Every parent understands how important a car seat is to the safety of their child while travelling in a vehicle. Many parents wonder – if you are involved in an accident that does not seem to damage the car seat, should you replace the car seat anyway? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), provides guidelines for consumers who are wondering if they need to replace their car seat after an accident.
NHTSA recommends that you replace the car seat with a new one unless the accident was a minor one.
When is a Car Seat Necessary?
The NHTSA recommends that all children under the age of 8 sit in a safety seat designed for their age and size. For example, infants one year and under should sit in a rear facing seat. Parents can then move their child to a forward facing car seat between the ages of 1 and 3. Booster seats can be introduced at the age of four. Check your seat’s instructions to determine at what height and weight a child outgrows a seat.
What is Considered a Minor Accident?
The NHTSA states that a minor accident is an accident that meets several of the following criteria:
- First, if you were able to drive away from the accident after exchanging information with the other driver than you have met the first criteria of a minor accident.
- Second, the vehicle’s door that is closest to the car seat must be undamaged
- Third, there are no injuries to any occupants of the vehicle involved in the accident.
- Fourth, the car seat does not appear to be damaged from the crash.
- Fifth, the air bag did not deploy in the accident.
If all five criteria are met, then you were involved in a minor crash and it may not be necessary for you to replace the car seat.
Many insurance companies claim that they will replace a car seat after an accident.
The Parrish Law Firm Personal Injury – Accident Attorney works with Virginia and Washington, D.C. Metropolitan-area residents, who have been injured as a result of a faulty and/or recalled General Motors (GM) vehicle and are looking for fair treatment and compensation. Contact us today for a free case consultation or call us at 703-906-4229.
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A representative of the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question by clicking here so we can have our attorney review it.