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Florida Keys Injury Lawyers > Blog > Car Accident > How To Assess Car Seat Damage After a Collision in the Florida Keys

How To Assess Car Seat Damage After a Collision in the Florida Keys

car seat use after accident

When another Florida Keys driver hits you while your children are in the car, it’s an extremely frightening situation. You and your kids may end up with injuries that require immediate medical care. After receiving treatment, you may wonder about car seat use after the accident. Is the child’s car seat effectiveness reduced after a crash?

Child car seat guidelines after an accident indicate you might not need to replace the seat after a minor crash. However, you should inspect it for damage. If the accident is of moderate or worse severity, you need to do a car seat replacement, and an inspection is not necessary.

Signs That Show Child’s Car Seat Damage

After a car accident, some children’s car seats will have visible damage. Others may show no damage at first glance.

You should perform a close inspection of the seat. Some of the signs of damage you may see during a child’s car seat inspection after a crash include:

  • Any visible cracks in the plastic of the car seat
  • Any damage to visible foam sections
  • Any stretching of the fabrics in the straps or harness
  • Any damage to the buckle mechanism

If you have any concerns about the safety of the car seat after an accident, it’s always better to replace it. Perhaps you see something you believe could indicate damage, but you’re unsure. You don’t want to risk the seat being unable to perform safely in case of another crash in the future. It’s better to discard it if you have any doubts about the seat’s physical integrity.

If you decide to discard the car seat because of suspected damage, you should cut the harness straps on the seat. This prevents people from finding the car seat and using it in the future because they don’t know about the damage.

Recommendations for Car Seat Use After an Accident

One of the biggest dangers of using a car seat after an accident is that you may not be able to see existing damage. Hairline fractures in the plastic may not be visible, yet they could affect the performance of the child’s car seat safety features.

That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends following its car seat regulations and recommendations after a crash. If you want to reuse the car seat, the aftermath of the crash must include all the following criteria.

  • You could drive the vehicle away from the accident scene.
  • The car door closest to the child’s car seat had no damage.
  • No one riding in the car had any injuries.
  • None of the airbags in the vehicle deployed in the crash.
  • You do not see any damage to the car seat.

If all these criteria apply, the NHTSA defines your accident as minor, which means you could reuse the child’s car seat if desired. However, if you had an airbag deployed, the NHTSA classified the accident as moderate or severe. You then should replace the car seat. 

Florida Keys Injury Is Ready To Help After Your Car Accident

At the same time, if you are checking for damage that could affect your car seat use after an accident, you may be able to seek an injury claim. If you or your child suffered injuries in an accident in the Florida Keys that wasn’t your fault, multiple factors could help you win compensation after the car accident.

Our attorneys will seek the value of the car seat damaged in the crash.

Call Florida Keys Injury Lawyers today at 786-605-8500 for a free consultation. We can help you determine your chances of winning a claim and proving the pain and suffering in your car crash.


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