The death of a child is always a grievous tragedy—especially when the loss could have been prevented. In the United States, motor-vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among children, and the vast majority of collisions stem from driver errors.
Sadly, even the most responsible parents cannot control the actions of other drivers; however, there are steps you can take to reduce your children’s risk of dying or suffering injuries in the event of a crash. Perhaps the most effective strategy is to ensure that your kids are properly restrained.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that infants who sit in car seats are 71-percent less likely to die in accidents. In 2015, more than one-third of children ages 12 and younger who lost their lives in collisions were not properly restrained.
Unfortunately, even the most advanced car seats cannot prevent all injuries. If your child was hurt in a crash with a drunk, distracted, or negligent motorist, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm. Our lawyers have 100 years of combined experience protecting the rights of the injured. Call 800-522-6733 today to schedule a free initial consultation with a personal injury attorney in Lafayette.
Louisiana’s Car Seat Law
Following multiple studies that demonstrated the efficacy of child seats for preventing injuries and deaths, Louisiana legislators passed a law that requires all children to use appropriate safety restraints. The requirements for a specific child depend on his or her age and weight.
According to the Louisiana State Legislature, infants up to age 1 who weigh less than 20 pounds must sit in a rear-facing convertible or infant seat. Children ages 1 to 3 and kids who weigh 20 to 40 pounds must sit in a forward-facing convertible or combination seat.
Children ages 4 to 5 who weigh 40 to 60 pounds must ride in a booster seat. It can be high-backed or backless. Children ages 6 and older who weigh at least 60 pounds must use a booster seat or an adult seatbelt.
Other Requirements of Louisiana’s Child Seat Law
The law specifies that the child seat must meet the standards of the United States Department of Transportation. It must be secured in the vehicle according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, and it must be equipped with a safety belt system that provides sufficient space for proper installation.
If you violate Louisiana’s child seat law, you could face a fine of up to $100 for a first offense.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney to File a Personal Injury Claim?
Although you are not required to hire an accident lawyer to file your claim, insurance companies tend to take claims filed by attorneys more seriously. Also, a small mistake, such as missing important deadlines or overlooking future damages, could reduce the amount of compensation you recover or prevent you from recovering any compensation at all.
If your child was injured by a negligent driver, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm to discuss your case. A car wreck lawyer in Lafayette will help you navigate the claims process and fight for the maximum payout. Call 800-522-6733 today to schedule a free initial consultation.