Orlando Defective Child Car Seat Injury Attorneys
Despite the existence of federal laws and standards aimed at protecting children when riding in a vehicle, motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for children 4 years and older. Sadly, a defective child car seat is often a significant factor in the injury or death of children involved in a crash.
If you suspect that a defective child car seat played a role in the injury or death of your child, you could be entitled to compensation for your child’s physical injuries and your emotional trauma. At Bailey Fisher PLLC we have more than half a century of combined successful legal experience negotiating out-of-court settlements and litigating inside the courtroom. We are fiercely committed to holding anyone responsible for your child’s injuries accountable as well as ensuring that you are fully compensated for the injuries and suffering caused by a defective child car seat.
Child Car Seats
State laws require children to be safely restrained while riding in a motor vehicle. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises rear-facing car safety seats as long as possible followed by forward-facing car safety seats thereafter for most children through at least 4 years of age. When a child grows out of a forward-facing car seat, the AAP recommends a belt-positioning booster seat through at least 8 years of age. Adult purchasing a car seat now how a variety of options, including:
- Infant Rear-Facing Car Seats. These car seats include a harness and are designed for use in a semi-reclined rear-facing position.
- Forward Facing Car Seats: A car seat that also includes a harness that is intended for use only in the forward-facing position.
- Booster Seats. A car seat, with or without a back, that does not have a harness and that raises the child so the required adult lap and shoulder seat belt fits over the child correctly.
- 3-in-1 Car Seat. A car seat that can be converted into one of three options: rear-facing with a 5-point harness, forward-facing with a 5-point harness, and a booster seat.
- Combination Car Seat. A forward-facing-only car seat that is first used with a five-point harness and top tether to secure a child over age two but that can also be converted into a booster when the child is older.
What Makes a Car Seat Defective?
The design and manufacture of child car seats are heavily regulated by the U.S. federal government. Nevertheless, defective car seats still manage to make it into the hands of consumers and cause serious, even fatal, injuries to the children they were intended to protect. Under the legal doctrine of product liability, any product – including a child car seat — can be defective in one of three ways:
- Design Defect. As the name implies, this is a defect inherent in the design itself. As such, all products manufactured with that design will be defective.
- Manufacturing Defect. These defective products were designed properly; however, a defect was introduced during the manufacturing phase. As such, only some products manufactured will be defective.
- Failure to Warn Defect. Some products are inherently dangerous. When that is the case, the law imposes a duty to warn of the dangerous nature of the product.
Defective Child Car Seat Injuries
When you purchase a child car seat you rely on that car seat to keep your child safe while traveling in your vehicle. If that child car seat is defective, however, it could cause your child to be injured in a variety of ways, including:
- Restraint defects. A car seat that lacks effective restraints can cause children to slip out or hit their heads in an accident or even be ejected from the vehicle altogether.
- Convertible carriers. Some car seats also convert into infant carriers. A defect can cause the carrier to come apart resulting in the baby falling out or crashing to the ground.
- Adjusters. The adjusters on a child’s car seat are intended to keep the straps adjusted properly while the child is in the seat. Defective adjusters can lead to injury.
- Defective labeling/instructions. Improper or missing labels/instructions on a car seat can make the product defective. For example, failing to adequately label the shoulder harness slots can cause the car seat to be used in an unsafe manner, leading to injuries.
- Fracturing plastic shell. Child car seats have a plastic shell. A defect in the design or manufacture of that shell can cause it to crack or break during a collision.
- Unsafe materials. If a car seat is manufactured using substandard or unsafe materials it poses a risk of serious injury to the child. For example, the use of flammable materials or substandard metal closures will cause an otherwise safe car seat to be defective.
- Buckles and latches. A buckle or latch that is too difficult to open or that gives too easily can cause life-threatening injuries. A buckle/latch that cannot be disengaged could hamper rescue efforts while one that gives too much could result in the child being ejected from the vehicle in a collision.
Get the Help You Need from Orlando Defective Child Car Seat Attorneys
If a defective car seat caused or contributed to injuries your child suffered, we are here to help. Anyone in the “chain of distribution” could be liable for injuries sustained because of a defective car seat, including the product designer, product or component manufacturer, and product assembler or installer as well as the wholesaler and retailer. Having an experienced Orlando child car seat attorney on your side ensures that all responsible parties are held accountable and that your rights are protected throughout the often complex legal process.
At Bailey Fisher, we are dedicated to making sure you understand your legal options and to protecting your rights when your child has been injured in a defective child car seat accident. Let us be your voice in the legal system so that you can focus on your family. We will aggressively fight for a full and fair settlement for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, and suffering.
Call us at 407-628-2929 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando defective child car seat attorneys will evaluate your case for free and advise you on next steps.