Car Accident Lawyer
There are few scenarios more frightening than being involved in an auto accident when kids are in the car. If you have recently experienced this terrifying reality, know that you don’t have to weather the ins and outs of the legal and financial aftermath of your situation alone. Working with an experienced attorney can help you to clarify your legal rights and options so that you can take your “next steps” in truly informed ways.
Dealing with a Car Seat After an Accident
For the purposes of dealing with a car seat in the aftermath of a car wreck, there are two kinds of auto accidents: minor and serious. If you have been involved in a serious accident, you’ll need to replace any car seat that was in your vehicle at the time of the crash, whether a child was sitting in that car seat at the time of impact or not. However, if your car crash was minor, you may or may not need to replace any car seat that was in your vehicle – whether it was occupied or not – at the time of your wreck.
What does it mean for a car accident to be minor vs. serious? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is the federal agency tasked with minimizing the risk of injurious and fatal crashes on the nation’s roadways, defines a “minor crash” as one in which ALL of the following criteria apply:
- The vehicle door located closest to the car seat did not sustain damage in the crash
- The vehicle was operational to the extent that it could safely be driven away from the scene of the accident
- No one traveling in the vehicle containing the car seat sustained physical injuries as a result of the crash
- No airbags deployed within the vehicle as a result of the crash
- The car seat did not sustain any visible damage as a result of the accident
If all of these criteria apply to your situation, the NHTSA recommends that you follow your car seat manufacturer’s guidelines for what to do in the event of a minor crash. Some manufacturers insist that car seats involved in minor crashes be replaced, while others do not.
Exploring Your Legal Options
If all of the NHTSA’s clarifying guidance in re: what constitutes a minor crash do not apply to your situation, it is time to speak with an attorney. As an experienced car accident lawyer – including those who practice at The Law Offices of Barry P. Goldberg – can confirm, if you or your child sustained injuries as a result of your accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation at this time. This statement is true even if you were partially to blame for your crash. Act quickly, as doing so will allow an attorney to swiftly preserve evidence that may prove vital to the success of any legal action you might choose to file down the road.