Florida Child Car Seat Laws
Protecting your child when he or she is riding in a car is a top priority. Florida lawmakers enacted child car seat laws and a booster seat law to reduce the risk of injury to children because of a car accident. Sadly, many children are injured in car crashes in Clearwater, FL, even though they are in the correct car seat.
At Roman & Gaynor, our Clearwater car accident lawyers represent families after a car accident. With over 65 years of combined experience, our attorneys fight for fair compensation for each family member, especially children.
If your child was injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office for a free consultation with a Clearwater personal injury lawyer.
How Our Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help if You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident
Car accidents can cause traumatic injuries for adults and children. In some cases, a defective car seat could contribute to the severity of a child’s injuries. The Clearwater personal injury attorneys of Roman & Gaynor explore all causes of action to recover compensation for accident victims.
Since 1996, our Clearwater, Florida attorneys have recovered more than $100 million in compensation for clients. Indeed, our cases have been recognized among Top 50 US Verdicts – State of Florida and have gained us membership in the exclusive Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
When you hire our legal team, you can expect us to:
- Evaluate your claim to provide an honest assessment of your options
- Investigate to determine how the accident occurred and who is liable for your damages
- File insurance claims and handle all matters with the insurance company
- Aggressively pursue the maximum amount of compensation for your claim
- Prepare and file a personal injury lawsuit, when necessary, to protect your best interests
- Provide support, guidance, and regular updates about your case
If you need help with a car accident claim, contact our office to schedule a free consultation with a Clearwater car accident attorney.
How Common Are Florida Car Accidents?
According to FLHSMV, there were 401,867 traffic crashes reported in Florida in 2019. Those crashes resulted in 3,185 deaths and 236,753 injuries.
The CDC reports that traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of 13 years. In 2018, more than 97,000 children 12 years and younger were injured in car accidents, and 636 children died.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that a child is involved in a traffic crash every 32 seconds. Because children have a high risk of injury and death in motor vehicle accidents, ensuring children are appropriately secured in a safety seat is crucial.
What Are Florida Car Seat Laws?
Florida car seat laws apply to children 5 years of age and under.
The statute requires that children up to three years of age ride in a child restraint device that is a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat or a separate carrier. Children ages 4 and 5 must ride in an integrated child seat, separate carrier, or a booster seat.
Florida law requires that all children under 18 years of age must use a child restraint device or seat belts when riding in a car.
What Type of Car Seat Should I Buy For My Child?
Studies have shown that the use of car seats reduces the risk of death in a car accident. Placing children in safety seats also reduces the risk of injury in a car accident.
For that reason, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommends keeping children in car seats as long as possible. However, you need to use the correct child safety seat based on your child’s height and weight.
The AAP recommends that children remain in a rear-facing car seat until they exceed the manufacturer’s maximum height and weight restrictions for the car seat. The old recommendation was to use a rear-facing child seat until age two.
After a child outgrows the rear-facing safety seat, they can be placed in forward-facing car seats until they outgrow the manufacturer’s maximum height and weight restrictions for the safety seat.
Older children should use booster seats until they reach 4 feet 9 inches in height. They should be able to fit a seat belt properly at that height. All children aged 12 years and younger should ride in the back seat of the vehicle.
Common Types of Injuries Children Sustain Because of a Car Accident
Children may sustain numerous injuries in a car crash. The injuries are similar to injuries adults might sustain. However, there could be complications and long-term impairments.
For example, broken bones and spine injuries could impair a child’s natural growth. Brain injuries may result in learning disabilities and emotional or physical impairments.
Whenever a child is involved in an auto accident, it is good to have the child checked by a doctor as soon as possible.
Parents may not recognize all the signs of a car accident injury because children may present different symptoms or complaints than adults.
Who is Liable for My Child’s Injuries Caused by a Car Crash?
If another driver causes a car accident, that driver can be held liable for damages under Florida’s personal injury laws. However, you must prove that the driver negligently caused the crash.
Proving fault could be complicated, so you should talk to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our lawyers have extensive experience investigating and pursuing accident claims.
Remember, the other driver’s insurance company has a team of professionals working to protect its best interest. Make sure your child has a legal team who works even harder to protect theirs. Your child deserves compensation for pain and suffering and economic damages.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Clearwater Car Accident Lawyers
Do not delay contacting an attorney. The sooner you call, the quicker we can begin gathering evidence to prove fault and liability.
Call now for your free consultation with a Clearwater car accident lawyer.