Should I Replace Child Car Seats after a Baltimore Car Accident?
If you were in a car accident and had child car seats or booster seats in your vehicle, it is likely you are concerned about their effectiveness after the crash. In the past, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended all of these types of seats be replaced after a collision. They have adjusted these recommendations, but replacing can still be advisable. Insurance companies should cover the expense.
After a collision, talk to a Baltimore car accident attorney about what is covered and can be replaced, including child safety items. The personal injury lawyers at Iamele & Iamele, LLP will take the steps necessary to secure the award you and your family deserve.
Insurance Companies and Child Car Seats
It is common for insurance companies to pay for the expense of replacing child car seats and booster seats after the vehicle housing these seats is involved in a car accident. The replacement is not necessarily required to be the exact same seat either. Some families choose to replace a convertible seat with a belt-positioning booster, for instance. This could be optimal if the child was already outgrowing the convertible seat when the accident happened.
The seat that is being replaced will likely have to be recycled or thrown out. There are safety risks involved with donating seats after a crash and charities will typically not accept them for this reason. Contact the recycling program in your neighborhood to ask about options.
Minor Collision and Seat Replacement
The NHTSA has said that families can continue to use child seats after a collision if it was minor. But what is a minor collision?
If the answer to each of the following questions is yes, the collision may be considered minor.
- Were you able to drive away from the accident site?
- Vehicle airbags were not activated?
- Did you avoid vehicle door damage?
- Was everyone involved able to walk away from the incident without injury?
- Does the seat or booster look ok after inspection?
If any airbags were activated, including front airbags, knee airbags, side curtain airbags, or inflatable seat airbags, the accident is not considered minor. And door damage near where a car seat sits is a significant cause for alarm. Keep in mind, if your vehicle has three rows, the nearest door to a child car seat could be located next to the second row of seating, even if the child car seat is in row three. Assessing the seat for damage should include looking for cracks and stresses on materials. Stresses could be broken stitching or webbing that is torn or extended. In most instances, the best solution is to simply replace the seat and allow the insurance company to pick up the expense.
Were you in a collision and had child car seats in your vehicle? You need an attorney on your side. Contact the legal team at Iamele & Iamele, LLP to understand your options following a crash. Our attorneys successfully secure compensation for accident victims in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan. We have extensive knowledge and experience in accident cases, including those involving family vehicles. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.