For many parents, one of the first purchases they make in preparation for having a baby is a car seat. Car seats are designed to protect infants and young children from any injuries in a car accident, and it’s the law for children under a certain age to travel in one. Sometimes, however, car seats fail to serve their purpose in a car accident. Who is to be held responsible for your child’s injuries? The answer is that it depends on the situation.
Child Car Seat Safety Laws
All 50 U.S. states have their own laws that require infants and children to sit in car seats while traveling by car.
These laws take the following into consideration when determining the proper equipment and placement in cars:
- The child’s age
- The child’s height
- The child’s weight
The following recommendations have been made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Forward-facing car seat: These car seats should be used for toddlers and young children up to age five until they reach the requirements set forth by the manufacturer.
- Rear-facing car seat: Infant and toddlers should be placed in these car seats until they meet the stated weight and height limits.
- Booster seat: These seats are made for school-aged children who have outgrown their forward-facing car seats, and should use them until they reach the stated weight and height limits.
- Seatbelt: Children who outgrow their booster seats are required to use a seatbelt.
Types of Car Seat Injury Situations
There are two general situations in which a child’s car seat can fail to protect a child passenger, causing injuries in a car accident.
Injuries Caused by Product Defects
In some cases, your child’s car seat may be improperly designed or manufactured, which can help you file a product liability claim. Car seats may fail to work as a design defect, manufacturing defect, or they may have failed to provide sufficient warning or instructions. The party liable for your child’s injuries depends on which of these factors contributed to the faulty car seat. This is often complicated to determine, and requires that you hire a personal injury lawyer who can investigate the matter and build a case that can achieve the compensation you’re owed.
Injuries Cause by Human Error
While your car seat may be perfectly designed and manufactured, it’s all too common for parents or others to improperly install or use the car seats. When an individual fails to restrain a child correctly in a safety seat, they may be the ones liable for negligence if it’s proved that their carelessness contributed to the child’s injuries.
Zealous Advocates Since 1994
With more than 38 years of legal experience on our side, you can trust Tedford & Associates to provide trusted counsel in your personal injury case, whether you’re suffering from a car accident, toxic substance exposure, or more. Attorney Tedford and our team approach each case and client with empathy, because we’ve personally been in your same situation, and can understand what you’re going through.
Our experience allows us to put a personal touch on our cases, and we’re committed to helping clients feel understood, as well as informing them on their options so they can make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
Call (626) 325-0142, or contact us online if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident. Our personal injury law firm has helped countless individuals and families recover comfortably for over 20 years. Utilize our free consultation today to learn how we can help.