Child Safety Seats in Auto Accidents: What Parents Should Know
Injuries that affect children, especially very young children, can be especially tragic. That's why the legal team at Charpentier Law Firm takes all such matter seriously. Our attorneys have helped a number of clients in and around Melbourne in cases that involve injuries to young children.
The kinds of injuries sustained by young children can be especially severe in auto accidents, particualrly serious motor vehicle collisions. There are safety options for children, which is why we want to look at child safety seats and booster seats, and what legal options are available should these fail to do their job.
Child Safety Seats and Booster Seats Save Lives
There's a reason why parents need to consider getting a child safety seat for their baby or toddler, or a booster seat for their young child: they work.
Studies have found that child safety seats and booster seats significantly decrease the chances of serious injury to babies, toddler, and young children. It's been estimated that a child safety seat reduces the chances of a fatal crash involving an infant (i.e., younger than 1 year old) by 71 percent; the number is 54 percent in toddlers (i.e., 1 to 4 years old). For children between the ages of 4 and 8, the chance of fatal injury in a car accident is reduced by 54 percent if they sit in a booster seat.
These child safety seats all provide better support for a young child, which is worth considering given that seat belts and lap belts in a vehicle are generally suited to older children and adults.
What to Do with Your Safety Seat After a Collision
Say you have been involved in an auto accident with your child in a safety seat. A number of parents wonder if their child safety seat should be replaced. This is a legitimate concern to consider. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recommended that child safety seats be replaced following a severe collision.
A child safety seat does NOT need to be replaced if the collision was minor, meaning that:
- There were no injuries to anyone in the vehicle as a result of the collision
- The air bags in the vehicle did not deploy
- The vehicle door that was closest to the child safety seat/booster seat was not damaged
- The child safety seat or booster seat appears undamaged and still functions as it did prior to the accident
- You were able to drive away after the accident occurred
Problems in Child Safety Seat Design
Given the effectiveness of child safety seats and booster seats, it's especially tragic when the design of a child safety seat or booster seat is faulty. These defective safety items are less likely to protect your child from significant harm, and may actually make accident injuries worse.
This is particularly the case if a safety seat break and shards of plastic and other materials cut or poke a child. Similarly, weak materials or generally poor design of the safety seat or booster seat mean that children are not given proper support and protection in the event of a collision.
Holding Negligent Companies Accountable
If the design and manufacturing of a child safety seat is flawed in any way, it's important that you have product liability lawyers on your side to pursue litigation against the makers of the seat. Our team will be sure to hold that company accountable, ensuring that you receive just compensation for any kind if injury or loss that has been sustained as part of the collision.
Learn More About Your Legal Rights in an Auto Accident
To learn more about your legal options after a serious motor vehicle collision of any kind, be sure to contact our personal injury law firm today. The layers at Charpentier Law Firm will fight and give voice to consumers who have been wrongs by greedy corporations and negligent companies.