Replacing Car Seats After A Car Accident
If you are in a car accident, and your car can be repaired, you will normally just repair the car, and keep driving it—in fact, you may have to, as insurance won’t always just pay for a new car. But what about the things inside your car? Specifically, what about the car seat?
Visual Inspection Won’t Work
The car seat is a vital piece of safety equipment which provides safety to our young children, who are particularly vulnerable in a car accident. When your car’s damage is evaluated and your car repaired, it will be restored so it is as safe as it was before the accident.
But the car seat may not be, and we may not be experts at visually looking at a car seat and knowing when it can just be reused, or when it needs to be thrown away and replaced, due to being compromised by damage in the car accident.
You can’t just look at a car seat, and know whether it needs replacing or not after an accident. Damage to a car seat may be to its internal components or structure, and thus, not visible to the human eye. The government, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does provide some guidance to consider.
Car seats should always be replaced in any accident that could be described as moderate or more severe than moderate. Some ways to tell whether the accident is moderate or worse, and thus to tell if the car seat needs replacing are:
1) If any injuries to any occupants of the vehicle happened, it is likely the accident is moderate or worse, thus requiring cart seat replacement.
2) If airbags deployed, the car seat should be replaced
3) If the vehicle could not be driven away from the accident scene on its own power, the accident was likely moderate or more severe.
4) If the car door that is closest to where the car seat was positioned or fastened sustained structural damage, regardless of the severity of the accident itself, the government suggests replacing the car seat
There is some discrepancy between government recommendations, and car seat manufacturer recommendations. Manufacturers often suggest replacing car seats after any accident. That may be because they make money when you buy a new car seat, or it may be out of an abundance of caution, but regardless, there is certainly never any harm in replacing the car seat after an accident.
If expense is a concern, the cost to replace a car seat is an item of compensation that you can receive as damages in your car accident case. You can even upgrade your car seat or get a bigger one as a replacement from the older, damaged one. Most insurance policies will cover upgraded car seats if they are necessary.
Injured in a car accident? Ask us about what to do next. Call the Knoxville car accident lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today.