When a product is supposed to keep someone safe and instead causes or fails to prevent serious physical harm, the product manufacturer could be liable for the damages. One example in which this might happen is when a defective car seat leads to injuries in an infant or child.
When a Defect in a Car Seat Causes Serious Bodily Harm
Some defects in a car seat can cause injuries regardless of a motor vehicle accident, such as when the base breaks, resulting in the seat toppling and the child falling out of the seat. Or a harness might malfunction and cause the child to slip out. Another example is the seat being made of material on which the child can chew or bite, creating a choking risk.
Most defects contribute to injuries in a crash. Using some of the same examples, let’s say the base of a car seat is cracked. In the event of an accident, it could cause the seat to become detached. Or a faulty harness may not properly secure the child in a crash, increasing the likelihood of injuries.
The following are just some examples of defects that could cause injuries in a car seat:
- poorly-made latch connector;
- detachment of harness adjuster to shell of seat;
- faulty anchorage to vehicle;
- brittle chest clip; and
- weak harness.
Whatever the circumstances, when something in the product design or manufacturing creates a defect that causes serious bodily harm, the child’s parents may pursue legal action for damages.
Important Factors in a Product Liability Claim Involving Defective Car Seats
The two main factors to hold the product manufacturer liable will be establishing the defect and connecting it to the resultant injuries. Unlike most injury cases where claimants or plaintiffs must prove negligence, a product liability claim may require only establishing that the product was defective. The manufacturer may be strictly liable for the defective even if it had not acted negligently.
One way to establish the defect is with the product itself. Having an expert examine it and provide testimony as to what was wrong with the seat would be helpful. Or obtaining any information regarding a recall issued on the car seat can establish the defect too. Aurora parents can retrieve this information through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Safercar.gov website.
The other factor parents must establish is the connection between injuries sustained and the defective car seat. Let’s say the child sustains a severe head injury in an accident. It’s discovered the harness was defective and didn’t properly secure the child. As a result, when the driver was struck from behind the child’s body was thrown into the front passenger seat, striking her head.
Parents in the Aurora area can discuss these two elements and other relevant issues with attorney D.J. Banovitz. Set up your consultation today – 303-300-5060.