New Jersey Defective Car Seat Lawyers
Proudly serving all of New Jersey
Regardless of the type of car seat you use, you should be able to strap your child in and trust that the safety restraint will do its job to protect them in the event that a car accident takes place. Sadly, for many families, that is not the case. The truth is that not all car seats are manufactured with the same quality materials or thoughtfulness, and the results can be devastating. Vehicle collisions continue to be the leading cause of death among children, and many more are seriously injured every year. While properly installed and functioning car seats do a great job of reducing the risk of injury or death, those that turn out to be defective frequently do more harm than good.
As can be seen on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, millions of defective car seats have been recalled in the last decade. This is despite manufacturers being held to an incredibly high standard for production. For parents, it’s alarming to know that a recall is typically issued only after a child has already been in danger. It’s crucial to continually check for recalls and other safety information on the NHTSA site if you are shopping for a new car seat or have one in use.
Because of their small bodies, children are at an increased risk of suffering severe injuries due to a defective car seat. There are several different ways that a child or infant car seat could be flawed, and it’s essential for parents to know what some of the more commonly reported problems are.
- Defective/three-point harness
- Base/shell separation
- Use of flammable/brittle materials
- Weak/broken shells
- Sudden release from faulty buckles/latches
- Unintended rotation
- Defective handle
- Poor design
- Sticky buckle
There is also the possibility of car seats being improperly angled or not providing enough head, neck, or spine support. In either of these circumstances, the child could be extremely unstable in a car accident.
Even in minor crashes, defective car seats pose a threat for inflicting catastrophic injuries. There is the potential for them to be jostled around, stuck in an emergency, or even completely ejected. Injuries that are often caused by a faulty car seat consist of:
- Broken bones
- Loss of limb
- Skull fracture
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Wrongful death
If your child was correctly restrained but sustained injuries due to a defective car seat, there’s a good chance you have the right to seek monetary damages from a third party. Under product liability laws, if it can be proven that the car seat was flawed because of negligent action on the part of the manufacturer, designer, or distributor, they may be held responsible. Negligence may include:
- Failure to discover or reveal vulnerabilities that made the car seat unsafe
- Insufficient warning signs that explain the known risks of a particular car seat
- Ignoring proper inspections or testing of a car seat before releasing it to the public
When you installed the safety restraint that was meant to protect your child, it’s likely you never imagined it could end up being such a safety hazard. At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., our New Jersey product liability lawyers are experienced in handling all kinds of car accident and product liability cases, including those that involve defective car seats. If you believe you have a claim due to a faulty child or infant car seat, don’t hesitate to call us for legal counsel. We can be reached at (609) 240-0040 to schedule a consultation.
- Protecting Your Children From Defective Car Seats
- Car Seat Buying Guide - Consumer Reports
- How to Find the Right Car Seat
- Car Seat Recalls, Investigations & Complaints - NHTSA
- Toys & Children Product Research and Statistics - CPSC
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