Replacing car seat after accident

Sarah - posted on 07/23/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My 22-month old son & I were rear-ended yesterday morning. :( It wasn't serious...no one was hurt & we were able to drive away from the scene. Unfortunately, because my car is an older model, I wouldn't be surprised if the car is totaled.

Anyway, I always heard that you were supposed to replace the car seat after an accident. I read online that an older recommendation was to replace a car seat even in the most minor car accidents. And then I read that it's NOT really necessary to replace it if the accident was minor, no one was injured, you were able to drive away, etc etc.

What do y'all think? What would you do in this situation?

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Sarah - posted on 07/25/2011

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Thanks for the responses everyone. @Sherri- I read the same thing concerning replacing car seats in minor collisions. So, according to the criteria, technically, the insurance company won't replace his car seat. :( I'm going to call the insurance company this morning just to double check. Thanks again!

Sherri - posted on 07/24/2011

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I was informed by the police, car insurance co. and fire dept. after my car accident. If the straps in no way were strained, if their were no injuries, if the air bags didn't deploy and if the car wasn't damaged on the side the car seats were on there is no reason to replace the car seats.

No in my case my 2003 ford windstar was hit head on after a jack ass ran a stop sign I basically ran into a brick wall doing 35MPH, 3 out of the 6 people in the car were seriously injured and all straps definitely had strain put on them. The jack asses insurance company had to replace all the car seats in my car no questions asked.

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Replace it. I have always heard that you must replace the seat after any collision, even a minor one, and even if there was no child in the seat (unless it's a booster). The force of the impact can change the molecular structure of the plastic base and make the plastic more brittle and less pliable than it need to be to safely protect a child during a collision.



I was rear-ended when J was 2. There was no damage to the outside of the car, save a few scratches on my bumper and paint chipped from their's, but the insurance company still replaced my car seat.

Jodi - posted on 07/23/2011

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I have heard the same thing as you. Basically, if no-one was injured, the door closest to the car seat was not damaged, the airbags did not deploy, and you were able to drive away from the crash, it is considered a minor accident and doesn't require you to replace the car seat. However, if you are concerned, I believe there are places you can have the seat inspected for its' integrity. No need to automatically replace it.

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Sarah - posted on 07/25/2011

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@Kelly - I have not heard back from the lady who is taking care of my claim. :( But, I will stay on it until I get an answer lol.

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How did it go, Sarah? I hope they'll replace it. I am in the US, and I had no problem at all getting mine replaced after my accident. I'm with State Farm. I wonder if different companies have different policies? It should be federally regulated. How could one tell if the straps were stressed or not? I cannot imagine a situation where they would not be.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/24/2011

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Not me. We have public insurance in my province and they replace after any accident, no questions asked. A friend of mine has been rear-ended twice in the last year (very bad luck, but then PGers do love their tailgating) and they just gave her three new seats each time. They were not big accidents. Just little bumps. I guess they don`t want to take any chances.

Sherri - posted on 07/24/2011

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Yes you will need to ck with your insurance co. because they only replace them here if you meet certain criteria that I listed below.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/24/2011

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Here they tell you to always replace them and it is covered by insurance so that's what I would do.

Christina - posted on 07/24/2011

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It needs to be replaced. Submit the bill for a new one in your damages for your insurance.
A car accident, even a fender bender, can cause a hairline fracture in a car seats plastic making it unsafe.

Teresa - posted on 07/24/2011

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I would get it replaced by the other parties insurance coverage. It was their fault so their insurance should pay.

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Get the car seat inspected ASAP for any kind of comprimised base, shell, straps, latches, etc. This can usually be done through the fire or police department as a free public safety service. I like how someone phrased it earlier: easier to replace a car seat than a kid. Even if the car seat was deemed 'safe', I probably would get a new one anyway for my own peace of mind, and possibly leave the one in the accident as a spare/back-up seat.

User - posted on 07/24/2011

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It should be covered by your insurance. The seat may have been damaged or weakened in ways you can't see.

User - posted on 07/24/2011

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It should be covered by your insurance. The seat may have been damaged or weakened in ways you can't see.

Merry - posted on 07/24/2011

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Idk I've heard both sides of the story, maybe find a car seat technician or call the car seats manufacturer. They've done the safety checks and they would know if it needs replacing.

Amie - posted on 07/24/2011

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I'd do what Jodi suggested, get the seat inspected. They would be better able to advise you than any of us would.

Jane - posted on 07/23/2011

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I would probably go ahead and replace the seat, just in case the straps were weakened. Kids are a lot harder to replace than car seats.

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