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Used Car Seats Can Place Your Baby at Unnecessary Risk in an Accident

Posted on in Car Accidents

 b2ap3_thumbnail_used-car-seat.jpgParents who are eco- or spend-savvy often turn to used baby items to reduce cost and/or their environmental footprint, but there are some used items that may be dangerous. Car seats are at the top of that list because they may place baby at unnecessary risk in an automobile accident. This is especially true when it comes to purchasing a used car seat from a second-hand store or someone you do not know. The following will help you understand that risk and how you can increase your chances of finding a safe car seat for your baby.

Use of a Car Seat Is Non-Negotiable

Car seats, like seat belts, save lives. Without them, infants, toddlers, and young children are at an extremely high risk for death or injury in a crash. A parent cannot hold them and keep them safe. Regular seat belts are not designed for young children or infants, and is more likely to hurt a child than protect them. And lack of restraint places the child at risk for ejection from the vehicle. In short, car seats are an absolute must until children are tall enough and heavy enough to use the seat belt properly (usually between the ages of eight and 12).

Purchasing Used Car Seats

Used car seats can be problematic for three reasons: they carry an expiration date, may have been part of a recall, and there is no reliable way to determine whether or not they have been involved in an accident. When it comes to expiration (six years), parents can usually check the date. Recalls are also relatively easy to check for online, but it may be less simple while in a second-hand store or at a garage sale. But the biggest problem – not having a reliable way to determine if a car seat has been in an accident – is a major blind spot for parents purchasing second-hand car seats.

Accidents Compromise the Safety of Car Seats

While most car seats can be used after a minor accident, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that car seats be discontinued after a moderate or major crash, even if there is no visible damage. This is because, internally, the car seat can be cracked or damaged.

If the accident happens in your car, then you are aware of it. If, however, you are purchasing a second-hand car seat, you may not be able to tell if it has been in an accident just by looking at it. And, with no national database currently available, there is no reliable information to help you determine if a used car seat is truly safe. The only real safe option is to only purchase or accept used, unexpired car seats from someone you know and trust. Otherwise, the safest option is to purchase one new.

Involved in an Automobile Accident? You May Be Due Compensation

If you and your child have been in an automobile accident, you may be due compensation. What is more, you may be able to have your car seat replaced by the insurance company if the accident is considered a moderate or major accident. But, because insurance companies often try to minimize damage and reduce their payout, and because personal injury law is extremely complex, you may have a difficult time trying to obtain a fair settlement.

With more than 40 years of experience and knowledge, the Milwaukee personal injury attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can help protect your rights and best interest. And, because we work with accident investigators, medical professionals, engineers, and other experts that can help determine what really happened, we increase the chances of you receiving a fair settlement from the insurance companies. Get the quality representation you deserve. Call us at 414-271-1440 and schedule your consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://wspa.com/2016/04/20/buying-used-items-for-kids-what-you-need-to-know/

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/09/are-used-baby-products-safe/index.htm

http://www.800bucklup.org/carseat/aftercrash.asp

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