVWR of 10,001 lbs. or more
  • Tows more than one vehicle or a trailer bus
  • Requires hazardous material (HazMat) placards or carries material listed as a select agent or toxin in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 42, Part 73
  • Transports hazardous wastes

A company that employs truckers who transport from between states or countries must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They must also have a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number.

Each DOT number is a unique identifier for collecting and monitoring a business’ safety information. This information is acquired through audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections.

What is the difference between interstate and intrastate trucking insurance?

There is a difference between interstate and intrastate trucking insurance requirements since some truckers can travel across states and countries while others can’t.

With interstate insurance, carriers and owner-operators must meet FMCSA’s minimum coverage limits. These vary based on the type of freight, truck weight, and other factors.

California has its own insurance requirements for trucking. These apply to intrastate trucking companies.

Interstate and intrastate similarities

No matter where a carrier or owner-operator is located, they must comply with various requirements, including:

  • CDL licensing
  • Drug and alcohol tests
  • Commercial trucker insurance
  • Hazardous materials training

If you are involved in an interstate or intrastate trucking crash and need help with a claim, the team at Ernst Law Group can assist. We can answer frequently asked questions and many others about trucking accident claims. To learn more, reach out to us.

Who bears liability in interstate and intrastate truck collisions?

Who is liable in a trucking collision depends on the truck’s owner. In many instances, a trucking company may be held responsible for damages in a collision, regardless of where the crash happens. You may be able to file an insurance claim following a truck accident.

An interstate truck operator may have more extensive insurance coverage versus an intrastate one. This is due to the fact that an operator who works in multiple states or countries may require additional protections.

Damages you can request in an intrastate or intrastate trucking accident

In a trucking accident insurance claim, you may be able to pursue damages for many reasons, such as:

  • Damage to your vehicle
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering

Economic and non-economic compensation may be awarded. You may get economic damages for quantifiable losses and non-economic damages for subjective ones.

When should you file an intrastate or interstate truck accident claim?

There is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injuries in California. If you do not discover a trucking crash injury immediately, the window to file a claim opens the day you do. This window remains open for up to one year.

When should you hire a truck accident lawyer for an interstate or intrastate claim?

A personal injury lawyer who specializes in trucking accident cases can help you submit your claim in accordance with California’s statute of limitations. They can work with you to build a body of evidence to support your claim. Your attorney can also negotiate with an insurance company or defendant. They can help you avoid legal mistakes during your litigation.

How to submit a trucking accident claim

Ernst Law Group can help you file a claim following a truck accident. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online at (805) 541-0300.