Do I Need to Replace a Car Seat After an Accident?
Posted in Lawsuit on October 29, 2019
Car accidents are very scary occurrences, and become even more terrifying when a child is in the vehicle. Thankfully, car seats can help keep your child secure in the event of a collision – but after an accident, you may need to replace the seat. Depending on the severity of the auto accident and the level of damage to your vehicle, the car seat may suffer internal defects that you cannot detect from the outside that can put your child at risk.
When Should You Replace Your Car Seat?
In previous years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended that you always replace your car seats after you are in a car accident, regardless of the severity of the crash. However, parents often had to wait to purchase a replacement, leading to many children riding in vehicles without a car seat. In addition, car seats can be expensive and replacements can pose a significant financial burden on parents.
Now, the NHTSA recommends that you replace your car seats after you are in a moderate to severe accident. You do not have to replace your car seat if you are in a minor car accident. If your car crash meets all of the following criteria, the NHTSA considers your accident to be a minor crash.
- You were able to drive your vehicle away from the site of the accident.
- Your airbags did not deploy.
- You and your passengers did not suffer any injuries.
- Your car seat did not suffer from any visible damage.
- The vehicle closest to the car seat did not suffer from any damage.
You should also consult with the manufacturer of the car seat to determine whether or not you should replace it. Different manufacturers may have different standards – check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website to determine whether or not it is a good idea to purchase a replacement.
Can You Claim Compensation for Car Seat Damage After an Accident?
Car seats are not an investment that you would want to take lightly – these seats are vital to ensuring that your child is safe while driving. However, car seats can be very expensive, with low-end models priced in the $70 to $150 range and the higher-end options costing hundreds to even thousands of dollars.
Replacing a car seat can place a significant financial burden on your family, especially if you are also grappling with other costs after an accident such as vehicle repairs and medical expenses. However, you may be able to claim a car seat replacement as property damage in your insurance claim, allowing you to receive the compensation you need to purchase a new one
However, it is important to keep in mind that it is not in the insurance company’s best interest to provide you with the maximum compensation you need to recover. They may be slow to provide a payout, provide you with lower settlement offers than you need, or require you to provide several pieces of evidence proving that you are not at-fault for the accident. The longer you wait to receive funds, the longer your child goes without a car seat.
Hiring an attorney to assist you with your car insurance claim can help you expedite this process. Your attorney will have significant experience handling insurance company negotiations, allowing him or her to argue for a higher settlement on your behalf. He or she can also evaluate any offers you receive to determine if they are enough to cover your expenses.
In the aftermath of a car collision, it is important to ensure that your car seats are in good condition and can continue to keep your child safe. Replacing your car seat can help you retain this peace of mind, and you can receive compensation for this replacement through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. Contact your Kansas City personal injury attorney to evaluate which expenses you can claim and to begin the filing processes.