There are many Tennessee auto accidents each year where adult occupants of the vehicles go unharmed while the children involved suffer catastrophic injury or death.¬† The Tennessee auto accident lawyers of Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, PLC (NST Law) know how devastating it can be if your child is seriously injured or killed in a Tennessee auto accident because of a defective seat belt, booster seat or child safety restraint.¬† There are many auto accidents that cause injuries every year, which result from defective child restraint systems or automobiles with seat belts not designed to safely accommodate children or a child car seat.¬† The significance of the problem is reflected in a recent study that suggests that 80% of all child restraint systems are installed incorrectly because of the lack of compatibility between child restraint systems and automobile seat belts.¬† Many children are hurt each year from unsafe seat belts, booster seats and child safety restraint systems.
There are some states that do not require booster seats for children between the ages of 4-8 even though seat belts do not fit properly over children‚Äôs bodies.¬† The improperly fitting seat belt can lead to catastrophic seatbelt related injuries in a serious car accident known as seat belt syndrome.¬† In an auto accident of this type, a 7-year-old girl was wearing her seat belt but pulled the shoulder strap over her back because it rested against her face.¬† The lap belt fell over her stomach.¬† When she was involved in a car accident she suffered a spinal chord injury, bowel and kidney damage and a bruised heart.¬† She is now permanently confined to a wheelchair.¬† Children who experience seat belt syndrome are not uncommon and can suffer liver injuries, abdominal injuries, bowel injuries, chest trauma, blood vessel injuries, sternum injuries, spinal chord injuries and death.¬† The attorneys of NST Law will help you seek compensation for a child‚Äôs injuries that result from a poorly designed or malfunctioning seat belt.
Even when a child booster seat is used during a Tennessee auto accident, it can be defective or poorly designed and lead to the catastrophic injury or death of a child.¬† The booster seat is intended to compensate for the problem created by the poor fit of a seat belt where a child is involved.¬† The shoulder belt should snuggly cross over the center of the child‚Äôs shoulder while the lap belt should cover the upper thigh area rather than the abdomen.¬† If the booster seat does not create a proper fit, a child can suffer traumatic brain injury, spinal chord injury, organ injury and even death.¬† At NST Law, we have experience with Tennessee auto accidents involving children injured by defective booster seats.¬† If a booster seat is poorly designed or does not provide adequate instructions or warnings of potential risks, NST Law will aggressively pursue compensation for catastrophic injuries or death suffered by a child in a Tennessee auto accident.
Child safety restraint systems also often result in catastrophic injury or death.¬† Many child safety restraint systems have outdated designs that are based on a car seat and seatbelt configuration that no longer exists in most vehicles.¬† The majority of child restraint systems were designed to fit bench seats with the seat belt anchor at the crack in the seat.¬† In most newer model cars, the seat belt anchor is located on a stalk, which is not located near the crack in the seat but in a more forward position.¬† The change in the position of the seat belt anchor and seat design has created compatibility problems with many child safety restraints.¬† Most child safety restraint manufacturers do not provide warnings indicating which vehicles it is not designed to fit safely.¬† There is also a number of other specific design or manufacturing defects found in child safety restraint systems including the following:
- Defective Chest Clips: The chest clip secures the shoulder straps together in position over the child‚Äôs chest.¬† The clips are sometimes made with cheap and flimsy material that breaks during an auto accident.¬† The clips are also sometimes designed poorly so that the straps slip out during a car accident.
- Defective Buckles: The buckle is intended to keep a child locked safely in place.¬† Some buckles are poorly assembled and open from the impact of an auto accident.¬† If they are not properly designed or assembled, the buckle can also be unfastened easily by a small child occupying the child safety restraint.
- Detachable Carrier Seats: This type of child safety restraint has both a detachable carrier and a base into which the carrier fastens.¬† The two components that make up this type of child safety restraint have been known to separate during an auto accident because of inadequate design.
- Insufficient Padding: Padding in a child safety restraint is a critical part of the protective device providing protection from impact.¬† If the padding is inadequate, it can lead to catastrophic injury or death.
At NST Law, we know the emotional pain of having a child seriously injured or killed in an auto accident can be overwhelming.¬† We at NST Law know that such a loss is even more tragic if it results from inadequate safety equipment including an inadequate seat belt, booster seat or child safety restraint.¬† We will help you seek just compensation for the injuries suffered by your child.