According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), infants and toddlers should be placed in a rear-facing car seat when riding in an automobile. Studies have shown that rear-facing car seats are much safer than forward-facing car seats. According to Injury Prevention (IP), infants and toddlers in forward-facing car seats are 78 percent more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries in the event of a crash than infants and toddlers in rear-facing car seats.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), using a car seat reduces infant and toddler fatalities by more than 50 percent. In addition, using a booster seat until the age of 8 years old reduces car accident deaths by 47 percent. It is important that all children remain in a rear-facing car seat until the age of 2 years old in order to mitigate the risk of serious or fatal injuries in the event of a crash. Furthermore, parents should not allow children under the age of 13 to ride in the front seat of a vehicle.
Like any motor vehicle accident, there are many reasons for the crash, such as distracted driving or excessive speed. However, a defective car seat may also be the cause of a child’s injuries. Car seat defects may include:
- Damaged safety restraints;
- Car seat malfunction;
- Failing to provide proper installation directions; and
- Inadequate hardware, restraints, or safety features, among others.
Each year, many car seats are recalled as a result of injuries and fatalities, due to a product defect or improper design. A defect in a car seat can often lead to a child being severely injured, which may give rise to a claim that results in compensation from the manufacturer. Product liability law holds a manufacturer responsible for design or manufacturing defects. A design defect is an issue with the product’s design and a manufacturing defect is a defect outside the scope of the intended design.
In New York State, a product liability claim can be based on either the legal theory of negligence or the legal theory of strict liability. Under the legal theory of negligence, a plaintiff must show that the manufacturer failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent the product defect. Whereas, a strict liability claim allows a plaintiff to recover damages regardless of whether the manufacturer knew or should have known about the defect.
If your child has suffered an injury as a result of a defective car seat, you may be entitled to compensation. Goldberg Sager & Associates is experienced in dealing with all aspects of personal injury and product liability cases and is dedicated to helping clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case. Contact the New York personal injury and product liability attorneys at Goldberg Sager & Associates at (347) 497-3245 for a free phone consultation.