Graves introduces legislation to make staged collisions a federal crime

Published 8:26 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

 WASHINGTON, DC – 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 more than 150 accidents in the New Orleans area have resulted in more than 50 convictions of individuals who staged accidents in attempts to win fraudulent lawsuits against motor carriers. One lawsuit alone resulted in a $4.7 million settlement to a group of scammers. Higher frequencies in car accidents ultimately increase the cost of car insurance throughout Louisiana, meaning that scams like these result in increased costs for the rest of us.

“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. Thanks to Rep. Cuellar, the Louisiana Motor Transport Association, and other groups for partnering with us on this legislation,” Graves said.

“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. Thank you to Congressman Graves and Congressman Bost for their bipartisan support.”

“The Highway Accident Fairness Act of 2023 will help stop fraudulent, staged automobile accidents in their tracks. I’m proud to join Reps. Cuellar and Graves in reintroducing this legislation to hold individuals accountable for risking the safety of other commuters and the livelihoods of the hardworking truckers and motorists they target with their costly schemes,” Bost said.

“We thank Representatives Cuellar, Graves and Bost for introducing this common-sense bill to curb rampant lawsuit abuse against the trucking industry. 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,” said Chris Spear, CEO of the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

Click here to read more about the Highway Accident Fairness Act of 2023.