As a parent, ensuring your small child is safe whenever you hit the road is often a primary concern. To accomplish that goal, it is important to make sure that the car seat you’re using is completely safe and appropriate for your child’s size. Sometimes, though, the safety hazard comes not from your car seat but from your vehicle itself. If your child has been seriously injured (or worse) in a vehicle crash, it’s possible that an improper restraint was part of the problem. If that’s the case, then your situation may entitle you to seek justice through legal action. An experienced Portland child injury lawyer can provide you with crucial answers to your questions and advise you about possible next steps.
Currently, the industry standard for attaching car seats to vehicles is the LATCH (a/k/a Lower, Anchors & Tethers for Children) system. The system involves connecting the car seat to a set of metal anchors (built into the vehicle’s seats and seat backs) using tethers and clips attached to the car seat.
LATCH has now been in existence for more than two decades (dating back to the latter half of 2002,) yet issues with LATCH car seats remain. In late May, a product recall targeted some of Baby Trend’s hybrid child seats. According to the recall, the LATCH “assembly webbing that secures the child restraint system to the lower anchorages may fray, which can reduce the strength of the webbing and fail to properly restrain a child in a crash.” Due to that lack of strength, the seats failed to meet the requirements of two Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: “Child Restraint Systems” (number 213) and “Seat Belt Assemblies” (number 209).