Should Car Seats be Replaced After a Car Accident?

by William Mattar | June 17th, 2020

Should car seats be replaced after an accidentIf you are a parent, purchasing a car seat for your child is one of the most important purchases you will ever make. Most parents put a ton of research into buying a car seat, trying to find the best one for their child. This makes sense, as a child seat is the primary safety device for traveling with your child in a vehicle.

Accidents happen, and having the best possible equipment can reduce serious injuries in a car crash, and give you, the parent, peace of mind. But what happens after you and your child have been in a car accident? There may be certain cases where it is necessary to replace your child’s car seat because the integrity or safety of the car seat has been affected.

When to Replace a Car Seat

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the answer depends on the severity of the crash. If you have been involved in a major or moderate car accident, the car seat needs to be replaced. For minor car accidents, however, the car seat does not necessarily need to be replaced. So how does one determine whether their crash was minor, moderate, or major?

According to the NHTSA, the following criteria defines a minor car accident:

  • The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site;
  • The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged;
  • Passengers of the vehicle involved in the crash did not suffer from any injuries;
  • If the vehicle has airbags, the airbags did not deploy during the crash; and
  • There is no visible damage to the car seat.

If the above criteria are not satisfied, then a car accident is not considered “minor.” In this case, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car seat should be replaced. Even if the criteria are satisfied, parents should use their own independent judgment to determine whether replacement is warranted.

Choosing a Replacement Car Seat

Replacing a car seat should be easy enough. You simply buy a new one. If you are happy with the model you are replacing, you may be inclined to purchase the same car seat. It may also be worth contacting your insurance company, as it may cover the cost of the new car seat.

Parents should try to avoid buying a used car seat to replace one that has been involved in a car accident. A used car seat could potentially have damage that is invisible to the naked eye. There is no way to know if a used car seat has been involved in an accident, and the risk far outweighs the potential savings. For these reasons, it is worth buying a new, structurally sound car seat. Be sure to pick the right size, as your child may have grown between purchases.

Generally, a car seat should be considered a “one-use” product. This means the car seat should be replaced after a moderate or major car accident. At the end of the day, a car seat can make all the difference for your child, so make sure you do your own independent research.

Hurt In A Car? Call William Mattar

If you have been in a car accident involving your child, it may be worth speaking with our personal injury lawyers at William Mattar law offices, to see what the options are going forward. Contact our car accident lawyers to file a claim today at (844) 444-4444.