With the New Year comes many things for many people. Some people make resolutions, while others are just excited about what lies ahead. In the state of Florida, the New Year means many new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2020.
These laws range from changing the minimum wage, to increasing the smoking age, to new texting and driving laws. For car accident victims, it is this last law that is most important, as it may help prove that another driver was negligent and allow victims to secure the compensation they need.
What Are Florida’s New Laws for 2020?
There are five new Florida laws that went into effect either when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Day, or just a few weeks earlier. These laws involve:
- Texting and driving: This traffic violation is no longer considered a secondary offense. Now it is a moving violation that comes with harsher penalties.
- Minimum wage increase: As of January 1, 2020, minimum wage in Florida increased from $8.46 to $8.56.
- Smoking age increase: The smoking age was increased to 21 from 18 just before the end of 2019. This law aligns with a new federal law that raised the smoking age to 21 nationwide.
- Electronic notarization allowed: Legal documents no longer have to be notarized in person in Florida. This task can now be done online.
- New emblem flag: The new emblem flag in Florida has the words “Honor and Remember” on it. The new flag is meant to honor veterans who lost their lives while serving their country.
What Florida’s New Texting and Driving Law Means for You
Under the new texting and driving law in Florida, a police officer can pull a driver over if the officer suspects the person is texting and driving. This is different from the old law, in which an officer could only cite someone for texting and driving when a motorist was pulled over for a moving violation, such as speeding.
The penalties for the offense have also increased. A first offense carries a fine of $30, while a second offense carries a fine of $60. Regardless of whether the offense is a first or subsequent offense, convicted motorists will also have three points added to their license.
For car accident victims who were involved in a crash with a distracted driver, a citation for texting and driving could be an important component in a personal injury claim.
Hurt by a Distracted Driver? Call Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers
If you were hurt in a crash with a distracted driver, it is important to understand that you may be entitled to compensation. At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, our Lutz personal injury lawyers can help you fight for the money you need to recover.
Our experienced car accident lawyers know how to prove when another motorist was texting and driving. We also have the skills and resources to negotiate with the insurance company and at-fault driver to demand the fair compensation you need.
Contact us now to schedule your free consultation.