The Mississippi State Department of Health reports that one-third of children killed in car accidents are not restrained in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. As this makes safe car seats essential, many parents may ask: Do car seats need to be replaced after an accident?
Mississippi’s car seat laws are there to keep your child safe when you get behind the wheel. Contact Derek L. Hall, PC to learn more about how the state regulates children’s restraints and what to do after a car accident.
Car Seat Laws in Mississippi
Section 63-7-301 of the Mississippi Code requires every child under the age of four to be in a car seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards. Children between the ages of four and seven under four feet nine inches or weighing under 65 pounds should also be seated in a booster seat system that meets federal standards.
Can You Use a Car Seat After an Accident?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends replacing a car seat after any moderate to severe car crash. This is to make sure the seat continues to provide the maximum protection for a child passenger.
A car seat does not need to be replaced after a minor crash, which is defined as an accident where all of the following apply:
- The vehicle could be driven from the accident scene.
- The door next to the car seat was not damaged.
- No occupants suffered any injuries.
- The vehicle’s airbags did not deploy.
- The car seat has no visible damage.
If all the above conditions do not apply, you should replace the car seat. When in doubt, refer to the car seat manufacturer for more details on when the car seat must be replaced.
Does Insurance Cover Car Seat Replacement After an Accident?
Insurance companies will often cover the cost of a new car seat after a crash, even if the accident qualifies as a minor accident. Insurers may also reimburse you for the full cost of a newly purchased car seat, even if you bought a different model or a bigger seat.
While some insurers will cover the cost of a new car seat after an accident without question, others may make it a little more difficult to obtain reimbursement. For example, they may request photographic evidence of damage to the car seat, a copy of the car seat manual that describes when the seat should be replaced, or a letter from the car seat manufacturer stating that the seat should be replaced.
Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Jackson, MS Today
If your infant or small child was injured in a car accident, get the legal help you need to recover compensation from the at-fault party. Contact Derek L. Hall, PC today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Jackson, MS car accident lawyer.