If you have shopped for a car seat for your son or daughter recently, you undoubtedly know how expensive it can be to keep your child safe on the road. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, car seats typically range in price from about $40 to well over $500.
Because of the comparatively high cost of car seats, you want to get as much use as possible out of your child’s seat. Still, a motor vehicle accident may cause damage to the seat, potentially making it extremely unsafe to continue to use.
Did you have a minor car accident?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tells parents to replace car seats that have gone through moderate or severe accidents. Put differently, it is usually only ok to continue to use a car seat that has been in a minor collision.
For your accident to be minor for purposes of continuing to use your child’s car seat, each of the following must be true:
- Your car must be driveable after the accident
- There must be no damage to your vehicle on the side closest to your child’s car seat
- Neither you nor your passengers must have suffered any type of injury
- Your car’s airbags must not have deployed
- The car seat must have no visible signs of damage
Does your child’s car seat have visible damage?
Even if you think your car accident was a minor one, you must thoroughly inspect your child’s car seat for damage. To do so, examine every inch of the seat, including its anchors, buckles and attachments. If you notice cracks, tears, breaks or stress bends, you should immediately discontinue using the car seat.
Ultimately, while replacing a car seat after an accident can be expensive, you may be eligible for financial compensation to help you defray the cost of your purchase.