On May 2, 2005, 27-year-old Graham Brown was hit head-on by a truck driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel. “Sadly,” notes Kate Brown, Graham’s mother, “we were to discover later just how often this happens.”
A witness heard the truck driver say that he had been “partying all night” and a crack pipe was found in his truck. Cocaine and alcohol were found in his blood and urine. While the driver walked away with no injuries, Graham has since had more than 20 surgeries, and years of physical and occupational therapies. He is permanently partially disabled. Little did his family know that his injuries were just one aspect of the injustices he would face, and the impact that it would have on all of them.
Graham’s health care costs have exceeded 5 million dollars, exhausting the trucking company’s insurance policy of $750,000. Graham’s mother, father, and sister all took many months off work, unpaid, to become full-time caregivers. They had to use their personal savings and retirement funds to support his recovery and to supplement his healthcare costs. This is money that they have never been able to replace.
Yet, Graham’s lifelong healthcare needs continue to be a major problem for all of them due to the inadequate minimum insurance required for large trucks. It has been 40 years since Congress passed a law requiring trucks and motor carriers to carry a minimum of $750,000 of insurance. Kate Brown writes: “This is why I’m fighting to change the amount of minimum insurance required by trucking companies.”