Replace Car Seats After Accident | A Complete Guide

(Last Updated On: February 13, 2023)

Car accidents cause the death of many children each year, and NHTSA emphasizes installing a car seat for your baby while driving and emphasizes you must replace car seats after an accident. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report shows that car seats have saved 325 children’s lives in one year.

All state law requires a child to travel in a child safety car seat. NHTSA says a child should travel in a car seat designed according to weight, height, and age and must ride in the rear seat. Circumstances at the time of an accident are pretty stressful, especially when you are driving with your baby.

Some insurance companies or car seat manufacturers offer the replacement of car seats. And if they provide compensation, you must also include the car seat replacement cost.

 This article will briefly discuss whether you need to replace car seats after an accident. Will your insurance company compensate you? Recommendation for using a car seat after the accident. When can you contact an Attorney? And how to tackle a car accident emergency?

Do You Need To Replace Car Seats After Accident?

Replace Car Seats After Accident

We recommend you follow safety protocols always. The National highway traffic safety authority has issued clear orders that parents must replace car seats after an accident. NHTSA says, “a minor car accident is one in which all of the following apply:”

  • You could drive the car away from the accident spot.
  • There must be no damage on the door nearest to the car seat.
  • Nobody in the vehicle hit bore any injury.
  • No airbag should be activated during a car crash
  • There should be no visible harm to the car seat.

NHTSA says, “NEVER use a car seat that has been involved in a moderate to severe crash. Always follow manufacturers’ instructions.”

NHTSA suggests “car seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.

Car seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.” And the criteria for minor car accidents are described above as per National Highway Traffic Safety Authority.

Do remember nothing is more important than your child’s safety. Replace car seats after accidents if you think there is no visible damage to the car seat but it will not perform well.

For instance, an unoccupied car seat secured to the vehicle will be subject to collision pressures.

The force of the car seat pushing forward while being restrained by the lower anchor strap or tether strap can create damage that may be unnoticeable but may prevent the car seat from performing its function if you are in another crash.

A different time to replace car seats comes when you feel that your child has outgrown for car seat. Children must travel in the car seats or booster seats designed according to weight and age.

Read More: How To Prevent Car Seat Marks On Leather?

Will Your Insurance Company Compensate You?

Replace Car Seats After Accident

Sometimes it is your fault when you have an accident, and people ask whether my insurance company will compensate me. Or who is the person or authority responsible for replacing car seats after the accident?

If you met a minor accident or accident that happened was your fault, and you got insurance. You can claim your insurance company to compensate you and add the cost of the damaged car seat.

Your insurance company is responsible for replacing your car seats after an accident if your policy includes the car seat compensation after the accident.

If the accident happened due to the carelessness of other people in such cases, the responsible person’s insurance company would bear all the cost of replacing car seats after the accident.

If you are in Florida, your insurance company will bear all the costs. And the law of New York state says that you must replace car seats after an accident immediately.

Recommendation For Using A Car Seat After The Accident

Replace Car Seats After Accident

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Authority

NHTSA recommends that car seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. Car seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.”

Analyze Your Child Car Seats to Replace After Accident

In a serious car crash, you can quickly assess that you need to replace your car seats after the accident immediately. In the case of minor accidents, you feel difficulty analyzing your car seat condition.

Though accidents cost you a lot, many parents prefer to use the same car seats even after the accident. But I suggest you replace your car seats to protect your child in case of another car accident.

Review Your Car Seat Manual

Your concern about replacing car seats after the accident can be resolved by reviewing your car seat manual. Almost each car seat manual recommends you replace your car seats after the accidents as soon as possible.

Car seat manuals recommend you throw your car seat and replace it with a new one because nothing is more important than your child’s safety.

Check Your Car Seat Manufacturer

Graco states that you must replace car seats after the accident, no matter if no damage appears on the car seat surface. At the same time, the following car seat manufacturers do not recommend throwing your car seats right after the accident, depending on the severity of your accident.

