California law states that if the other party is at fault and there is visible damage to the car seat or there was a child using the seat at the time of the accident, the at fault parties’insurance must pay for a replacement seat. Sometimes, insurance companies will say that they only replace child restraints if the crash doesn’t meet National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s (NHTSA) guidelines for a minor crash or if the seat was occupied. The insurance company cannot overrule state law. If there is any damage to the seat resulting from the accident, they must replace the seat no matter how minor the accident.
What’s more, some manufacturer’s place instructions on their seats stating that the seat must be replaced after any crash. This is another great way to get your seat replaced after an accident. Often, you will need to supply the insurance company with a copy of your child restraint manual, which can almost always be found online, and sometimes the restraint manufacturer will send a letter stating that their restraint must be replaced. If the insurance company does not replace your car seats, and the manual requires that you do so, your seat is still unsafe to use, and you’ll still need to replace the seat.
If you would like to speak with a Downey car accident attorney about your car seat following an accident, please call us at 888.JLF.FIRM or (562) 222-3068.