If your child was injured in an accident and you learned that the car seat is defective, you may have a viable product liability lawsuit to file. While each state varies as to the specific proof you need to file a claim, in general there are basic guidelines that are used to determine if you have a reasonable case. When discussing defective child seats, the seat must be proven defective, the child must have suffered an injury or loss, and the defect was a direct cause of the injury. Of further consideration is whether you were using the child car seat correctly.
Injury or Financial Loss: An Essential Piece of a Product Liability Lawsuit
When an accident occurs but there is no physical injury or financial loss from the accident, there is no product liability lawsuit to file. It doesn’t matter if the car seat was proven defective, as long as your child was not injured because of it. While it’s upsetting to get into an accident, your fear of almost getting hurt does not mean you have a viable personal injury lawsuit. If there are no damages, you do not have a claim to file.
When the Product is Defective
The second step in determining whether a product liability claim can go forward is to consider if the product is defective. If the seat malfunctioned during use, this should be easy to prove. If you are trying to show that the car seat was simply made wrong, this may be harder for you to prove that it is defective. Another way to prove product liability is to point out the inherent dangers of using the product, and show that you were not warned about these dangers.
The Defective Child Seat Must be the Cause of the Injuries
If the child car seat didn’t malfunction, and if there are no flaws in the design, it will be difficult to prove that the car seat was responsible for the injuries your child sustained. In fact, it may be possible to prove that the car seat prohibited more serious injuries from occurring. When your child is injured in a car accident and you think it’s because of a defective child seat, it’s important to meet with an attorney to discuss the merits of your case.
The Child Car Seat Was Installed Properly
Many parents worry about installing the child car seats in their car correctly. If you follow the directions, you should have no problem getting the seat into your car to use as it is intended. If the car seat malfunctioned because it was not properly installed in the car, then it is not the product that caused your child’s injuries. If it is determined that the car seat was used in the right manner, this is another facet of a product liability case that is considered.
Product liability cases can get complex, and it’s important to seek legal counsel when you are at the beginning stages of such a case. When you set up an initial consultation, you should bring all of your child’s treatment records because of the accident, reports from the scene, pictures of the car seat, car and scene of the accident, and anything else that you feel will help your lawyer figure out the specifics of your claim. The more information you can provide your lawyer, the easier it will be to determine if you are eligible to receive compensation for the injuries your child sustained because of a defective car seat.
To find out if you are eligible for compensation, give our law firm a call today to set up your free initial consultation.