  • Britax states that you may use your car seat if you have a minor accident.
  • Combi said, “You can use your car seat after a minor accident.”
  • Diono says that if you own their Cambria, Monterey, or Santa Fe car seat, you can use your car seat if you have a minor accident.
  • Fisher-Price also recommends you keep your car seat after a minor accident.
  • IMMI car seat manufacturer states you to keep your car seat in if you encounter a minor accident.
  • Kiddy, another car seat manufacturer, defines a minor accident as if your car traveled at the speed of ten miles or less per hour. In such a minor accident, you can use the car seat even after the accident.
  • Peg Pergo has the same statement about using a car seat after a minor accident.
  • Safe Traffic says you can keep the child’s car seat after a minor accident.
  • Sunshine kids state if you own one of their Santa Fe or Monterey models, you can keep your car after a minor accident.

Related: How Long Are Graco Car Seats Good For?

When Can You Contact An Attorney?

Replace Car Seats After Accident

Suppose the accident was not because of your negligence, and you want to claim compensation from the responsible. In that case, you must have an experienced attorney (car accident lawyer).

Insurance companies say they will only compensate you for replacing car seats if the crash exceeds NHTSA rules. But several law firms will help you to get the required compensation.

There are some other costs that you can claim:

  • Cost of lost wages
  • Cost of any disability
  • Cost of earning capacity if you think that due to damage, your future is no more secure
  • Price of your child’s pain, trauma, and suffering

Related: How To Keep Baby Cool In Car Seat?

How To Tackle A Car Accident Emergency?

Replace Car Seats After Accident

In the case of any emergency, remember to call the local emergency number or 911 and update them all about the current situation. If you meet a serious, each passing moment will hurt you.

You may find your brain running after the thoughts about how you met this accident. And what your insurance company will pay you?

What If Your Child Was Not In The Car At The Time Of the Accident?

No matter if your child was in the car or not during the car accident. You still need to replace your car seat because they are designed to absorb the impacts of the car accident. NHTSA says to assess your car seat after the accident and replace it with a new one as soon as possible.

What If Your Child Was In The Car At The Time Of the Accident?

If you had an accident with your child in the car, outcomes could be severe like:

  • Neck and Head Injury
  • Injury caused by projectile glass
  • Broken bones or fractures

Ensure proper medical treatment of your child if he faces any injury during the car crash. If you can’t see any visible damage, I advise you to take your child for a proper medical checkup.

So the doctor could see if he might have some internal injuries. And internal injuries cause more serious.

The party at fault will be responsible for paying all the medical bills of you and your child. We suggest you hire a car accident attorney to recover the compensation because child injury claims are complicated.

Related: Can You Drive A Car With Bad Water Pump?

Conclusion

Car accidents can be minor if he follows the NHTSA guidelines and can be serious also. NHTSA suggests you replace your car seat after the accident. But you can use the same seat if the accident lies in the NHTSA minor guidelines.

We recommend you examine your car seat for any visible damage on a car seat and then decide to replace the car seats after the accident. If you are still in a dilemma, check your car seat manufacturers.

Most car seat manufacturers state that you can keep using the same car seat after a minor accident. 

Child safety is far more critical than the cost of a new car seat. Insurance companies would compensate you for replacing car seats after the accident if you did not have your child at the time of the accident.

We recommend you replace car seats because they are designed to absorb shock and protect your child. Hire an attorney to claim your child’s medical bills from the at-fault party because these claims are tricky. Never compromise your child’s safety, no matter how much it costs.

FAQ | Replace Car Seats After Accident

Is it compulsory to replace car seats after an accident?

Yes, we suggest you replace the car seats right after the accident. NHTSA says if the accident was minor, you do not need to replace car seats.

Will my insurance company compensate me?

Sometimes, car insurance companies compensate you for replacing the car seat after the accident. If you are not at fault, the other party`s insurance company will also take responsibility for your medical bills and car seat replacement charges.

Should I need to hire an attorney?

Yes, claiming child medical bills is complicated. You must hire a professional and experienced attorney to claim all the statements from the insurance company.