If you are involved in a car accident in Ohio, even if it isn’t serious, there is a decent chance that your child’s car seat may need to be replaced. There are some car seats that meet the NHTSA’s requirements for reuse after car accidents that are minor. However, most car seats should be replaced after any car accident. Be sure to always look over the owner’s manual for your child’s car seat if you are unsure if it is safe to use after a minor collision, and if you are still unsure, contact the manufacturer.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises that “child safety seats should be replaced following a moderate or severe crash to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.” They do state that not all child safety seats need to be swapped after a car accident that was minor. According to the NHTSA, a minor crash follows the criteria below:
- The vehicle with the car seat was able to drive away safely from the accident
- The door which was closest to the car seat was undamaged
- None of the passengers in the car were injured due to the accident
- None of the airbags in the car deployed
- There is no visible damage to the child safety seat
If you are ever involved in a car accident, it is important that you check to see if the car seat needs replacing. Making sure this is the case will, in turn, lower the number of children who ride in a car seat that needs replacing.
Will Insurance Cover a New Car Seat After an Accident?
Car seats are not cheap. They can cost up to hundreds of dollars which can feel like too much to pay after you’ve been in a car accident. However, if you’ve been in an accident due to the fault of another driver, you can include the cost of replacing your child’s car seat in your property damage claim. Mention that you need a new car seat to our car accident attorneys and the insurance in your claim.
If you happen to be using your own comprehensive or collision policy to recover your losses after a car accident, you can ask your insurer to acquire a new car seat for your child. Most insurance companies will be quick to replace your car seat after an accident however, it can depend on your personal policy and the severity of your accident. To be sure of what your options are, we encourage you to contact your insurance company right away after a car accident to see if they will replace your car seat.
What is the Correct Car Seat for My Child?
When you are in the process of choosing a new car seat for your child, it is important that you get the correct type. If your child is big enough to move up from a rear-facing car seat to a front facing car seat, or a booster seat, do so. Check out the NHTSA website, or websites for other reputable organizations, for the appropriate sizing of car seats.
The growth rate among different children is widely different. Therefore, depending on how tall your child is and how much they weigh, a certain car seat may be required for longer or shorter periods. Always be sure to follow the car seat manufacturer’s guidelines for height and weight to know whether moving to a larger seat is required.
What do I do With My Old Car Seat After a Car Accident?
It is important to prevent re-use of your crashed car seat by removing its cover, cutting the harness, and writing “NOT SAFE FOR USE” on the seat’s shell. You can also throw various parts of the seat in the trash and recycle the plastic shell. Some insurance companies may ask you to turn in your crashed seat.
Car Accident Attorneys
At Colombo Law, we care deeply about the safety of you and your family. We have outlined the material above for you to use as a tool in case you are ever involved in a car accident and need to take the proper steps to replace a damaged car seat after a car accident. If you have been involved in a car accident recently and believe that your child’s car seat has been damaged, please contact the Ohio car accident lawyers at Colombo Law, so we can discuss providing you with legal representation.