According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. That is why it is not only important to choose the right car seat from the beginning, but to ensure your child is always in the correct car seat for their size and weight. This affords them the greatest protection and chance for staying safe.
In Utah, children are required to be in a car seat or booster until they reach age 8, and are recommended to remain seated in the back until age 13. These laws are in place to prevent personal injury, and to help protect children. Car crashes and accidents, even mild or minor incidents can cause significant injuries to younger bodies.
Car Seat Safety After an Accident Here in Utah
As an individual in a car crash, it’s not uncommon to have hundreds of questions: “Am I hurt? Is the other driver hurt?, and Who is at fault?” You may also wonder what actions you need to take right away which, you can find in our what do to do after a car accident guide.
Now, if your child was in the car with you at the time of the crash, these questions increase ten-fold. After ensuring your child is safe and uninjured, your thoughts will likely lead you to question, “Does my child need a new car seat?”
After Every Accident, You Will Most Likely Need a New Car Set for Each Child to Ensure Their Long-Term Saftey
Previously, the NHTSA recommended that any collision was worthy of replacing your child’s car seat. However, in recent years, NHTSA has updated its recommendations that car seats do not need to be replaced following “minor collisions.”
A minor collision is defined as:
- The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site.
- The vehicle nearest the car seat was not damaged.
- None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash.
- The vehicle’s airbags did not deploy AND there is no visible damage to the car seat.
If any of these items occurred as a result of the collision, it is not a “minor collision” and the car seat should be replaced. NHTSA recommends that you “NEVER continue to use a car seat that has been involved in a moderate or severe crash.” Further, the manufacturer may have different, more strict recommendations on when the car seat should be replaced, and NHTSA recommends always following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you need to replace the car seat post-crash, what is the best way to do that?
Car seats can be expensive, and if the crash wasn’t your fault, you may feel frustrated that you’re having to incur this additional expense. If you’ve hired an attorney to help you resolve your claim after a crash, here is the best way to resolve the issue of getting a new car seat:
- Tell your attorney the car seat was in the vehicle during the crash and needs to be replaced.
- Take pictures of the car seat and provide them to your attorney.
- Purchase a new car seat appropriate for your child.
- Provide your attorney with all receipts related to purchasing replacement car seats.
- Cut the straps on the damaged car seat before disposing of it.
By providing your attorney with the receipts for your purchase, your attorneys will coordinate reimbursement of this expense with the insurance companies. Most often your own insurance company will be the most responsive in providing this payment to you. If you’ve been involved in a car crash, it is critical that your child not go for any period of time without a car seat. To replace the car seat right away and save your receipt, even if you don’t have an attorney yet.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have about covering the costs of treatment for your injury, going through the insurance claim process, or going through a settlement. If you need more guidance on your case we do have a free consultation where we can review your case details, and give you a clear answer on if working with an attorney is a good idea for your specific claim and case.
What Our Clients Have to Say About Working with Us Here in Utah
“Our family used Johnson | Livingston for a difficult case with a long, long list of unforeseen circumstances and they were absolutely phenomenal. They were extremely communicative and responsive to any questions we had and made the entire process so much smoother than it would have been with anyone else. The case went by so much quicker and with better outcomes than we could have hoped for and I highly recommend them!!” – Michael C.
“Johnson/Livingston were phenomenal to work with. The entire staff worked to help me receive the proper coverage and compensation after my auto accident. They communicated frequently and kept me well informed of what was going on with my claim. They also worked directly with all my medical providers to ensure payments were made and accurate. Todd was great and represented me well; he gave excellent advice and counsel and worked hard to get me the highest possible amount of restitution. I cannot recommend this firm enough. PI lawyers have a reputation for being kind of sleazy and uncomfortable to work with, but Johnson | Livingston were polite, professional, honest, and thorough. I hope I never get injured in an auto accident again, but if I do, I know exactly who I’m going to call.” – William Levelle