Abels & Annes

Chicago Parents are Failing to Replace Car Seats after Crashes

12516An average Chicago driver will find herself involved in multiple car accidents over the course of her life. Some may be blamed on the fault of a driver, some may be blamed on poor weather or on a mechanical failure. And some may be difficult to determine fault.

If a car accident happens, the best result is one where no one involved is injured or otherwise harmed. While a crash will still be an inconvenience to all, the biggest threat will be avoided and those involved will be able to move forward with their lives.

Part of the recovery process from a collision involves having a vehicle repaired and all the damage addressed. In Illinois, the at-fault driver’s insurance company generally will be charged with repairing the harm done in a collision and with righting the wrongs that were done. It is important that parents understand when and how to replace their children’s car seats because experts believe not enough are replaced after a collision.

First, parents must know that damage to a car seat may not be visible. Even if the seat is not struck directly in an impact, the plastic components may suffer from stress which can weaken the seat, increasing the odds that the seat will fail at a future point in time.

Second, if a car seat is damaged, it must be replaced immediately. A child should never be allowed to ride in a damaged or defective car seat even if it is just on a temporary basis because that damage may prevent the seat from being structurally sound.

Illinois is unique among states in that automobile insurance is required to provide coverage for car seats that were in use at the time of a collision. Therefore, if you follow the state laws and have at least state-required minimum coverage, you should be able to submit an insurance claim for the value of your child’s car seat if it needs to be replaced following an accident. If another driver was at fault for a crash, that driver’s insurance may be forced to pay for the replacement of your car seat or for your child’s restraint system if it needs to be replaced.

Yet despite this requirement, experts say that not enough parents are replacing car seats after accidents. This is putting the children of Chicago at risk for injuries or additional damages if a subsequent crash happens and they are not properly secured. While some very minor collisions might not cause enough damage to a seat to require replacement, most impacts will and with the mandatory insurance coverage provided to Illinois drivers, there is little reason not to replace a seat.

If you have questions about the safety of your child’s car seat following a car accident, collision, or other impact, review the seat’s safety manual or consult with an expert. If replacement is needed, contact your insurance company to learn about submitting a claim for your damages and what must be done so that your child can get a new, safe seat prior to the next ride in a car.

If your child is injured in a collision in Chicago or a car accident elsewhere in the state, know that both you and your child may be entitled to legal relief including financial compensation for your damages. You can learn about your rights by contacting the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. 24 hours a day, seven days a week toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation where everything discussed will be kept confidential and we provide it whenever you need it. Further, if we represent you in your case, we will not charge you a fee unless we successfully make a recovery on your behalf.

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe in fighting for victims’ rights. If you were hurt, let us fight for you today.

Prior Blog Entry:

Common Causes of Injuries on CTA Buses, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 21, 2016.