Most parents do the best they can to safeguard their children from danger. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, crashes involving motor vehicles are one of the leading reasons for fatalities among children. Statistics show that in 2017 there were 675 fatalities in traffic collisions involving children ages 12 and younger. The number of injuries was staggering at almost 116,000. Below, we will explore the reasons for injuries and fatalities to children in motor vehicle accidents and what needs to be shown to prove damages.
If your child has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, our hearts go out to you. For immediate legal help and to get your free case reviewed started, call the Law Offices of David Azizi today at (800) 991-5292.
Los Angeles Lawyer for Injuries to Children
For 25 years, David Azizi has helped residents of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas in obtaining financial compensation for their injuries caused by the negligent actions of another person or entity. Because David is diligent, experienced and has a strong knowledge of the law, he wins 98 percent of his cases. Super Lawyers, the legal ranking firm, calls David one of the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles year after year. You can reach David at (800) 991-5292 to schedule your free, no-obligation case review. He can answer your questions, discuss your case with you, tell you what your options are and give you a rough estimate of what your case might be worth.
Lack of Restraints and Incidence of Child Injuries
The CDC reported that in the accidents that occurred involving the injury or the death of a child, about 35 percent of those children were not using seat restraints. In addition, not all states require that younger children be transported in the back seat. Research has shown that children who are rear-seat passengers are 75 percent less likely to die in a collision for children ages three and under and by nearly 50 percent for children between the ages of four and eight. Passenger vehicle occupant deaths among children have dropped dramatically since 1975 due to car seats and other restraints geared toward keeping them safe.
Car Seat Defects and Child Injuries
It usually isn’t possible to prevent an accident, but added safety such as a proper car seat for a child can significantly lower the incidence of injuries or a potential fatality. Unfortunately, defects in car seats can do the opposite of how they were intended and increase the risk of injury or death. The following statistics show that car seat recalls occurred 20 times in 2018 with problems from not conforming to federal standards to inadequate web harnessing and a poorly placed release button that the child could push.
The most common defects in car seats that occur include:
- Faulty straps or adjusters: Straps may break due to faulty manufacture as well as the adjusters needed to protect the child by fastening them tight enough.
- Faulty buckles or latches: A latch or buckle that is defective may come loose during the impact of a motor vehicle crash. This could cause serious injury to a child or even allow them to be ejected from the vehicle.
- Materials that can catch on fire: Using materials that are not fireproof in a car seat can result in serious burns if the vehicle is in an accident and a fire ensues.
- Defective seat belts: A defective seat belt used to hold a car seat or booster can break, causing the child protection device to fly through the air, seriously injuring the child.
- Problems with the frame: A poorly manufactured or defective frame on a car seat can break, causing injury to the child by not protecting them as it should.
Recommendations on Choosing the Correct Car Seat
Using the wrong size and type of car seat for a child can be dangerous because it may not offer adequate protection if an accident occurs. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration makes helpful recommendations on choosing the right car seat to meet your child’s needs. Some of their recommendations include:
- Base your selection on the size and age of your child. In addition, pick a seat that fits well in your vehicle.
- Keep a child in their car seat until they no longer fit within the manufacturer’s weight and height requirements.
- Always go by the instructions provided by the manufacturer when installing a car seat.
- Children should remain passengers in the back seat through age 12 or even longer. The rear seat is more protected than the front, and fewer injuries occur to back seat passengers.
Product Liability Claims in Child Injury Cases
In California, which is a strict liability state when it comes to product liability, a manufacturer or others may be held liable even if the product was not manufactured in the state. This law applies to the manufacturer, parts producer, designer or even the seller of that product. Types of errors that can lead to a product liability claim are:
In a case that is based on negligence, the injured person must show that:
- The manufacturer and others in the chain of distribution (defendants) had a duty to use reasonable care in designing, manufacturing, distributing or selling a product.
- The defendants’ poor design or defect breached the duty of care that was owed to the plaintiff.
- This breach in the duty of care was the reason the plaintiff’s injuries occurred.
- The plaintiff suffered an injury and financial loss due to this negligence.
Breach of Warranty
The plaintiff in a case involving breach of warranty must show:
- A product warranty that was specific or implied existed.
- The product did not meet the terms of that warranty.
Under a legal theory for fraud in a case involving a defective product, it must be shown that:
- Representations concerning the product were made.
- The representations were untrue.
- The defendant in the case either knew the representations were untrue or probably weren’t true.
- The representations were made to get people to purchase that product.
- The injured party depended on the representations to be true.
- The party suing was injured as a result of those false representations.
Providing Proof Following Child Injuries in an Accident
Four elements must be shown to collect compensation in a California product liability injury case. These elements are:
- That the manufacturer, designer, distributor or seller (defendants) sold a defective product
- That the product was defective when it left the possession of the manufacturer, designer, seller or distributor (defendants)
- That the injured person (plaintiff) used the product in the manner in which it was intended
- That the injured person (plaintiff) was harmed because of the defective product
Free Case Review from a Los Angeles Child Injury Law Firm
David’s compassion and empathy, as well as hard work and his knowledge of the law, helps him obtain fair compensation for his clients. He strongly believes that no one should be financially responsible for the negligence of another. Call him at (800) 991-5292 to schedule your free case evaluation. You can also reach David online by messaging him, and he will call you as soon as he’s available.