Do I Need To Replace A Car Seat After An Accident?
If you have a child who is required to be restrained in a car seat, you might be wondering if you must replace the car seat after you’ve been in a car accident. If there is visible damage to the car seat, it may be obvious that you need to replace the car seat. But what if there isn’t any visible damage to the car seat? In such a case, do you need to replace the car seat? If you have a minor child who is required to be restrained in a car seat, it is crucial that you make the right decision about a car seat replacement. If you make the wrong decision, the consequences could be devastating. If you fail to replace your child’s car seat and it turns out that the car seat is defective, it could lead to your child suffering injuries in another accident. A faulty car seat could result in the death of a child if an accident happens, even if the accident is minor.
A Brief Overview of Florida’s Car Seat Laws
According to Florida law, children aged five and below must be properly secured in a restraint device that is crash-tested and federally approved. If a child is between the age of zero to three, the device must be a different carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat. And, if a child is between the age of four and five, a parent can use a separate carrier, booster seat, or integrated child seat. When a child reaches the age of six, they can continue using a restraint device or begin using a seat belt.
As a parent, it is vital that you ensure your child seats in a car seat that fits them. Apart from that, you should ensure that you use a child seat correctly each time you are on the road with your child.
Must You Replace Your Child’s Car Seat After an Accident?
Generally, there isn’t a standard car seat replacement law. However, the NHTSA provides some recommendations on when car seats should be replaced. According to the NHTSA, if you were in a moderate to severe crash, you should replace your child’s car seat. The NHTSA makes it clear that you should NEVER use a car seat if it has been involved in a moderate or severe accident. Replacing a car seat ensures that a child continues to enjoy a high level of crash protection.
The only time the NHTSA suggests you do not need to automatically replace a car seat is if you are in a minor accident. However, even after a minor accident, you should inspect the car seat to determine for yourself if you need to replace it.
Contact a Key West & Marathon Car Accident Lawyer
If you and/or your child suffered injuries in a Florida car accident, you might be entitled to compensation if another party’s negligence caused your accident. Our Key West & Marathon car accident attorneys at Florida Keys Injury can help determine if you have a valid case.