Car seats & boosters after a car crash | Allen and Allen

Car seats & boosters after a car crash

It is hard to describe how much your thought process changes after you have children. As a new mom of a four-month-old, I find myself constantly evaluating situations to determine what the potential risks are for my family, how can we reduce those risks, and then deciding what course of action to take. This can be as simple as what car seat to get, or as complicated as whether or not to get on a plane to travel for the holidays.

Baby in car seat

There are a lot of decisions that go into choosing a car seat or booster, but what happens to that car seat if you and your child are involved in a motor vehicle collision?

Car seats and/or booster seats must be replaced after a car crash if:

  1. The crash was moderate or severe, or
  2. The manufacturer requires it

How do you determine if the crash was moderate or severe?

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a minor crash as one that meets ALL of the following criteria:

  • The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site.
  • The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged.
  • None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash.
  • Airbags did not deploy during the crash; and
  • There is no visible damage to the car seat.

airbags deployed after a crash

This means if any one of the above items is true, then it is recommended that you replace the car seat. Click here to be taken to the article from the NHTSA.

The NHSTA is also very clear that you should first follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your car seat. This means that even if you were in a minor accident, if the manufacturer of your car seat recommends that you replace the car seat, you should do so. This information is usually found on the car seat or in the instruction manual.

Great. You need to replace your car seat, but who pays for this?

The good news is that if you have car insurance, you can likely claim the cost of purchasing a new car seat as a part of your property damage claim. If you are at fault for the collision, you may still be subject to a deductible. In submitting your claim, make sure that you provide a receipt of purchase, photos of the damage to the car seat, photos of the damage to the car, and anything in writing that you have from the manufacturer of your original car seat that shows it must be replaced no matter the seriousness of the crash.

While, generally, Allen & Allen does not handle property damage claims like this one, we do have the experience and knowledge to assist you if you or your child were injured in a motor vehicle collision. Let us take the stress away so you can focus on getting better, and helping your child get better. Call Allen & Allen today for a free consultation at 866-388-1307.