According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 608 children aged 12 and younger died in motor vehicle accidents in 2019, and more than 91,000 children sustained injuries. While protecting children from accidents depends on safe driving habits, it also depends upon owning a reliable car or booster seat that is both age and size appropriate.
According to the CDC, car seat use lowers the risk of a child being injured in a collision by 71-82% instead of simply using a seat belt. The CDC also notes that booster seat use lowers the risk of a child aged 4-8 being seriously injured by 45% instead of using just a seat belt.
While seat belts certainly save lives, they are unfortunately not always reliable. Defective car and booster seats can give parents a false sense of security when in reality, they offer children no protection at all, often due to a design or manufacturing flaw. Below, we will discuss five examples of car seat defects to watch out for.
If your child has been injured in an accident due to a defective car seat, the product liability attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. can help. We have the skills and experience to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident, determine liability, document and calculate damages on your behalf, and pursue the compensation you, your child, and your family need to recover. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case.
Five Examples of Defective Car Seats
Car seats and booster seats may be defective for a variety of reasons. The defect may have occurred during the design process or could have occurred on the production line.
Five common examples of car and booster seat defects include:
- Defective buckles – Car seat buckles are supposed to help keep a child secure in their seat. Defective buckles may come loose or easily unbuckled, causing a child to pitch forward out of their seat in the event of a collision. Other types of defective buckles may make it easy for a young child to unclip.
- Defective chest buckles – Most car seats are equipped with shoulder straps that clip in the center of the child’s chest. However, in some cases, defective chest buckles can also come unfastened on their own or at the child’s hands. If a collision occurs, the child could easily be thrown from the car seat.
- Defective handles – Many modern car seats are portable and detachable from the base of the car seat, allowing parents to use car seats as carriers. However, one danger that some parents have reported involves the handles suddenly releasing, which can cause an infant to roll out and strike the ground.
- Insufficient padding – Car and booster seats are intentionally designed with plush padding, providing a buffer between the baby’s head and the hardback shell of the car seat. If the padding is too thin or otherwise insufficient, then a young child could easily sustain severe injuries in an accident, including traumatic brain injuries like concussions or hematomas.
- Defective base – If the base of a detachable, portable car seat becomes dislodged from the carrier/seat, and then an accident occurs, the child could pitch forward, tumble out of the seat, and potentially seriously injure themselves.
A defective or broken car seat can be incredibly dangerous to your child, particularly in the event of an accident. You deserve to know that the product functions correctly and that it can be relied upon to safeguard your child if a collision occurs.
What If I have A Defective Car Seat?
If you own a defective car or booster seat, then the first thing you should do is remove it from your vehicle and cease to use it. Second, you should consider searching www.recalls.gov to find out if your model may have been recalled by the manufacturer at some point recently. If a recall has been issued for your specific car or booster seat, then you should reach out to the manufacturer to determine how you can get the seat repaired or replaced.
If the manufacturer has not recalled your particular model, then you should reach out to the manufacturer to report the defective product. Additionally, you should contact the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to make a formal report and discuss the next steps.
Contact a New York Product Liability Attorney
If your child was injured due to a defective car seat or booster seat, then don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our seasoned product liability attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. today.
You might be entitled to recover certain types of compensation through a product liability lawsuit. Compensation is designed to cover costs such as:
- Present and future medical bills resulting from the product liability incident, including hospital bills, meals, and lodging, physical therapy expenses, cost of surgeries, procedures, tests, imaging, etc.
- Lost earnings, if you are unable to return to work after your child was injured
- Pain and suffering, including PTSD, emotional distress, mental trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Other losses you and your loved ones incurred as a result of the defective product
- Punitive damages, in rare cases
Our New York car accident attorneys are ready to stand up for you if your child has been injured due to a defective car seat. Contact us right away to schedule a free case evaluation.