The week of September 17-23 has been designated as Child Passenger Safety Week. It’s a good time to review car passenger safety for your children to make sure they are safe whenever they are traveling in a motor vehicle. At Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law, our Nashville passenger injury attorneys would like to remind you that it’s also a good time to review what you should do if you’re involved in an accident and have a child safety seat for your child.
Keeping Your Kids Safe
You should always follow the most recent NHTSA recommendations for car safety seats. Smaller children should be kept in rear-facing child seats for as long as possible. Once your child is over 2 or has reached the maximum height or weight for their rear-facing seat, they can move to a front-facing seat. Many front-facing seats will allow you to continue to use it until your child reaches 50 to 85 pounds. Once your child outgrows his or her front-facing seat, they can move to a booster seat until they reach 100 pounds or outgrow the seat’s maximum recommended height.
Always make sure that your child is properly fastened into their safety seat. If your child no longer uses a safety seat, make sure they use a seat belt and it’s properly fastened. It’s recommended that all children under the age of 13 ride in the back seat of your vehicle.
NHTSA Recommends Replacing Child Safety Seats
If you’ve been in car crash, you might need to replace your child’s car seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that child safety seats should be replaced after a moderate or severe car crash. This also includes booster seats for bigger children, in addition to infant and toddler safety seats.
You might not realize that your child’s safety seat is covered under your car’s insurance policy because it is considered part of your car. Most insurance companies will cover the cost to replace your child’s safety seat or booster seat. To be reimbursed for your child’s car seat, it must meet NHTSA’s criteria for car seats.
Consideration for Minor Car Crashes
The NHTSA now recommend that you do not need to automatically replace a car seat if your accident was a minor crash. A minor crash is defined as:
- There is no visible damage to your child’s safety seat;
- You were able to drive your car away from the scene of the crash;
- No one in the crash sustained any injuries;
- No airbags deployed during the crash; and,
- The vehicle door closed to the car seat is undamaged.
When in doubt, we recommend replacing your child’s car safety or booster seat. This will help ensure that your child is properly protected in the event of another accident.
Nashville Passenger Injury Attorneys Who Care
A serious car accident can be catastrophic, but when a child is seriously injured, it can be even more tragic. You may face expensive medical bills and years of physical or occupational therapy, depending on the severity of your child’s injury. Whether your child’s injury was caused by the negligence of another driver or a manufacturer’s defect with his or her car safety seat or booster seat, you’re entitled to compensation for the rough road your family will face.
The Nashville passenger injury attorneys at Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law are ready to help in your time of need. Call to schedule your free consultation at any time at (615) 422-2222. Our normal offers hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. but we can be reached 24 hours a day to take your call.