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House Votes For 30-Day Wait For Accident Reports

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LANSING (AP) - The Michigan House voted Wednesday to make lawyers and others wait 30 days before using auto accident reports to solicit injured motorists.

The bills, approved 98-10 and sent to the Senate, are designed to protect injured motorists from overaggressive solicitors in the days after their accident.

Violators would face a misdemeanor charge and $15,000 fine. Repeat offenders could see jail and a $30,000 fine.

“This is common-sense legislation that gives accident victims and their families a chance to get over the shock of an accident before having to make important decisions about legal representation or extended medical care,” Rep. Joseph Graves, R-Argentine Township and a sponsor of one of the bills, said in a statement.

The package also would target people who abuse or defraud Michigan’s auto no-fault system, he said. No-fault insurance is a system in which insured people’s policies cover damage to their vehicles. A liability system bases coverage on the person at fault in a crash.

“These bad actors intentionally run up fraudulent medical expenses, driving up the cost of all of our car insurance,” he said. “By implementing this 30-day waiting period, accident victims will be protected, and we will be able to cut down significantly on fraudulent medical claims.”

To obtain an accident report in the first 30 days after it’s filed with a law enforcement agency, a requestor must acknowledge he can’t use it to directly solicit people in the report or disclose personal information to third parties.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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