Brian White | December 12, 2023 | Texas Laws
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death for children. Accidents are also a leading cause of injuries for minors. As a result, there are strict child car seat laws in Texas designed to protect children when they are passengers in a vehicle.
Understanding child car seat laws in Texas is essential to protect your child when riding a motor vehicle. Understanding the child seat laws also helps you avoid being fined up to $250 for failing to restrain a child in a vehicle properly.
What Are the Child Car Seat Laws in Texas?
Texas Transportation Code §545.412 requires that all children under eight years of age and less than four feet, nine inches tall must be restrained in an appropriate child safety seat while riding in motor vehicles. The type of child car seat depends on the child’s age, height, and weight.
The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends using the following child safety seats:
- Rear-facing child safety seats for infants and toddlers until they outgrow the car seat because of their height or weight.
- Front-facing child safety seat with a harness for young children until they outgrow the car seat because of their height or weight.
- A belt-positioning booster seat for children who have outgrown child safety seats. The booster seat correctly positions a seat belt over the child’s lap and shoulder. It is recommended that children ride in booster seats until they are between the ages of eight and 12 and have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height.
- Use a vehicle seat belt for children who are under 13 years of age and are old enough and tall enough to be out of a booster seat. Children under 13 years old should ride in the rear of the vehicle.
Incorrect installation of a child safety seat increases the child’s risk of injury or death in a car accident. You can find child safety seat checkup events and inspection stations in Texas by visiting the state’s Health and Human Services website.
What To Do if Your Child Is Injured in a Car Accident in Houston, TX
The first priority is your child’s health and well-being. Seek immediate medical treatment for your child. Children may not display the same injury symptoms as adults, so you always want to have your child checked by a pediatrician or medical professional after a car accident.
Common car accident injuries children sustain include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Nerve damage
A child’s injury from a car accident can cause lifelong impairments and disabilities. Children injured in car crashes may develop cognitive and physical impairments. They may experience extreme emotional distress and PTSD after a traffic accident.
A child may experience developmental delays and regression of skills after a car crash. Your child deserves to be compensated fairly for all injuries and harm caused by the car accident.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of Your Child After a Houston Car Accident
A child is entitled to the same types of damages after a car accident as adults. However, children cannot file a claim on their own. Their parents or legal guardians must file the claim.
- Medical bills and expenses
- Personal and/or nursing care
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Impairments and disabilities
If your child sustains a permanent disability or impairment, they could be entitled to future damages for loss of earning capacity, diminished quality of life, future lost wages, and ongoing medical/personal care.
You may also be entitled to compensation for your damages. You could receive reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses and loss of income because you need to care for your child.
Who Is Responsible for My Child’s Personal Injury Claim After a Houston Car Accident?
Texas is an at-fault state for car accident claims. Therefore, the driver who caused the accident can be personally liable for your child’s injuries. However, other parties could also be liable depending on the circumstances and cause of the accident.
For example, if the person who causes the car accident is on the job, their employer could be vicariously liable for damages. Likewise, a manufacturer could be liable if a defective car seat contributed to the cause of your child’s injuries.A Houston car accident lawyer can review your child’s case to advise who may be liable and the best way to pursue a claim. Time is limited to file claims by the statute of limitations, so seek prompt legal advice to protect your child’s rights.
Contact a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer to Help You With Your Claim
For more information, contact the Houston personal injury law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 500-5000
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054