U.S. Congressmen Garret Graves, Henry Cuellar, and Mike Bost introduced bipartisan legislation to make intentionally causing collisions with motor carriers a federal crime. Their legislation, the Highway Accident Fairness Act of 2023, will reduce unnecessary lawsuits, lower car insurance rates, and increase safety on our roads.
Investigations into over 150 accidents in the New Orleans area have resulted in the convictions of individuals who staged elaborate accidents, then filed fraudulent lawsuits against truckers involved. One such staged accident, occurring back in 2015 netted the scammers $4.7 million. An investigation after the fact found that the whole accident was staged. Several people have been arrested and federally convicted.
"Louisiana’s drivers pay some of the highest insurance rates in America. This is unacceptable and the solutions don't require rocket science. Our bill will prevent criminal rings that are intentionally causing accidents from driving up costs for the rest of us by cracking down on fraudulent claims, increasing safety on the roads, and lowering insurance rates for everyone," Graves said in a press release.
“Highways are a significant component of our economic supply chain. Every single day, goods flow across states to get food on shelves and products in homes. We must commit ourselves to keeping these transit corridors open and safe all year round,” Cuellar said. “That is why we must pass this important legislation protecting our truckers from staged collisions that cause dangers for civilians on the road and economic problems for trucking companies provided an essential service."
Chris Spear, CEO of the American Trucking Association thanked the politicians for, well, doing their jobs.
"Staged accidents, third-party litigation funding, and disproportionate nuclear verdicts are perverting civil litigation into a game of Jackpot Justice, jeopardizing highway safety and adding more costs and strain to our nation’s supply chain. This legislation would help restore balance and fairness to the system and ensure justice – not profiteering and windfalls – drives accident litigation."