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Carseats and car accidents

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I was in a rear end accident in April. My kids weren't with me, but the car seats were installed in the van. I was hit at approximately 35 mph, and the back of my van was completely destroyed. It requred about $8000 worth of repairs. I had some serous whiplash, and got to be really good friends with my chiropractor. After the accident, we immediately replaced my dd's Britax roundabout. My understanding was that if a carseat is in any kind of an accident it should be replaced, whether or not there was a child in it.

The other insurance company is now claiming that they should not pay for a replacement carseat, because it was not occupied at the time of the accident. What do all you knowledgable moms know about that? I'll check the Britax website, but the insurace agent is claiming that the NHTSA (or whoever those abbreviations stand for) says that they don't need to be replaced. What's the deal?
post #2 of 5
An installed car seats shell was strained regardless of occupancy at the time of the collision. Your vehicle belt was restraining the weight of the seat itself.
If the seat was occupied at the time of the collision, then not only would the shell be strained, but the harness straps restraining your child would be as well. Either way, the seat should be replaced. Since you have likely already destroyed/gotten rid of the wrecked seat the following may not apply to you. but I am putting it out here as others are reading: If the 3rd party insurance company is willing to put it in writing, that they guarantee the integrity of the seat and would be responsible for all injuries and deaths that could occur in part or in whole from re-using a seat that is a one time use product, then write something up and present it to them. In most cases when presented with such a waiver and in combination with a printout of the NHTSA replacement recommendations, the smart insurance company/adjustor, will cough up the money.
OP, I would suggest you print out the NHTSA recommendations and insist that the insurance company back off. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/inju...raintReUse.htm
Note that NHTSA has NOT differentiated or specifically stated that the seat must be occupied to replace.
In addition, ALL vehicle seat belts in use at the time of the collision, MUST be replaced as well (even the ones restraining the empty car seat). Again, seat belts are ONE TIME use products.

DC
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallaschildren View Post
In addition, ALL vehicle seat belts in use at the time of the collision, MUST be replaced as well (even the ones restraining the empty car seat). Again, seat belts are ONE TIME use products.

DC
Am I reading that right? The seat belt I was wearing needs to be replaced?

3+ weeks ago I was rear ended while waiting for a light to turn green.
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanibani View Post
Am I reading that right? The seat belt I was wearing needs to be replaced?

3+ weeks ago I was rear ended while waiting for a light to turn green.
Yes. There are 2 parts to a vehicle seat belt that can be damaged. Is there a magical formula for any one (insurance adjustor, auto mechanics etc.) to determine they are perfectly safe? No. Short of testing them in a crash testing facility NO ONE can assure you conclusively that the seat belt is fine to continue using. The two parts of the seat belt that can be irrevocably damaged are its fulcrum within the retractor and the webbing of the belt itself. The webbing is stretched restraining you and isn't like a rubber band. The fulcrum inside of your retractor balances. It is this balancing or lack thereof, that lock the retractor, which is what stops the belt, which is what holds you in a crash. Your belt held you, no? Then the fulcrum did its job and will not be the same. The "balance" has been disturbed.

DC
post #5 of 5
Yes, I believe the seat still needs to be replaced and I also didnt know that the seat belts should be too but it makes sense! Thank you for sharing that information
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