Being in a car accident can impact your life in many ways, and when a child is involved, the potential for tragic injury or death is even more terrifying. To protect children from harm, states have enacted car seat laws. Some children are too small to be properly protected by seat belts, and seat belts designed for adults might even cause additional injuries to small children. Car seats provide the safety they require to reduce the risk of injury or death in an accident.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone or something else, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. When your child is injured in a car accident, and your family incurs losses, you should learn about your rights to file a claim on their behalf, especially if they are young.
Following car seat laws is the best way to prevent injuries to your child, though you cannot always avoid accidents and injuries, no matter how safe you might be. If someone else causes injuries to your child in a car seat, your family has legal options.
Connecting with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case. One of the experienced car accident attorneys from Spaulding Injury Law is standing by to review how your accident occurred and advise you of the next best steps to protect your child.
Car Seats are Essential to Prevent Injury and Death to Children in Georgia
In the state of Georgia, automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of deaths and injuries for children aged 1 to 12 years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 4 out of every 10 children under age 6 who die or experience serious injury in auto accidents were unrestrained or improperly restrained.
When car seats are used correctly:
- Injury is prevented in 71% of cases involving infants.
- Injury is prevented in 54% of accidents involving children aged 1 to 4.
- Older children who use booster seats are 59% less likely to be injured than children who use the seatbelt alone as a safety measure.
The statistics are clearly in support of using car seats and booster seats for children, as they are highly effective at preventing injury. Given the proven effectiveness of car seats and booster seats, Georgia law has made car seats mandatory for children of certain sizes or ages.
Car Seats are Required by Law in Georgia
Under Georgia law, the following rules have been put in place concerning car seats:
- Children under the age of 8 who are less than 57 inches tall are required to ride in the backseat of the car, away from the potential dangers of airbags.
- Children who are under the age of 8 must be in either a car seat or booster seat that is appropriate for their height and age.
- If a vehicle does not have a back seat, a child under the age of 8 can sit in the front seat if restrained in an appropriate car seat or booster seat and if the child weighs at least 40 pounds.
- Booster seats are recommended for children aged 4 to 7 years old who are under 57 inches (or 4 feet 9 inches tall).
While in some other states, police are not able to pull a driver over solely because of a seat belt violation, in Georgia, this is not the case. Police officers can pull a driver over for a seatbelt violation as a primary offense, which includes a car seat or booster seat violation. A violation of the car seat or booster seat laws can lead to a fine of up to $50 and one point against your license for each improperly restrained child in your vehicle. Additional incidents double the fines and associated points.
Keeping your child safe and your driving record clean depends on following seat belt and car seat rules, and when an accident happens, your attorney will review the facts and help you put together the best case on your behalf.
A Defective Car Seat that Causes Injury Could Entitle You to Compensation
If your child has been injured due to a defective car seat, whether in a car accident or even when coming to a stop at a red light, you could be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Car seat manufacturers are required to meet safety standards and to provide you with a car seat that functions as intended to keep your child safe when they are a passenger in your vehicle.
When a car seat or booster seat is being used properly and the seat malfunctions causing injury, you could collect compensation on behalf of your child. Manufacturers are required to provide equipment that is safe to use as intended and to warn against any dangers or risks that they could reasonably foresee the end-user encountering. If you have done your best to keep your child safe and a malfunction or improperly designed car seat caused them injury, you are entitled to compensation for all costs associated with your child’s injuries, both in the short and long term.
Connect with an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer from Spaulding Injury Law Now
If you or your child has been injured in a car accident caused by someone or something else, you could be entitled to compensation for the costs associated with the injury. The costs that your compensation should include cover not only short-term costs like medical bills and lost wages, but also long-term costs like medications, treatment, or rehabilitation, as well as any impact the accident has upon your or your child’s future ability to work and enjoy your life.
Car accident claims involving serious injuries to children can be complicated, and you need help from a compassionate law firm that handles cases involving children, car accidents, and car seats. For a cost-free, risk-free assessment of your case, schedule a consultation with Spaulding Injury Law today.
For over 15 years, Mr. Spaulding has helped victims of negligence across the state of Georgia resolve personal injury disputes, and he’s received a remarkable number of awards and honors from the legal community recognizing his commitment to clients and to the metro-Atlanta area.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Spaulding belonged to the Phi Beta Kappa honors fraternity at the University of Georgia, and he obtained his legal training at the Georgia State College of Law, where he clerked for the Honorable Judge Rowland Barnes of the Fulton County Superior Court. Mr. Spaulding has also worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Enforcement Division. Since 2005, he has dedicated his career to helping the injured victims of negligence and their loved ones win justice in Georgia’s personal injury courts.