Can You Use a Child Car Seat After a Car Accident?

The safety of your children should always be at the forefront of your mind. To this point, many people are unsure whether they should continue using their child’s car seat after a car accident. If you have found yourself asking this question, read on. This article will provide some tips on what to do with your car seat following an accident.

What the Experts Say

Experts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend replacing your child’s car seat after certain car accidents. More specifically, they recommend replacing the seat if the collision was anywhere from mild to severe. For minor crashes, the NHTSA states that child car seats do not need to be replaced.

While some child car seat manufacturers agree with the NHTSA, it is best to check the instructions included with your car seat before making a final decision. However, many people err on the side of caution and replace their child’s car seat after any car accident, no matter how minor.

Why Would a Child Car Seat Need to Be Replaced?

The reason a child’s car seat would need to be replaced after an accident is that some of its components could get maimed or crushed and could potentially harm the child in the seat. Replacing the seat means you will have a brand-new product with fresh components that ensure your child’s safety during your commute.

Even small-scale accidents can cause undetectable damage to child car seats. For example, a minor accident could damage the base of the seat without your knowledge. If you keep using the seat, it might not function as intended in the event of another collision.

Additionally, some minor accidents could damage the safety restraint system, meaning your child would not have proper restraints if another accident were to occur.

What if You Want to Keep Using Your Car Seat After a Minor Collision?

If you have been in a minor accident and suspect that your child’s car seat is unharmed, you can take the seat to an authorized inspection station for an evaluation. These stations provide advice on what to do with car seats after a car accident and will thoroughly inspect the seat to determine whether it is defective.

What Qualifies as a Minor Car Accident?

According to the NHTSA, a minor car accident includes all of the following:

  • No visible damage to the child’s car seat
  • None of the vehicle’s occupants were injured
  • The vehicle was operable and able to be driven away from the accident
  • The vehicle’s airbags did not deploy
  • The closest door to the child’s car seat was not damaged

Much like seeking medical attention after an accident, experts recommend checking your child’s car seat after any collision, no matter the severity.

What to Do if You Are in a Car Accident

If you are in an accident, it is important to make sure everyone in your vehicle is out of harm’s way. Make sure to take pictures of the scene, regardless of the damage. This will come in handy later if you need to send evidence to the insurance company or your attorney.

Additionally, all occupants of your vehicle should seek immediate medical attention regardless of whether they think they are injured. Some injuries are not immediately noticeable and can go undetected unless identified by a medical professional.

Know Your Options and Keep Your Child Safe

Now that you have a better idea of whether you can use a child safety seat after a car accident, you should understand your options if you or a loved one are ever involved in a collision.  

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in South Florida

If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.

We proudly serve Palm Beach County, Broward County, and its surrounding areas:

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
(561) 347-7770

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 287-0566

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 556-7873