A new bill pending in the state legislature is aimed at stopping hit-and-run drivers from evading police by quietly getting their cars repaired after a crash.
The Lilly Glaubach Act (SB 194) would require auto repair shops to get accident reports before starting work on damaged vehicles, according to local news reports.
The proposed legislation is named for Lilly Glaubach, a 13-year-old girl who was killed in Sarasota County last year when she was struck in a hit-and-run crash while riding her bike home from school.
The driver, a 67-year-old man, quickly took his vehicle to a Tampa repair shop to try to fix the damage. He was later arrested, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison and three years of probation.
The new bill states:
“If a customer requests that a motor vehicle repair shop perform work to restore a motor vehicle damaged in an accident or a collision, the motor vehicle repair shop must, before preparing a written repair estimate…request that the customer provide a written crash report.”
It is not clear if the legislation, introduced by Sarasota lawmaker Joe Gruters, has the support needed to move. The measure is currently pending in the state senate, where it was referred to various committees.
The Florida Legislature convenes on Jan. 9, 2024, for its annual 60-day session.
Hit-and-Run Accidents in The Villages
Closer to home, Villagers are well aware of the risks of hit-and-run accidents.
A pair of Villages residents were injured in 2020 when their bikes were struck by a Mercede-Benz that cops say was driven by a local woman. Both bicycle riders suffered brain injuries, with one also suffering 17 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a paralyzed vocal cord and other broken bones.
Police later found the woman’s car, which was said to be damaged in the collision, at an auto repair shop in Gainesville. She was ordered to serve half a decade behind bars after pleading guilty to crimes stemming from the crash.
Anyone who is injured in a hit-and-run or other accident has the right to seek compensation from those responsible, whether it is a negligent driver or another party. The money damages available under the law include compensation for doctors' bills and related costs, as well as property damage and any impact of the injuries on a person’s ability to earn income.
To get that compensation, you have to be able to prove negligence. An experienced accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and maximize your compensation.
Speak With a Villages Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or other accident, it is vital to seek the advice of an experienced injury attorney. Villages accident attorney Tim Babiarz has been fighting for people and families across the community for more than two decades.
Our office is conveniently located in the Villages. We are also proud to represent clients throughout the area, including in Ocala, Leesburg, Lady Lake, Wildwood, Summerfield and beyond. Call (352) 205-7559 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Villages accident attorney.