Parents, naturally, do everything in their power to protect their children. These efforts do not stop when you get on the road. In fact, you must enhance the precautions taken for your children when you intend to travel by car since you can never be sure of the types of drivers you will be sharing the road with.
One of these precautions is that of securing your child in a car seat. Though this is one of the most reliable ways to protect your child on the road, your efforts can be hindered upon discovering that the car seat poses a danger to your little one. If you’ve recently come to this realization, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced defective car seat lawyer who will protect your rights and ensure proper safety precautions for your children.
Your Rights in the Case of a Defective Child Safety Seat
You must review the condition of your car seat before installing it into your vehicle and securing your child in it. To avoid missing any potential malfunctions or inappropriate installation, it’s best to have the seat installed by a professional from the start. However, if you are unable to do so, you can follow the brief instructions below on how to test your car seat after installation to check for defects:
- After installation, place your hands on either side of the car seat, near the base.
- Move the car seat from side to side and back and forth. Note if the seat moves any more than one inch in any direction.
- Keep the car seat installed if it is secure, or remove it and seek an evaluation if not.
If you did not find any defects during this test, but later discovered them after a collision, it is within your rights to file a claim. Why is this? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that car seats be replaced after a car accident, even minor ones. If upon reviewing the performance of the seat during the incident, you discover that a manufacturing flaw rendered the component unable to adequately protect your child in the collision, you can pursue legal action.
Document all details of your test before the incident and what you observed about the car seat after the crash. Note the specific aspects of the seat that you believe contributed to its poor performance in protecting your child. Once you have collected all this information, you are ready to file your claim and hold either the manufacturer or seller responsible for the faulty product.
Types of Defects You May Find in a Car Seat
The most common discoveries that lead to the diagnoses of a defective car seat are:
- Poor construction
- The presence of flammable materials in the seat
- The base of the car seat may separate from the rest of the product
- Cracks in the car seat’s base
- Faulty harness that does not properly secure or tighten
- Inability of the car seat to remain secured to the vehicle (it may suddenly release its straps)
These defects can be attributed to the manufacturer primarily, especially if there was no recall issued to consumers. Still, if the company you purchased it from knew about these defects and proceeded to sell the item to you anyway, they are also liable. Get in touch with a lawyer to determine who should take the blame in the case of your defective child safety seat.