Car accidents affect tens of thousands of children annually in the U.S., making motor vehicle crashes a leading cause of childhood injury and death. Studies show that one of the most effective measures to protect your child in a collision is to restrain them in a car seat.
The injuries your child suffers in a car accident could depend on whether you comply with the Texas child car seat laws.
A lawyer from Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers can guide you after your crash so you can pursue fair compensation for your child’s injury. Contact our Laredo car accident attorney for a free initial consultation to learn more or call (956) 529-7336.
How Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident in Laredo, TX
Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers was founded over 13 years ago to assist accident victims in Laredo, Texas in their pursuit of fair compensation. Our Laredo car accident lawyer has over 25 years of experience representing injured clients against at-fault drivers and their insurers.
If you or your loved one suffers an injury in a car accident, we will:
- Evaluate your case so you understand your rights and how we can help you
- Prepare your insurance claim and negotiate aggressively to settle it
- Advocate for you in court if the insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement
Car accident injuries can leave your child with permanent disabilities and a lifetime of medical expenses. Contact Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your car accident and the injuries you and your child suffered.
How Many Children Get Injured in Car Accidents?
Texas’s car seat law applies to children under eight years old.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) crash statistics for 2022, children in Texas under eight suffered:
- 73 deaths
- 395 serious injuries that required an ambulance to transport the child to the hospital
- 2,693 minor visible injuries like cuts, scrapes, and bruises
Another 6,522 children complained of pain or other symptoms but had no visible injury. In total, car accidents in Texas in 2022 injured or killed 9,683 children under eight years old.
Over 97% of these children were properly restrained, and these restraints worked. Comparing restrained and unrestrained children:
- Unrestrained children were 13.5 times more likely to die
- Unrestrained children were twice as likely to get injured
- Children in car seats were 19% more likely to walk away from the crash uninjured
These numbers establish that a car seat can protect your child in a collision.
Car Seat Laws in Texas
Every state requires children to ride in a car seat. However, the specific requirements vary across jurisdictions. Some states set standards for protection at each age or height. Other states, like Texas, simply require you to use an approved child restraint but do not specify what you need to use.
Texas law requires drivers to restrain all children under eight years old and four feet, nine inches tall in a safety seat system. In other words, your child must ride in some form of safety seat until they turn eight years old or grow taller than four feet, nine inches, whichever occurs first.
So, you might not need to provide a child safety seat for an unusually tall six-year-old child. On the other hand, once your child turns eight, you cannot get cited for breaking the child seat law even if your child is unusually small. Thus, you should consider the Texas car seat law the absolute minimum you must do to protect your child.
Best Practices From Doctors
The American Academy of Pediatrics has set out some guidelines for the best way to protect your child in a vehicle. According to its policy statement, you should use three different systems or a convertible system that can take three different configurations depending on your child’s age and height.
Your infant will start in a rear-facing car seat. This seat orients the baby on their back with their feet pointed toward the rear of the vehicle. In this position, the seat supports the baby’s head and neck, reducing the chances of a whiplash-type injury.
You should never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat of your vehicle unless the airbags have been deactivated. An airbag can cause serious injuries when it deploys near a rear-facing child seat because it can flip the seat and eject the baby.
Your baby should remain in the rear-facing seat for at least a year. Once the baby outgrows the seat, you can switch to a forward-facing car seat. This seat has a five-point harness to reduce the risk of ejection.
The child should remain in the forward-facing seat until they outgrow the harness. They can then graduate to a booster seat. The booster lifts the child so the car’s shoulder belt crosses the child’s chest rather than their neck.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Laredo Car Accident Lawyer
You may face massive medical expenses if your child gets injured in a car accident in Laredo, TX. Contact Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss how we can fight for your child’s future by securing fair compensation.