Do I Need to Replace My Child’s Car Seat After a Car Accident?

Attorney Grant Travis | Travis Law Firm | Personal Injury Attorney, DUI Defense Attorney, Criminal Defense Attorney | Serving Erie, Crawford, Warren & all of Northwestern PA | Call the Travis Law Firm at 814-277-2222 today!

Being in a car accident is a traumatic event, especially if your child was in the car with you at the time of the crash. Car seats and safety restraints keep children safe during a crash. However, if you are in a crash with your child, you may need to replace the car seat your child was using because it was damaged in the crash.

NHTSA Recommendations

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is important to replace car seats after a moderate or severe car crash. While car seats do not necessarily need to be replaced after a minor car crash, you should always follow manufacturer’s instructions and use your best judgment.

The NHTSA defines a minor crash as a crash where all the following factors apply:

  • You were able to drive your vehicle away from the accident scene;
  • The door that was nearest the car seat was not damaged in the collision;
  • There were no injuries sustained because of the crash;
  • The airbags did not deploy during the collision; and,
  • You cannot find any visible evidence of damage to the car seat.

If you do choose to replace your car seat, make sure that no one else uses the car seat by cutting the harness and writing “INVOLVED IN CAR CRASH – NOT SAFE FOR USE” on the car seat in several locations with a permanent magic marker. Using a car seat that was involved in a car accident can be dangerous.  The car seat may not protect the child. Therefore, take all precautions to ensure the seat is not sold or donated to be used by another family.

Filing an Accident Claim for Your Child

If your child is injured in a car accident, he or she is entitled to receive compensation for injuries. Financial losses include medical expenses and your lost wages for being out of work to care for your child. In addition, you can recover any out-of-pocket expenses you pay because of your child’s injuries. Furthermore, your child is entitled to receive compensation for his or her pain and suffering.

Filing an accident claim for a child possess several challenges. Because the victim is a minor, the child cannot receive the money directly. In addition, the court may need to approve any settlement agreement to ensure that the agreement is in the best interest of the child. Proceeds of a settlement must be held in trust for the child until the child reaches the age of 18 years. To ensure your child’s claim is handled correctly, it is best to retain the services of an experienced Erie car accident attorney to help you file and settle the claim.

Call an Erie Car Accident for Help

The thought of your child being injured in a car accident is terrifying. Knowing the accident was caused by the reckless or negligent behavior of another driver can be overwhelming and frustrating. Our attorneys can help you seek justice on behalf of your child from the driver who caused your child’s pain and suffering.

Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with an Erie car accident attorney.