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Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accident > After a Car Accident, What Do You Do With the Children’s Car Seat?

After a Car Accident, What Do You Do With the Children’s Car Seat?


Let’s say that you’re in an accident, and your car has sustained damage, but it gets repaired and it’s still drivable. You probably don’t give much thought to the children’s car seat that was in the car at the time of the accident—especially if the car seat at first glance looks fine. But how damaged is that car seat? Does it need to be replaced after a car accident?

Looks Can be Deceiving

When deciding whether to replace a car seat after an accident, one thing is clear: Don’t rely on just your eyes, or for that matter, the opinion of friends or others. That includes a lot of emergency responders, who may or may not know about when a car seat needs to be replaced after an accident.

Yes, your car seat is made to withstand heavy impact—if it couldn’t, it wouldn’t be of much use in protecting the children inside of the seat. But that doesn’t mean it’s invincible.

Obviously, if there is visual damage to the car seat, replace it—but don’t assume that no visual damage means the seat is OK. The internal structures and structural integrity of a car seat can be damaged in an accident of enough force or impact.

When Does it Get Replaced?

But how do you know when a car seat needs replacing, if you can’t see any damage?

The government through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said that the seats should be replaced when they are in accidents that are of moderate or severe impact. Obviously, those are subjective terms.

To see if the accident is “severe enough” to warrant replacement of an otherwise undamaged car seat, the NHTSA suggests replacing seats that were in any accident where any occupants inside the car sustained any injuries. It is also suggested that the seat be replaced, if the accident is severe enough to cause the airbags to deploy. The same applies if the car was not drivable after the accident, or if the door nearest the seat sustained significant damage.

Manufacturers Suggest Differently

Car seat manufacturers take a different approach, suggesting seats be replaced after almost any kind of accident. That may be in an abundance of caution, of course, but it may also be in an effort to get people to buy more car seats. Either way, there is no harm in getting a new seat, just to be safe.

And before you say that paying the cost of a new seat is “harm,” know that most insurance policies and companies will pay for a new car seat after a car accident—and even an upgraded, better or bigger one (in the event your child has grown) than the one that was in the accident.

Let us help you after your car accident. Contact the car accident attorneys at Cameron Law today at 702-745-4545 for a free consultation and for help after your accident.


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