After The Accident: What to Do With Your Child’s Car Seat

When it comes to car accidents in Southern California it is not a matter of if it will happen, it is a matter of when it will happen. Making sure that you are prepared for an accident is crucial and often the focal point of many child restraint articles. However, there is another lingering question that often goes unanswered, as to whether or not a child safety restraint should be reused after a minor automobile accident.

Signs to Look For After an Accident
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that child safety seats be replaced after a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. Replacement is not always necessary, though, in the event of a minor fender bender or automobile accident. With the guidance of a few basic rules you may be able to make a decision regarding whether replacement is necessary for you.

What is Considered a Minor Accident?
A minor car accident, as defined by the NHTSA, requires the following:
  • The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site without major trouble
  • The vehicle door that is nearest to your child’s car seat was undamaged
  • None of the vehicle’s occupants sustained an injury of any sort
  • The vehicles airbags did not deploy (this would be a sign of high impact G-forces)
  • There is no obvious visual damage to the car seat and it still functions as it was designed to

If any of these criteria were broken, then it would be prudent to replace your child’s safety car seat, as it is unwise to gamble with your child’s safety.  This is true if you even have mild doubts, as to the effectiveness of the car seat. Although recent tests have shown the resiliency of child car seats, it is always the best course of action to replace the seat as quickly as you can to help avoid further risk to your child’s safety and wellbeing. Never forget that a child’s car seat is a necessary piece of equipment for anyone traveling with a child.

If Your Child Has Been Injured

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, you should contact an experienced Southern California car accident attorney at Steinberg Injury Lawyers at (800) 989-6385 for a free case evaluation.
Peter Steinberg, Esq.
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982