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Can you reuse a child safety seat after a crash?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2023 | Car Accidents

The consequences of a car accident can be very costly, indeed. If you’ve recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may be grappling with repair or replacement costs for your vehicle, medical bills incurred because you got injured and a host of other collision-related expenses. 

Although the cost of replacing your child’s car seat is (likely) relatively minor when compared with your other crash-related costs, it is still “one more thing” that may end up draining hard-earned income out of your bank account. As a result, you – very understandably – would probably like to continue using their seat, as long as it is safe and in good condition. 

When you can – and can’t – keep using a car seat post-crash

If your child’s safety seat was in your vehicle at the time of your collision – regardless of whether it was occupied or not at the moment of impact – you’ll need to think twice before using it again. 

If your crash can be classified as moderate or severe, you’ll need to replace the safety seat, even if it remains in a visually-unaltered condition. The impact of the collision could have compromised the integrity of the seat and that isn’t a risk your child can afford to take. 

But, if your crash can be classified as minor, you may or may not need to replace an affected safety seat. Once you’ve compared the circumstances of your crash to the classification criteria provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and confirmed that you were in a minor crash, you’ll need to see if the safety seat’s manufacturer recommends replacing the seat after a minor crash. Some do, and some don’t.

Finally, experienced legal guidance can help to secure fair compensation for your losses, including the cost of a replacement car seat.