New York law requires that your child is placed in a car seat or safety seat depending on their age and weight. Car seats save lives. Car seat use reduces the risk of death for young children by up to 71%. But what happens if the car seat either fails or causes injury to your child? Car seat manufacturers have a responsibility to produce safe and effective car seats, and if they fail to do so, they may be liable in a product liability claim.
Product Liability Claim
Car seat manufacturers have a duty to make sure that the products they make available to the public are reasonably safe and free from hazards. A manufacturer should make sure that the car seat is safely designed and correctly manufactured. In addition, if a manufacturer discovers a defect in one of their car seats, a recall should be instituted immediately.
Examples of Car Seat Defects
Dozens of car seats have been recalled over the years. Common defects in car seats and booster seats include:
- Defective Chest Clips—car seat chest clips position the straps properly across a child’s chest. Defective chest clips can be broken or unfastened by the child. They can also become choking risks.
- Defective Buckles—car seat buckles are intended to keep a child safely locked in place. Defective buckles can come unhinged during impact or if a child plays with them.
- Defective Base Units—detachable car seats are locked into a base that is secured in the car. A defective base unit can cause a car seat to become detached from the base on impact during a collision.
- Defective Carrying Handles—some infant car seats are detachable and can double as an infant carrier. If the handles are defective, they can become loose and cause the child to fall.
- Inadequate Installation Instruction—poorly worded or unclear instructions can lead to an improperly installed car seat that can cause serious injuries to a child.
Keeping Your Child Safe
If you believe you may have a defective car seat, you should stop using it immediately. Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall database to see if the car seat has been recalled. If there has been a recall, contact the manufacturer for information on how you can get the seat fixed or replaced. If the car seat has not been recalled, you can file a complaint with the NHTSA.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If your child has been injured by a defective car seat, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured by defective products. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.