California Child Car Seat Laws

Being in a car accident in California is a traumatic experience. When your child is in the car with you, you only have one thought: “is my child hurt?” If your child is in a properly fitted safety seat, they are more likely to survive a car wreck.

Children involved in car crashes can sustain catastrophic injuries that result in permanent impairments. California’s car seat laws are designed to protect child passengers in motor vehicles from injury and death. The members of our legal team are strong advocates for the use of a car seat or booster that is appropriate for your child’s age, weight, and height. 

If your child was injured in an automobile accident contact our San Diego law firm at (619) 777-5555 for a free consultation to discuss the best way to protect your child’s legal rights. Our legal team is ready to fight for your child’s right to fair and just compensation for accident injuries.

How Mission Personal Injury Lawyers, P.C. Can Help After a Car Accident 

How Our San Diego Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident

Our experienced San Diego car accident attorneys have a 99% success rate for cases we handle. We have over 25 years of combined legal experience handling personal injury claims, including child injury cases and car accidents. 

When you hire our legal team at Mission Personal Injury Lawyers, you can expect us to:

  • Explain your legal rights and options clearly
  • Investigate your injury claim and your child’s injury claim
  • Identify the liable parties and gather evidence proving fault 
  • File all insurance claims and negotiate top-dollar settlement offers
  • Calculate the maximum value for your injury case and fight to get that amount for you and your family
  • File a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary, to pursue your claim 

Contact our office in San Diego, CA, today to schedule your free consultation with a San Diego car accident attorney. You are not under any obligation to retain our law firm after meeting with an attorney for a free case review.

Car Accidents Are a Leading Cause of Death for Children

In 2018, over 97,000 children were injured, and 636 children under 12 died in motor vehicle accidents. A third of the children who died in car crashes were not restrained in a safety seat or seat belt. 

Automobile crashes are a leading cause of death for children in the United States. Parents and caregivers can significantly reduce death and injury risk by merely securing children in a child safety seat or booster seat. 

What Are the California Child Car Seat Laws?

The California child car seat laws are straightforward. All children under the age of two years must ride in a rear-facing car seat until they reach 40 or more inches in height or the child weighs 40 or more pounds. 

Children seven years and younger must be secured in a car seat or booster seat. When a child reaches 4-feet, 9-inches tall, or eight years of age, the child may be secured in a booster seat or a safety belt. 

Teenagers 16 years of age and older must wear a seat belt according to California’s seat belt laws.

Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics

In 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) modified its recommendations for the use of child safety seats. Under the new guidance, it is recommended that a child remains in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. Being secured in a rear-facing car seat in the vehicle’s back seat is the safest location for a child.

Parents may use a forward-facing harnessed seat when the child exceeds the car seat manufacturer’s height and weight limits. Most forward-facing car seats can accommodate children up to 40 and 65 pounds or more. Therefore, a child in a harnessed seat could remain in that seat until they are four or more years old.

Parents should use a car safety seat unless the child exceeds the maximum weight or height recommendations or has a health condition that prevents the use of a traditional child safety seat. 

After children outgrow safety seats, parents can transition children into booster seats that allow the parent to position the safety belt correctly across the child’s lap and chest. Booster seats should be used until a child can sit in the car with a seat belt correctly positioned over the child’s chest and lap.

What Should I Do if My Child is in a Car Accident?

If your child is injured in a car crash, your first priority is your child’s health and mental welfare. However, you should also consider your child’s legal rights. Your child has the right to recover compensation for economic damages and non-economic damages. 

When your child is stable, talk with a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim on behalf of your child. Our injury lawyers in San Diego have extensive experience handling child injury cases. 

A monetary award cannot undo the pain and suffering your child has experienced because of a negligent driver. However, the compensation from a personal injury case can pay for ongoing medical care and other damages for your child.

Children injured in car crashes can have long-term cognitive, emotional, and physical impairments. Our San Diego personal injury attorneys thoroughly explore all potential damages your child might sustain and calculate the maximum value of those damages. We will not stop fighting until we exhaust all avenues of compensation for you and your child.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our child injury lawyers in San Diego, CA.