Can I File a Claim if My Car Seat is Defective?
If you are a parent, you want to do everything in your power to keep your child safe. That safety is considered in everything you do together, from taking a short walk through your neighborhood to hopping in the car for a family trip. Car seats are indescribably important to your child’s safety when riding in a vehicle. When one is not functioning as expected, this can pose risks that may lead to injury. If your child has recently been put in danger due to a car seat that has malfunctioned, it is within your rights to enlist the help of Dallas defective car seat lawyers at Reyes Law to file a claim against the manufacturer and receive compensation in the event of an injury.
Replacing a Car Seat After an Accident
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), generally, car seats must be replaced following a car accident, whether your child was in it or not. This is to ensure that the seat continues to function at its peak performance, keeping your child as safe as possible without any structural compromises. Though this is the general rule advised by the NHTSA, you are encouraged to consult the user manual that came along with the seat as well.
Still, you may not be sure if your incident qualified as a “crash” or not. For instance, you might be hesitant to replace your car seat if you’ve endured just a little rear-end bump on a city street. After all, the NHSTA does make an exception to the replacement rule for minor accidents. To know whether your incident merits a replacement, review the NHTSA’s criteria for a minor crash:
- Your vehicle was able to be driven away from the accident safely.
- The door closest to the car seat was not damaged.
- No passengers were injured as a result of the accident.
- No airbags were deployed.
- There is no visible damage to the car seat.
As you’re preparing to replace the damaged or defective seat, note any details that may have contributed to its subpar performance. Once you have identified the defect, document it to prepare your claim.
Filing a Claim for a Car Seat Defect
Some of the most prevalent defects you may find in a car seat include:
- Cracks in the base of the car seat
- Weak construction
- Separation of the base from the seat
- Flaws in the harness
- The car seat may suddenly release
- Flammable material
If you have noted any of the above in your car seat, the liability rests with the manufacturer. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you register your car seat with the manufacturer early on, as they are required to inform you of any product recalls. Whether they are aware of the defect before production or at the time of purchase, it is irrelevant to your right to file a claim for injury or wrongful death. The manufacturer can be held on multiple accounts, including the failure to notice the design flaw in the production process, to notify buyers of the flaw, or to neglect the inspection of the product.
Contact a lawyer to file a claim against the manufacturer of your car seat and get the compensation you deserve for a replacement and your child’s recovery.