Car Seat Defects
New Jersey Car Seat Injury Lawyers
In the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of deaths of children over the age of six months in the United States. The proper use of child car seats is one of simplest and most effective methods available for protecting the lives of our children in the event of a motor vehicle crash. Only the correct use of child car seats will offer the protection that children need.
The safety of your children is surely the most important thing for parents. Ensuring they are properly secured while riding in a motor vehicle, is a way to protect children and keep them safe which can be essential in the event of an accident.
Forbes reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 14. If you are a parent living in New Jersey, our state’s car seat laws are very important to you. The current NJ law for children and car seats is as follows:
INFANT TO AGE TWO:
• Under 30lbs – the car seat must remain rear-facing in the back seat of the vehicle and be fitted with a five-point harness.
• Above 30lbs – the car seat can be faced forward.
AGES TWO TO FOUR:
• Under 40lbs – the child must remain in a either a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat in the back seat of the vehicle
• Above 40lbs – the car seat can be switched out for a booster seat.
AGES FOUR TO EIGHT:
• Under 57″ – the child must remain in a booster seat in the back of the vehicle.
• Above 57″/40lbs – the child is allowed to sit with a regular seat belt in the back seat of the car
Children under the age of 8 are only permitted to sit in the front seat of a vehicle when that vehicle has no back seat, like a pick-up truck or sports car. In these situations, the car seat/booster seat rules still apply. Also important – the passenger side airbag must be disable if a rear-facing car seat is placed in the front seat of a car.
Not only should you make sure that you are in compliance with the NJ car seat law, but you should also make sure that car seat installation is done properly and that you avoid common mistakes with car seats. Local police stations will properly install car seats for parents. Common mistakes include:
• Using an expired car seat. Car seats should be used for only six years. After this amount of time, wear and tear can reduce car seats’ effectiveness.
• Not restraining your child tightly enough
• Failing to adjust the seat as your child grows
• Letting a child sit in the front seat.
• Improper car seat installation
If your child’s car seat seems to have inadequately protected him or her in a collision, it is important to attend to the following:
• Do not dispose of the seat or repair it
• If available, provide the manual or instructions that came with the seat to your attorney
• Photograph any visible injuries your child sustained.
We know that most parents would never drive without safely strapping in their child, but we also know things don’t always go as planned. If your child was injured in an accident while in a car seat, contact an attorney at the New Jersey law firm of O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble. You can simply Contact us online or call 1-908-928-9200 or 1-800-586-5817 for a free no obligation consultation.