Hit and Run Incidents in Florida: Legislation Proposes Mandatory Accident Reports

In a surprising response to hit and run incidents in Florida, legislators have introduced a proposal for the upcoming legislative session. Introduced by State Senator Jon Gruters of Sarasota, the proposed law would make it mandatory for auto repair shops to either request or complete crash reports before repairing vehicles damaged in accidents. According to a report, the proposed legislation aims to ensure that auto repair shops request a crash report from customers before providing work estimates for recommended repairs and estimated costs. If a crash report isn’t available or provided by the car’s owner, the repair shop must complete a form themselves. The form is then submitted to law enforcement, detailing the vehicle, the owner, and the extent of the damage sustained.

The bill was prompted by a tragic August 2022 hit and run crash and subsequent death of a 13 year old teen in Osprey, south of Sarasota on the state’s west coast. The teenager succumbed to injuries sustained in a bicycle collision. The driver fled the accident scene but later took his car to an auto repair shop in Tampa, falsely claiming that a falling tree had caused the car’s damage. Authorities eventually identified the motorist and linked him to the teenager’s death. The perpetrator was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

Ongoing Hit and Run Incidents in Florida

Florida faces a significant hit and run problem. Despite it being against the law in Florida to leave the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving injuries, fatalities, or property damage, the state has recorded an annual average of over 103,000 hit and run accidents in the past five years. Statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles also show that in 2022 alone, the Sunshine State witnessed nearly 105,000 hit and run incidents, resulting in 266 fatalities and over 1,000 cases of severe bodily injury.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley

At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 200 years of combined decades of legal experience. We represent pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists injured in hit and run accidents and various personal injury scenarios. If you’ve been a victim of a hit and run incident in Florida, whether as a pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist, reach out to our seasoned personal injury attorneys today at contact@schwedlaw.com or (877) 694-6079.