Legislation addresses staged accidents, fraudulent claims, third-party financing
Arlington, Virginia – Today, American Trucking Associations cheered the introduction of the Highway Accident Fairness Act of 2021, led by Representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) and Garret Graves (R-LA-6). Among other things, the bill would protect trucking companies from the financial burdens of defending against or settling fraudulent insurance claims resulting from staged collisions.
“We thank Reps. Cuellar and Graves for introducing this common-sense bill to curb rampant lawsuit abuse against the trucking industry. Staged accidents, third-party litigation financing, and disproportionate nuclear verdicts are perverting civil justice into a profit center, jeopardizing highway safety and adding more costs and strain to our nation’s supply chain,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This legislation would restore balance and fairness to the system and help ensure justice drives accident litigation – not profiteering and windfalls.”
Specifically, the Highway Accident Fairness Act of 2021 would:
- Assure fair and prompt recoveries for highway accident victims with legitimate claims;
- Provide for federal court jurisdiction over interstate cases of national importance;
- Maintain stability in the movement of interstate commerce and protect the public from the safety hazard of staged collisions;
- Provide transparency when litigation finance companies invest in highway accident lawsuits as a profit-making opportunity;
- Protect motor carriers and insurers from the financial burdens of defending against, settling or being found liable for fraudulent claims that result from staged collisions; and
- Protect law enforcement agencies from expending resources dealing with the aftermath of staged collisions.
“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,” said Congressman Cuellar. “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 Rep. Graves and the American Trucking Association for their support.”
“Louisiana 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 from further increasing the cost to drive and do business in Louisiana,” Congressman Graves said. “One $4.7 million settlement caused all of our insurance rates to go up. Our legislation cracks down on fraudulent claims, increases safety on the roads, and will help to lower insurance rates for drivers. Thanks to Rep.Cuellar for joining the effort, the American Trucking Association, and all those supporting.”