As a parent, your primary responsibility is always to keep your kids safe and secure – especially while driving. To accomplish this goal, you must closely adhere to the Texas child car seat laws. Not only will you avoid getting a ticket, but following these laws can reduce the risk of injury to your kids should you be in a car accident.
What Are Texas’ Child Car Seat Laws?
The state of Texas has a broad range of laws on its books that detail the use of safety equipment in vehicles. However, there are two in particular that every parent in cities like Fort Worth and Dallas should be acutely aware of. They are:
- All passengers that are younger than 8 years of age or shorter than 57 inches tall must travel in an appropriate “child passenger safety seat system.”
- All passengers that are younger than 13 years of age must ride in the back seat of the vehicle and must be appropriately restrained.
The state of Texas created these laws to reduce the number of children that are killed and injured on its streets and highways every year. Parents who violate a safety system or seat belt law can be fined up to $250.
Understanding the Benefits of Using a Child Passenger Safety System
Some new parents are initially resistant to the idea of installing a child passenger safety seat in their car. However, the statistics clearly indicate that taking the time to do so can significantly reduce the odds of their kid being injured or killed in a car accident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Kids who use a front- or rear-facing car seat are 71 to 82 percent less likely to be injured in a car accident than those who only wear a seat belt.
- Kids who use a booster seat are 45 percent less likely to be injured in a car accident than those who only use a traditional safety belt.
- 35 percent of kids who died in car accidents in 2017 were not using any kind of restraints.
Of course, ensuring that a child is properly secured in the car isn’t just the smart and responsible thing to do. It is also Texas law.
What Child Passenger Safety Systems Should Texas Parents Use?
The variety of car safety seats available on the market can often cause confusion for Texas parents. Moms and dads regularly struggle to figure out which seat to buy for their kid and when it is time to upgrade them to a new device. The answers to both of these questions are typically determined by the age, height, and weight of their child:
Rear-facing car seats are designed to keep newborn babies and infants safe as they travel around town. These seats must be placed in the back of the vehicle.
Children should continue traveling in their rear-facing safety seat until they reach the height and weight limits outlined by the product’s manufacturer. This typically occurs shortly after their 2nd birthday.
When a child becomes too big for a rear-facing car seat, they can graduate to a front-facing seat. These devices should also be placed in the back of the car and used until the child has reached the manufacturer’s stated maximum height and weight. For most kids, this happens when they are 4 or 5 years old.
Once a child outgrows their front-facing car seat, they should generally begin using a booster seat. These devices should be used in the back of the vehicle in conjunction with a lap and shoulder belt.
Kids should continue using their booster seat for as long as possible – typically until they are around 10 years of age. At that point, they can begin sitting in the rear of the vehicle while restrained by nothing more than a traditional seat belt.
Children can typically make the move to the front seat when they are 13 years old.
The attorneys here at the Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, are experts on Texas’ child car seat laws and guidelines. Should you have any questions about them, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call. Our knowledgeable team is always available to provide you with the answers you need.
Recovering Compensation After an Injury Caused By a Defective Child Car Seat in Texas
The Lone Star State’s child car seat laws are designed to keep your kids safe if you get into an accident on the road. However, they can only accomplish this objective if the seat in question is well-made and fully functioning.
If you get into a crash while your child is riding in a faulty or defective safety seat, they may sustain a severe injury. As a result, you will almost certainly find yourself drowning in medical bills and other expenses before too long.
Fortunately, you may not need to drain your own bank account to pay off your mounting collection of invoices. With the help of an experienced attorney, like those here at the Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, you might be able to file suit against the manufacturer of the defective car seat and recover some much-needed compensation.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You Fight for the Compensation Your Family Deserves
Here at the Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, we believe that the families of children who are injured because of flawed or malfunctioning car seats should receive enough compensation to cover all of their expenses. When you hire our legal team, we will:
Handle Your Case’s Administrative Work
Filing a lawsuit against a child car seat manufacturer usually requires a significant amount of administrative work. Between requesting medical records from the hospital and corresponding with the other party’s insurance company, the list of things to do can quickly become overwhelming. Fortunately, when you work with our legal team, we will handle it all on your behalf.
Negotiate a Settlement with the Other Party’s Insurer
In the early stages of your lawsuit, the other party’s insurance company may reach out to offer you a settlement agreement. If you would like to enter into such a deal, our skilled lawyers will be on hand to help you negotiate its terms.
Argue Your Case in Court
If the other party’s insurer is unwilling to offer a fair settlement deal, your pursuit of compensation will most likely end up in court. When your trial opens, you can count on our experienced attorneys to argue clearly and concisely on your behalf.
Are you ready to hire an attorney from the Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, to help you with your battle for financial restitution? If so, please reach out to us today to set up a free consultation with a member of our experienced legal team.
Common Child Car Seat Defects
Every year, thousands of car seats are recalled by their manufacturers because they are found to be defective. Some of these flaws are relatively minor. However, many others are much larger – potentially making the product extremely dangerous to use.
A brief list of some of the most common child car seat defects would include:
- Faulty latches
- Weak or broken frames
- Easily-ripped straps
- Flammable materials
- Faulty strap adjusters
If you would like to check to see if your child’s car seat has ever been recalled, all you need to do is visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
Common Injuries Caused By Child Car Seat Defects
Defective and malfunctioning car seats can cause kids to suffer a wide range of injuries, including:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractured bones
- Eye injuries
These injuries often require intensive surgery and months or years of rehabilitative care to treat. It is worth noting that a child brain injury could have devastating consequences for the rest of the kid’s life.
Calculating the Value of a Child Car Seat Defect Lawsuit
The compensation paid out to the families of kids who are injured because of defective car seats can vary significantly from one case to the next. Generally speaking, however, the size of the settlement check is usually tied quite closely to the severity of the child’s injury.
At the Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, we typically help the parents of injured kids pursue compensation for damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing care costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Would you like to have an attorney from the Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, analyze your child’s case and let you know how much it may be worth? Then please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and set up a free consultation at our Fort Worth law offices.
Was Your Child Injured Because of the Child Car Seat? Contact Our Law Firm Today
At the Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, we have been providing the people of Texas with the legal advice and guidance they need for many years. If you need help seeking compensation after your child was hurt because of the child car seat, all you need to do is give us a call or contact us online. We are ready to assist you 24/7, so give us a call today.