Car seats help to protect your children in the event you are involved in a collision. Many concerned parents are diligent in purchasing the right type of seat for their child and in taking care to fasten them in properly. However, what many parents may not know is why they should replace their child’s car seat after a crash.
At Anderson & Cummings, we have been helping those injured by the negligence of other drivers for decades. This is just one reason we feel it is important to keep you informed about vehicle safety. This article explains more about child safety seats and why it is important to replace them after being involved in a collision.
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Why Is It Necessary To Replace My Child’s Car Seat After a Crash?
You should replace your child’s car seat after a car crash for many reasons. For one, many insurance companies require this. The reason is that the force of a collision, which is enough to violently jolt vehicle occupants around, could damage your child’s car seat. Even if you cannot see any visible cracks or broken parts, the structure and overall integrity of the car seat may be diminished. This is especially true to parts of the seat that most absorb impact, such as where the seat connects to the car.
Continuing to use a car seat that has been involved in a car crash could put your child in harm’s way. The impact of even a moderate collision could cause damage to your child’s safety seat, such as:
- Causing invisible cracks in the plastic frame or compromising its strength in other ways
- There could be tears, rips or fraying in the webbing material of the safety belt
- The impact could have caused the safety belt to over-stretch, reducing the strength of the harness and making it more likely to break
Even minor damage to a car seat could put your child at risk. If a future accident were to occur, your child may not be properly protected, even when strapped in according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
What If I Purchased My Child’s Car Seat Used or Secondhand?
We do not recommend purchasing a used car seat. There is no way of verifying the history of that seat, including whether it was previously involved in a crash or recalled due to a design flaw or defect. Purchasing a used car seat might be putting your child’s well-being at risk.
Will the Insurance Company Cover the Cost of Replacing a Car Seat After a Crash?
If you were involved in a car crash and had to replace your child’s safety seat, you should be able to include the cost of that replacement seat in your claim. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, the insurance company might still try to push back or deny paying compensation for a new car seat. However, this is why we strongly recommend working with a knowledgeable car crash attorney.
At Anderson & Cummings, we work hard to recover full and fair compensation for all your damages. This is why we strongly recommend you seek legal help as soon as possible after a crash. An attorney will know what steps to take to protect your legal rights and best interests.
It is important to remember that insurance companies do not seek to pay the full value of your claim. Their goal is not the same as yours. The insurance company’s goal is to pay as little out on a claim as possible.
What If the Crash Was Only a Minor Fender Bender?
If the crash was truly a minor fender bender, you may not need to replace your child’s car seat. However, it is important to understand how your insurance company defines a minor collision.
The NHTSA defines a minor crash as one in which ALL of the following factors apply:
- You were able to drive your car from the crash scene.
- The door closest to the child’s seat was undamaged.
- No one riding in the car during the accident was injured.
- The airbags in your vehicle did not deploy during the collision.
- The child’s car seat did not show any visible signs of damage.
If all of these factors do not apply, then you should replace your child’s car seat. Parents should not risk their child’s safety by reusing a car seat that was involved in a moderate to severe collision.
What If My Child Was Not Riding in the Vehicle When the Crash Occurred?
The strength and safety of your child’s car seat may have been compromised even if he or she was not riding in it at the time of the collision. The fact that the seat was in the car means it still absorbed the impact of the crash, especially where the seat connects to the vehicle. For this reason, unless the crash was a minor fender bender, you should still replace the car seat.
Injured in a Fort Worth Car Crash? We Are Here To Help You
Call Anderson & Cummings after a crash caused by another party’s negligence. We have the resources and staff to fully investigate your case. We have a proven history of success, recovering millions in compensation for our clients.
If we take your case, it costs you nothing up front or throughout the legal process. We only get paid if we win your case and recover compensation for you.
Texas has filing deadlines, and your attorney needs time to build a successful case on your behalf. Call today to learn whether you may have legal options for recovering your damages.
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