Georgia Capitol

ATLANTA -- Selling information about accident victims will carry a stiff penalty under legislation the General Assembly passed Thursday and sent to the governor for his consideration.

Nicknamed the "ambulance chasing bill" by sponsor Rep. Ronnie Mabra, D-Fayetteville, House Bill 828 makes it illegal for first responders, hospital employees, police officers and even tow-truck operators to disclose information for pay to so-called runners or accept money from them. Runners are looking for customers for doctors, chiropractors and lawyers eager to cash in on insurance benefits.

The bill also prohibits the release of information about accidents for 60 days to any member of the public other than journalists.

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