Sept. 23 through 29 is National Child Passenger Safety Week, an ideal time to remind drivers of the vital importance of following the rules and laws that pertain to child safety seats. The fact of the matter is that child safety seats work. Studies show that they reduce fatal injuries by as much as 71%. Below, the personal injury lawyers at Lee, Livingston Lee, Nichols & Barron, P.C., who serve clients in Dale, Henry, and Houston Counties in Alabama, discuss the importance of child safety seats in more detail.
Follow the Law
While safety seats are a requirement in every state, many parents are unknowingly making potentially fatal errors while utilizing them. It is estimated that 72 to 84% of vehicle restraints are used incorrectly. The best way to remedy this is to be aware of what the law in your state says about safety seats and to read the manufacturer's directions carefully to ensure those laws are properly followed.
In Alabama, a child up to one year old or 20 lbs. in weight must ride in a rear-facing, infant-only or convertible car seat. Children one to five years old or 40 lbs. in weight must ride in a front-facing car seat. Kids five to six years old are required to ride in a booster seat.
Be Aware of Safety Issues
When car seat manufacturers become aware of possible safety issues with their products, they will issue a recall. Register your car seat when you purchase it, and give the manufacturer your contact information. If you are informed of an existing problem, take immediate action and either follow the steps issued by the manufacturer or invest in another seat right away.
If your child has been injured by a safety seat, understand that you have legal options. Personal injury lawyers routinely handle cases of defective products, and you may be able to seek compensation for damages relating to a child safety seat incident. The injury should be verifiable through medical records, photos, and the testimony of witnesses who saw the injury occur. If the manufacturer has documented safety issues with the make and model of your particular seat, it will only strengthen your case.
The first step is to contact a personal injury lawyer. Lee, Livingston, Lee, Nichols & Barron, P.C. are here to help you explore all available legal avenues; they also offer representation for workers' comp, real estate, and business law issues. Call (334) 792-4156 or visit them online to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.