After you have been involved in a car crash it is common to ask: do child car seats need to be replaced after an accident?
The answer is yes. It is recommended that any child car seat that was in a vehicle involved in an accident should be replaced to ensure the safety of the child.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated in the past that any child car seat that has been in a vehicle involved in a crash should be replaced, regardless of the severity of the event. Now, the NHTSA child car seat replacement policy is to replace car seats or booster seats in an accident that is not considered a minor event.
When you are replacing child car seats after an accident occurs, make sure that you check with your insurance company first. In most cases, the insurance company will pay to replace the child car seat.
Insurance Car Seat Replacement Policies
Every insurance company has a policy about child car seat replacement after an accident. In most cases, they will automatically pay for a seat replacement if the vehicle is in a serious accident. However, their policies are often vague about minor accidents.
A minor accident is one where:
- The vehicle can leave the scene on its own power and with ease
- There is no damage to the doors of the vehicle, especially to the door located near the child seat
- None of the airbags in the vehicle were deployed
- There were no injuries associated with the accident
When a minor accident occurs, the insurance company may not want to replace the child car seat after the accident. However, many manufacturers recommend that these seats are replaced after any kind of accident, even without visible damage. This is because it is not always easy to ensure that the integrity of the seat is still in good shape after any type of collision.
If you had to call a tow truck to move the vehicle, even if there does not seem to be a lot of physical damage, and there were no injuries in the event, you should still change the child car seat after an accident occurred. This is the best way to protect your child.
The insurance company will replace the child booster seat for what your child currently needs. If the child car seat in a car accident was starting to get too small for your child, the insurance company will replace the seat with a seat that is appropriate for their size and age at the time of replacement.
Child Car Seat Accident Replacements – Reminder
If you have recently been involved in an accident and your child was in the vehicle in their car seat, it is important to disclose this information to your car accident attorney. Your attorney will make sure that replacing the child car seat is part of the compensation package that you seek from the insurance company.
Child car seats are one of the best tools you can use to keep your child safe when you are in your vehicle. Each phase of development for your child has a specially designed seat. Following the recommended guidelines for what type of seat to use for each phase of development will also help give your child the most protection in your vehicle.
The Florida seat belt law requires children under the age of 3 to be in proper child restraint seats.
If you have any questions about replacing your child car seat after an accident, you can check with the manufacturer, NHTSA, or the Center for Disease Control (CSC) for more information.
If you or your child has been injured in a car accident, speak with a car accident attorney about your rights as a victim. Contact Landau Law today for a free case consultation. Make sure to include any information about the car seat that was being used at the time of the accident. Once you begin to drive again, make sure that you have replaced the seat for your child’s safety.
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