In moderate or severe auto collisions, car seat replacement after a car accident in Oak Park, MI is likely inevitable. If you suffer a minor collision, replacement depends on several factors, including the brand of the car seat. While some people adhere to a better-safe-than-sorry approach and replace car seats even after a minor accident, others may not have the funds to replace one immediately. Here is how to assess whether you need to replace a car seat after a crash:
- Assess extent of crash: Car seat replacement may not be necessary after a minor crash. If you were able to drive away from the crash site and the door nearest to the car seat was undamaged, it was likely minor. In addition, minor crashes do not produce injuries, deploy airbags or cause visible damage to the car seat. A crash must contain all of these elements to be considered minor. Otherwise, it is a moderate or severe crash.
- Read manufacturer’s instructions: As indicated above, whether you need to replace a car seat can depend on its brand. The instruction manual will include a section on what to do if there is an accident. If the manual states that the seat should be replaced even after a minor crash, go ahead and replace it. The risk is not worth it. Not only does this guarantee better safety, but your warranty may be void if you do not follow the instructions.
- Check insurance: There are instances where your insurance will cover the purchase of a new car seat. Basically, you need to include it with your property damage claim, whether you are filing a claim against the other driver or you are using your own insurance policy. Many times, the insurance company will cover the cost, since car seats are expensive and not everyone can replace one right away.
- Do not buy used car seats: It is often tempting to buy a used car seat because of the cost of replacing a damaged one with a new one. However, like bicycle helmets, you cannot find damage to a used car seat just by inspecting it, as the seat will not show signs if it has been in a collision. Also, car seats become outdated fairly quickly, and if your car seat does not meet minimum standards, you can get a ticket. That is why it is best to see if your insurance company will cover the expense before turning to desperate measures.
The bottom line is that your child’s safety is the most important consideration here. While it may feel like a car seat manufacturer just wants to sell more products, the recommendations on when to replace a car seat after an accident are based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommendations and consumer protection laws. So, if in doubt, replace the seat.
If you are contemplating car seat replacement after a car accident in Oak Park, MI, it is likely you also need skilled collision repair. Autobahn Collision is a body and paint repair specialist that can get your car looking new again. Contact us today to schedule repairs.