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Should you replace your child’s car seat after an auto accident?

If you are a Connecticut resident who has been involved in an auto accident, you may be wondering if you should discard your child’s car seat and get a new one. According to NBC News Connecticut, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says you need not replace the car seat if the crash was a minor one.

The NHTSA defines a minor crash as one where the following three things occurred:

  1. You were able to drive the vehicle away after the crash.
  2. Your air bags did not deploy during the crash.
  3. Your child’s car seat shows no visible damage.

Luis Rivera, a car seat technician with Safe Kids Connecticut, gives different advice. He says you should check to see if there are stress points where your vehicle’s seatbelt holds onto the base of your child’s car seat. In addition, he advises that the car seat may be damaged even if you cannot see that damage. The damage may be invisible because it is microscopic and/or inside the car seat.

Considering that a good-quality child car seat can cost upwards of $300, the team at NBC News Connecticut advises that you ask your insurance company if they will replace it. Their investigation discovered that State Farm and Allstate both said they cover replacement car seats, but Geico said they do not. Other insurance companies may not be overly forthcoming about covering the cost of a replacement child car seat, but if you specifically ask them about it, they often will.

Regardless of how minor your accident appeared to be, it is worthwhile to replace your child’s car seat if at all possible. You will drive with greater peace of mind. This information is provided for educational purposes, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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