As a responsible driver and parent in the sprawling landscape of Texas, ensuring your child’s safety while driving is crucial. Optimizing passenger safety, especially for younger travelers, is not just a moral responsibility. Texas law also mandates it. Lawmakers in Texas designed the child car seat laws with the safety and protection of children on Texan roads in mind.
An alarming number of child injuries and fatalities occur every year on Texas roads due to car accidents that necessitate stringent child car seat laws. These laws are put in place to significantly reduce the risk of injury and death. Violating these laws can result in harsh fines and legal complications, emphasizing the criticality of understanding these statutes.
Texas Child Car Seat Laws: The Basics
According to Texas law, children under the age of eight or shorter than four feet, nine inches, are required to be securely fastened in a suitable child safety seat while being transported in motor vehicles. Primary factors in determining the appropriate car seat include the child’s weight, height, and age.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides further insight into the type of car seats recommended for children of different ages:
- Infants and toddlers must ride in rear-facing safety seats until either their weight or height exceeds the specifications of their car seat.
- After outgrowing rear-facing seats, children must shift to a front-facing safety seat equipped with a harness. They continue to use these seats until they exceed the height or weight limit set by the seat’s manufacturer.
- Once a child outgrows front-facing seats, a belt-positioning booster seat should be used. This seat places a protective belt correctly over the child’s shoulder and lap. It is recommended that children should remain in booster seats until they reach the height of 4 feet 9 inches, typically occurring between the ages of eight and 12.
- For children under the age of 13, or who are tall enough to go without a booster seat, a regular vehicle seat belt may be used. It’s recommended, however, that these children continue to ride in the back seat of the vehicle.
Failure to correctly install a child safety seat may increase the child’s risk of injury, or worse, fatality, in a car accident.
Dealing with Child Injuries in a Car Accident in Texas
No one wants to conceive the thought of children involved in car accidents. Yet, the reality remains that accidents are unpredictable and can result in severe injuries to minors. Should such an unfortunate event occur, the priority is to address the health and well-being of the child.
Some of the common car accident injuries in children include:
- broken bones or fractures
- traumatic brain injuries
- soft tissue injuries
- internal organ damage
- spinal cord injuries
- nerve damage
- neck injuries.
A car accident can have a long-lasting, sometimes permanent impact on a child’s development and wellbeing. It can lead to cognitive and physical impairments, significant emotional distress, or even trauma.
Seeking Legal Recourse for Your Child’s Injuries
Parents or legal guardians have the right to file a personal injury claim on behalf of their children. This is if the children have sustained injuries from a car crash. Like adults, children are entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages. This includes medical expenses, long-term personal or nursing care, emotional distress, physical pain, and loss of enjoyment of life.
If a car accident causes permanent impairment or disability in a child, they may be entitled to future damages. This can cover the cost of ongoing medical care, a decrease in the quality of life, future loss of wages, and a potentially compromised earning capacity.
Additionally, as a parent or guardian, you may be eligible for compensation given your loss of income and expenditures incurred while caring for your injured child.
Navigating through the maze of legalities can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with the distress of your child’s injuries. At Walker Texas Lawyer, we are committed to taking care of Texans and helping you through this challenging time. With our assistance as Houston child injury lawyers, you can focus on the emotional and physical well-being of your child while we handle the complex world of legal hurdles.
Remember, Texas is an at-fault state for car accidents which implies that the party responsible for the accident is liable for the injuries. Additionally, other parties can also be held responsible, given the circumstances of the accident.
Time is of the essence. Act promptly to preserve the rights of your injured child and secure their future. At Walker Texas Lawyer, we want to help you get the justice your child deserves. Let’s ride this journey together – one where Texas roads are safer for children.