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Defective Car Seats Can Seriously Injure Your Child

child in car seat

New York law requires that you place children in safety seats when they ride in your vehicle. However, what happens if the safety seat ends up hurting your child? Unfortunately, this is a reality in far too many accidents where the seat either fails or ends up trapping your child. Parents should be pleased to know that they can seek compensation for their child’s injuries, but they need to meet with a lawyer first.

New York’s Safety Seat Laws

New York has a complicated safety seat law that focuses on your child’s age, as well as their size. The law requires the following:

  • Up to age 4, children must be placed in a child safety seat. Use a seat belt or a LATCH system to attach it to the vehicle.
  • If your is under 4 and weighs less than 40 pounds, you can restrain them in a booster seat with a lap/shoulder safety belt.
  • You must put children ages 4-7 in a safety seat meeting your child’s height and weight. However, a safety belt does not qualify.
  • From age 8 to 16, children must be restrained with a seat belt.

Furthermore, children 12 years old and younger should always ride in the back, not the front. New York law also recommends that your child continue to use a safety seat until they are more than 4 feet nine inches tall and weigh more than 100 pounds.

Defective Safety Systems

Unreasonably dangerous car seats and booster seats come onto the marketplace all the time, potentially endangering your child and other passengers in the car. In an accident, these seats can strangle your child or fail completely, sending your child flying about the vehicle where they can get injured.

Some of the more common defects with child seats and booster seats include:

  • Fragile shells
  • Flammable material
  • Separation of base from shell
  • Buckle failures
  • Chest clips in the wrong position
  • Harnesses that lack pelvis support
  • Inadequately labeled harness slots

These are only some of the defects that render child safety seats unsafe, but know that they can fail in many different ways.

Who You Can Hold Responsible

In New York, you can bring a products liability lawsuit against the following parties for moving the defective product along the stream of commerce:

  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Wholesalers
  • Retailers

To win your case, you typically will show that the product was defective in some way, either in manufacture or design. Alternately, you might show that the child safety seat did not come with adequate warnings or instructions which rendered it dangerous to use. If you sue under a strict products liability theory, you do not need to show that the defendant knew of the defect before selling the seat. Instead, it is enough that the defendant sold a defective product that injured your child and other people.

Speak with a Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyer Today

Concerned parents should know that they are not alone. At the Law Offices of David J. Hernandez, our team of caring car accident lawyers in Brooklyn will fight to get you and your child the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.


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