Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year, New Laws in Florida



With the start of a new year, change is inevitable. On Tuesday, December 30th, 2014, Gov. Rick Scott signed a handful of bills that were set to make changes to Florida law at the start of the New Year. Aside from the surprising increase in minimum wage and the sizeable rate cut for worker’s compensation insurance, Florida law has undergone a few intriguing revisions that have been discussed, delayed, and denied for many years. These are the laws pertaining to child restraint devices within motor vehicles. The changes took place on the first day of the year, January 1st, 2015. The effectiveness of said changes has been questioned by both the general public and child safety advocates alike, but the change as a whole seems to have gone over nicely.

Child Safety Seats in Florida

Before these amendments took place (i.e. before January 1st), Florida was one of the few states that had yet to polish their outdated child restraint laws for the new era of child safety seats. The previous law called for any child aged 3 years or younger to be securely fastened in some form of restraint device. Height was hardly a factor in the law, if it was any at all. Change-hungry speculators have been regarding to this meatless Florida law for years as the cause of the annually growing amount of hospitalized children each year after motor vehicle crashes.  According to the NHTSA, these crashes are “the leading cause of death for American kids between 5 and 14.

Most notably in the new child safety seat law changes is the age in which any child must be strapped in. The previous age requirement of 3 years or younger has been slightly raised. Now, any child that is 5 years or younger must be securely fastened in a car or booster seat. (What is the correct child restraint device for my child?)

The law change, though seemingly minor, was a huge victory for the countless groups and organizations that continue to dedicate their time to securing the safety of the public. One group who played in a major role in the change is the AAA Motor Group, who says they’ve been pushing for the change for over 14 years, and though pleased with the results of their strenuous battle, they want more. The group continues to stress the impact of height and the role it plays in child safety; Florida has yet to incorporate height adaptations into the law.

Unsung Heroes

We should all be appreciative of the groups that continue to fight for our rights, even out of the spotlight. We should also be thankful for the laws that have been set to protect us, even those few that are in need of revision. Sadly, not all auto accidents can be avoided, and not everyone is rejoicing over this small victory. Each and every day of this New Year, an unsuspecting victim will be injured due to someone else’s negligence or lack of care. No set amount of law changes could prevent the ever-varying factor of human error, but there is help.

Here at Dolman Law Group, we strive to assist our clients in securing the compensation they deserve after they’ve suffered losses due to the negligent acts of another party. In these rough times, all you need is a hand, and if the well-being of yourself or a loved one is at stake, the stress may seem incurable. If you’d like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in Clearwater, we offer a free consultation and case evaluation, so call us today at 727-451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900