In Southern California, spending time in the car is part of daily life. We often don’t think much about the basic safety of our daily drives, other than bucking up, but it only takes one careless moment for our worlds to be turned upside down.
Car accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, and at any speed. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared — especially when we have children in the car.
While it’s common knowledge that car seats save lives, there are still dangers, especially if the seats are not properly secured. Here are a few things to remember if your child gets injured in a car wreck.
Before securing your child in a carseat, make sure you’ve picked the right seat. More than half of car seats are not used or installed correctly. A baby needs to ride in a rear-facing car seat for the first two years; once they’ve outgrown that seat, they’re ready for a forward-facing seat. Outgrowing a seat does not just mean the child’s age, but also her weight and height. The manufacturer’s specifications are clearly labeled on the seat and the box.
A properly-fitted harness is the best possible protection. Look on the carseat label to make sure your child is still within the weight, height, and age limits. Child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.
After A Crash
If your child was injured in a car accident while in a car seat, you should keep the seat for investigative purposes, but not for use. The car seat can be a crucial piece of evidence necessary to determine if the injuries were caused by defective or faulty manufacturing. If your child was injured in a defective car seat, you could have a claim against the manufacturer. However, car seats lose their efficacy after a collision, so look to replace them with another car seat that meets your child’s current height and weight.
Find A Replacement
Replacing a damaged car seat is critical after a crash. When buying a new seat, make sure to save your receipt, as most auto insurance policies will reimburse you for the replacement cost. If you’re having trouble with your insurance company, show them the manual that indicates the car seat must be replaced after a crash. Even NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recommends replacing car seats following a moderate or severe crash to ensure the safety of your child. Just like a helmet or a seatbelt. Car seats are designed to absorb the energy in a collision, so even a small crash can lower the effectiveness of the car seat.
Have you experienced a car accident on a road trip in California, and are unsure how to pursue legal action? Contact Gokal Law at 949-753-9100. Gokal Law Group is a family firm that treats our clients as if they were our own flesh and blood. We fight for our clients as we would our own children, sisters, brothers, and parents. We are our clients’ Warriors, fighting to bring them justice and right the wrongs they have endured.
Each attorney has a specific practice area for which they are tried, tested, and battle-ready. They have vast years of experience in their practice area, providing them the knowledge, skills, and vision to fight and win. Learn more about Gokal Law Group.