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Child Accident Injuries: When Is The Parent At Fault?

Child in a car seat to prevent child accident injuries
A parent could increase the risk of accident injuries to their children if they don't follow proper safety guidelines involving car seats and driving habits.

As a parent, it goes without saying that you do your best to keep your children safe and healthy at all times. Unfortunately, even if you’re in the right frame of mind, it’s possible that you could make a mistake that increases the risk of child accident injuries. 

When children are involved in a car accident, you’ll likely have additional questions, concerns, and stress. Don’t hesitate to call on the knowledge and compassion of the Corpus Christi personal injury attorneys at The Burkett Law Firm. We’ll use our 40+ years of legal experience and three generations of lawyers to pursue full compensation for you and your child.

Choosing the right car seat can reduce the risk of child accident injuries

The first thing you should do after an accident is consider where your child was located in the vehicle and whether they were properly secured. 

If your child was not secured, you may be at-fault for their accident injuries. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your child is not only secured but that they’re secured based on the laws and guidelines from the federal government and the state of Texas.

Let’s start by taking a closer look at child passenger safety best practice recommendations as shared by the Texas Department of Public Safety

  • Rear-facing seats: children under the age of one should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. 
  • Forward-facing seats: when a child is no longer able to fit in a rear-facing car seat, they can move to a forward-facing seat. However, they should stay in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible. 
  • Booster seats: once a child outgrows a forward-facing seat, they can move to a booster seat. 
  • Adult safety belt: the last step in the process is moving your child to a regular seat, using the adult lap/shoulder safety belt. Only do this if you can trust your child to remain securely in their seat. 

Tip: Children are best protected when they remain in each seat for as long as they can. Take all age, weight, and height limits into consideration before moving your child to the next type of seat. 

How to choose the right car seat

CDC guidelines chart for choosing age and size appropriate car seats and reduce the risk of child accident injuries.
Follow this CDC guidelines chart for choosing age and size appropriate car seats and reduce the risk of child accident injuries.

It sounds simple enough to choose the right car seat for each child in your family, but you’ll soon find that your many options can complicate the process.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares a variety of guidance on choosing the right car seat to help you make a confident choice.

There are three categories of car seats, with several types to consider:

  • Rear-facing car seat: types include an infant car seat, convertible seat, and all-in-one seat.
  • Convertible seat: types include a convertible seat, combination seat, and all-in-one seat.
  • Booster seat: there are many different types, such as high back and those with no back.

The NHTSA strongly advises that you choose a car seat based on the following:

  • Your child’s age and size (this calculator will do the work for you)
  • Your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions
  • Keeping your child in the backseat of your vehicle until they reach the age of 12

Safety tips to keep in mind when driving with children

Now that you better understand how to choose the right car seat, let’s focus on some other safety tips for driving with children. 

Not only will these keep you and your children safe, but they’ll also reduce your risk of being at-fault for child accident injuries:

  • Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and/or prescription medication.
  • Maintain your focus on the road at all times (eliminate all distractions).
  • Don’t drive when you’re drowsy, such as after working a long shift at night.
  • Immediately stop the vehicle if your child finds their way out of their car seat.
  • Drive defensively at all times.

 

Should you neglect to follow these driving safety tips, there’s a greater chance that you could be held at fault for your child’s accident injuries in Texas. 

Did your child suffer accident injuries? Call an experienced Corpus Christi injury attorney

Regardless of the cause of the accident, don’t wait to call 911 and administer first aid. You and your child must receive immediate medical care.

After you’ve seen a doctor and once you’ve learned more about the accident, focus on filing an insurance claim and protecting your legal rights.

By contacting a Corpus Christi car accident attorney, you remove yourself from the stressful insurance and personal injury claims process. Our professional team of attorneys, investigators and medical experts will take over the process for you, start to finish, while you and your child recover. 

At The Burkett Law Firm, every case is personal so you can rest assured that we’ll do whatever it takes to protect your legal rights and pursue full compensation to cover your child’s accident injuries. Contact us online or give us a call to schedule your free consultation.