Top-Ranked Child Car Seat Defect Injury Lawyers in Erie, Pennsylvania
Automobile accidents are inherently traumatic events. Each year, millions of Americans are injured in car crashes across the country, many of which result in devastating and potentially life-altering injuries. While these collisions pose a grave threat to people of all ages, children are especially vulnerable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 2 and 14. Like most other states, Pennsylvania has implemented extensive legislation intended to reduce child mortality in car crashes. Since an extensive body of evidence indicates that child restraint systems and booster seats decrease children’s risk of injury and death, the Keystone State mandates that infants, toddlers, and youth be properly secured in age-appropriate seats.
However, child safety seats are not always reliable. While many parents undertake extensive research to ensure they purchase the safest seats on the market, manufacturers still make mistakes. If a child’s safety seat suffers from a line defect or other flaw, it might fail to protect the child in the event of an accident. A child car seat defect could expose young children to considerable danger, including the risk of serious injury, lifelong disability, or even death.
The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. has seen first-hand how many families struggle to obtain the resources needed to afford high-quality care for their injured children. Fortunately, Pennsylvania parents have options beyond insolvency and never-ending insurance negotiations. If your child has been injured by a child safety seat defect in or around Erie, Pennsylvania, our attorneys could help you file a compelling legal claim against the car seat company, seat manufacturer, or negligent product retailer. Since our founding in 2005, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s experienced team of attorneys has helped accident victims across the region secure more than $175 million in damages. We could help you, too. Please send us a message online or call us at 814-839-3939 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.Pennsylvania’s Child Car Seat Laws
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation provides these sobering statistics on child motor vehicle mortality rates:
- Every day, two children under the age of 13 are killed while riding in cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans;
- In a single recent year, an estimated 1,093 children aged 14 or younger died in traffic accidents; and
- About 38% of all children who die in motor vehicle accidents were not properly restrained.
Since researchers have found that the appropriate use of child safety seats can reduce the risk of death or serious injury by up to 71%, Pennsylvania—along with most other states—requires that parents protect young passengers’ safety with age-appropriate restraint systems. The Keystone State’s child safety seat laws include the following:
- Children Aged Between Birth and 2 Years: Infants up to the age of 2 must be placed in a rear-facing car seat until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits designated by the car safety seat manufacturer.
- Children Aged Between Birth and 4 Years: All children aged 4 years or younger must be restrained in an approved child safety seat, which can be placed anywhere inside the vehicle.
- Children Aged Between 4 and 8 Years: Children between the ages of 4 and 8 years must be restrained in an age-appropriate booster seat. Children aged between 4 and 8 years and who weigh less than 40 pounds may also be fastened in a child passenger restraint system.
- Children 8 Years and Older: Similar to adult occupants, children 8 years and older must wear a seat belt, irrespective of where they are sitting inside the vehicle. Children who are at least 4 but younger than 8 years may also use a conventional seat belt without any additional accommodations, provided that they weigh more than 80 pounds or are taller than 4 feet and 9 inches.
While Pennsylvania’s evidence-based laws may help reduce child motor vehicle injuries and fatalities, child safety seats only work when properly designed, tested, and manufactured.
HAS A CHILD CAR SEAT DEFECT INJURED YOUR CHILD?
YOU COULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR COMPENSATION, BUT YOU HAVE TO ACT FAST: PENNSYLVANIA HAS A STRICT STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. IF YOU WAIT TOO LONG TO CONTACT AN ATTORNEY, YOUR CASE COULD BE AUTOMATICALLY DISMISSED BY THE COURT.
CALL JED DIETRICH, ESQ., AND HIS TEAM OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA, PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS AT 814-839-3939 NOW TO OBTAIN THE HELP THAT YOU NEED!
Child car seats are sold at stores across Erie, Pennsylvania, from the Target on Peach Street to the Walmart Supercenter on Downs Drive. For a common consumer product, car seats are subjected to unusually rigorous testing, which the federal government closely monitors. However, child safety seat manufacturers are still for-profit enterprises. When companies try to rush a product to market or save themselves money by employing low-quality materials, they place young passengers at risk of serious injury. Child car seat defects could include the following:
- Defective Buckles and Fasteners: A faulty, defective, or otherwise unsafe buckle could unlatch upon impact or lack the necessary safeguards to prevent children from freeing themselves.
- Defective Chest Clips and Harnesses: If a child’s car seat clip or harness breaks or loosens, the child could suffer a serious fall or be thrust forward at high speeds. Younger children and infants could also be injured if they are inadvertently released from their harnesses, irrespective of whether the vehicle is involved in a collision.
- Inadequate or Low-Quality Safety Padding: Child car seats usually incorporate protective padding, which is intended to shield the child’s head. If the padding does not meet safety standards, the child could suffer critical and potentially disabling traumatic brain injuries.
Almost any element of a child car seat could cause or contribute to a critical safety failure. If your child has been injured by a defective child car seat or safety restraint system, you could be entitled to significant compensation—compensation that you could use to eradicate your family’s medical debt, seek high-quality care, and ensure that your child is afforded their best opportunity to live a happy health and life. Please call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. at 814-839-3939 to speak to a top-rated product liability lawyer and explore your options for legal relief.Child Car Seat Liability Claims in Pennsylvania
Child car seat manufacturers and retailers could be held liable for any damages caused by a defective or otherwise faulty product. Under most circumstances, Pennsylvania parents could take legal action if any of the following injured their child:
- Design Defects: Design defects are inherent flaws that exist before the product is ever manufactured. These defects usually affect every sold product before the defect is detected and amended.
- Manufacturing Defects: A manufacturing defect occurs during the item’s construction, assembly, or production. Manufacturing defects could affect a single product or a set of products made in a certain location.
- Marketing Defects: Product manufacturers and retailers have a legal obligation to warn consumers of the potential dangers of their products. In many cases, they must also provide reasonable installation instructions.
When Pennsylvania families file product liability lawsuits against the manufacturers of defective child car seats, parents must bear the burden of proof. This means they can only receive compensation if they successfully demonstrate that the defective product was inherently unsafe and caused or contributed to their child’s injuries. While collecting the evidence needed to prevail against a negligent manufacturer could seem difficult, you do not have to face this challenge alone. When the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. accepts a new product liability case, we proactively help our clients gather the evidence needed to prove negligence. If the car seat manufacturer is unwilling to negotiate a settlement in good faith, we could take them to court. Please send us a message online or call us today at 814-839-3939 to schedule your 100% free consultation.
Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 814-839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious, and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Erie, Pennsylvania. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!