Accidental injuries are the top cause of death in children, and nearly half of all fatal injuries involve a motor vehicle collision. As a result, every state in the U.S. has a child car seat law that requires caretakers to secure children in tested and approved restraint systems.
In a car accident, your compliance with Georgia child car seat laws will likely determine the severity of your child’s injuries. Mark Casto Personal Injury Law Firm can help you pursue fair compensation for your child’s future.
How Mark Casto Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help After a Car Accident in Columbus, GA
Mark Casto Personal Injury Law Firm was founded by a former prosecutor to protect the rights of injured people in Columbus, Georgia. Our founding attorney has successfully taken dozens of cases to trial, securing fair compensation for accident victims.
If you or your child suffer an injury caused by someone else’s negligent or intentional actions, our Columbus car accident lawyer will:
- Evaluate your case and explain your options
- Gather evidence proving fault and damages
- Stand up to insurers to fight for a fair settlement of your claim
- Fight for you in court if insurers and at-fault parties refuse to settle
Your child may face a lifetime of medical issues and disabilities after a car crash. Contact Mark Casto Personal Injury Law Firm and find out how we can fight for your child’s future in a car accident claim.
How Many Georgia Car Accidents Involve Children?
According to a query on the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Crash Portal, Georgia had 35,793 traffic accidents involving at least one child under nine years old.
These crashes included:
These crashes included:
- 132 fatal accidents, resulting in 157 fatalities
- 12,051 non-fatal injury accidents, causing 24,581 non-fatal injuries
Bear in mind that these numbers do not mean that 157 children died and 24,581 suffered injuries in 2022. Instead, these numbers include all drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists who suffered fatal or non-fatal injuries due to crashes in which at least one person involved was eight or younger.
Importantly, the GDOT Crash Portal also reports restraint use. In 2022, the children involved in these crashes included:
- 23,479 properly restrained in car seats
- 2,795 properly restrained in booster seats
- 1,532 without any safety restraint
- 975 improperly restrained in car seats
- 90 improperly restrained in booster seats
Thus, you can calculate that roughly 91% of children involved in crashes in Georgia that year were properly restrained. About 9% were unrestrained or improperly restrained.
Car Seat Requirements in Georgia
States like Georgia have car seat laws because car seats improve safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), car seats reduce the risk of injury to infants and small children by up to 82%. Similarly, booster seats reduce the risk of serious injury to children between four and eight years old by up to 45%.
Broadly, Georgia law requires drivers to secure children ages eight and younger in an approved child restraint system. The law does not specify a type or style of car seat based on the child’s age, height, or weight. Instead, it simply instructs drivers to restrain children in systems that are appropriate according to height and weight.
As a result, you may need to look at the best practices recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The CDC has adopted similar guidelines for child car seat use. These recommendations cover three stages in a child’s development:
Rear-Facing Car Seat
Rear-facing car seats place the child in a reclined orientation with their head pointed toward the back of the vehicle. The seat supports the head and neck of children who lack neck strength. It also includes a harness that secures the child from ejection. The AAP recommends using rear-facing seats from birth until the child outgrows the seat.
Front-Facing Car Seat
A front-facing car seat holds the child in a seated position facing the front of the vehicle. A five-point harness goes over the child’s shoulders to prevent ejection in a crash. An integral headrest protects the child’s head and neck.
The AAP recommends moving children to front-facing car seats when they outgrow their rear-facing seats. They remain in those seats until they outgrow the seat. Under current manufacturing guidelines, seats must support children up to 40 pounds. Thus, your child should remain in a front-facing seat until they weigh at least 40 pounds.
A booster seat lifts your child so the seat belt crosses their shoulder and chest rather than their neck. According to the AAP, children should use a booster seat until they reach at least four feet, nine inches.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Columbus Car Accident Attorney
Car accident injuries can threaten your child’s health and financial future. Contact Mark Casto Personal Injury Law Firm at (706) 940-4030 to discuss your child’s medical condition and the compensation you may seek for their injuries under Georgia law.