Advice On Dealing With A Defective Car Seat And Getting Help

By: Rishi Chawla

Car seats are advertised and sold as safety devices to protect our children, but some of these seats are not as safe as depicted in the advertisements. Every month we read about yet another brand of car seat being termed as a "defective car seat" by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). In fact, quite recently the Ohio based company Evenflo Company Inc, which has sold more than 2.6 million cars seats in the US, has come under investigation for selling defective car seats.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reported to be investigating the case following several alleged reports of the carriers ripping or coming apart during an accident. There were seven reports of the car seat detaching from the base during car accidents, which involved two fatalities and three causalities. Though Evenflo has reiterated that that there are no problems with their seat models, it is a growing concern that some children sustain injury in automobile accidents due to a defective car seat.

The defective car seat is recalled primarily due to problems with the seat belt latch buckles opening during a sharp impact. There are also shortcomings due to lack of adequate padding on the back or sides, handles that can drop off during an impact, car seats getting detached from their base, or absence of a tether strap to prevent the seat from jerking violently during a car accident or an automobile malfunction. The instructions to maintain the car seat might also not be outlined properly in the manual. Most of the faults with the car seat lie dormant and become apparent only during a car accident.

If your child has been injured in an accident due to a defective car seat or baby carrier, you must contact an attorney who can help your file a lawsuit on behalf of your child. However, be aware that there is usually a time stipulation within which you can initiate a lawsuit. You can file a case against the manufacturer for the injuries, even though they may not be responsible for the actual car wreck.

The experience of your attorney in handling these cases plays an important part in getting justice in your favor. Make sure that you have the defective car seat, the vehicles, and snap shots of the accident scene. The sales manual and the receipt of the purchase of the car seat can come in handy because they form important pieces of evidence in court. As mentioned, even though the negligence of the driver of your car or other vehicle could be the actual cause of the accident, the reliability of the car seat itself would also be investigated.

You should not hasten to settle with the insurance company unless you have been advised by the attorney do so. In many cases of serious accidents, the insurance money paid will be sent directly to the hospital authorities under the terms of the health insurance policy. Since you never see the money that is sent and the insurance claim settlement is already done, you weaken your hold for the product liability (defective car seat) case against the car seat manufacturer. It is important to seek legal counsel or talk with your lawyer before signing any insurance papers or giving a recorded statement to them.

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