Car accidents are a substantial part of any personal injury lawyer’s business, including that of leading Toronto law firm Neinstein & Associates. While people from every age group and across the majority of countries are impacted by car accidents, one of the most at-risk demographics is young children.
As Dr. Elaine Cox writes for U.S. News, improperly installed child seats contribute to the disproportionate number of car accident injuries affecting children:
The statistics are startling: Accidents involving cars are the leading cause of preventable injury and death for U.S. children. Six teens ages 16 to 19 die in motor vehicle-related incidents every day in this country. For a task that is done daily by millions, the stakes are extremely high.
The journey begins in the hospital parking lot. The world has come a long way with regard to infant safety, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the ordeal of getting the appropriate car seat in the proper position for the grand drive home from the hospital at 2 days of age. Many car seats have multiple points of restraint and can seem like they require an engineering degree just to drive a few miles home. The truth is, installing an infant car seat is quite a feat: An estimated 73 percent of them are not used properly. It may be worth a dry run, practicing before you are in the hospital parking lot. There are online resources and programs such as Safe Kids now offered throughout the country to help with the great challenge of baby’s first car ride.
Not only does the improper installation of child seating contribute to injury totals, it also limits liability to seat manufacturers. The United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently found that more than half of parents fail to properly install their baby seats.
Ephrat Livni of FindLaw.com explains why properly installing your child’s seat matters for liability purposes:
Improperly installing your baby seat is a big problem in case of an accident, not only because it severely increases risk to your kid. It is also likely to limit manufacture liability for the malfunction. Say your child is injured and you believe it is due to a defective car seat but it proves to be because you failed to install properly, then negligence on the part of the manufacturer is mitigated by your own negligent seat installation.
Properly installing your child’s car seat can make the difference between life and death. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has uploaded videos highlighting the stark difference in protection an incorrectly seat offers, as opposed to a correctly installed seat:
Being injured or losing a family member in a car accident can be a devastating experience, but never more-so than when a child or young person is involved. In the unlikely and unfortunate event that your child has been injured in a car accident, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer like Neinstein & Associates to assess a potential personal injury claim. You may be entitled to compensation.
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