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California Car Seat Laws

By Encino Personal Injury Attorney on January 23, 2019

As parents, our number-one goal is to keep our children safe. Driving has become second nature to most of us, so there’s a danger we could take it for granted and become careless when it comes to using car seats and boosters.

California law states that children must remain in a car seat or booster until they are 8 years old or 49 inches tall. Children under 2 years of age must stay in a rear-facing car seat until they are 40 pounds or 40 inches tall. Studies show that children under the age of 2 are 500% safer being in a rear-facing seat instead of a forward-facing one.

At Novik & Stanley, A Professional Law Corporation, we care about you and want you to be as safe as possible. If you are confused about California’s car seat laws, take a look below for frequently asked questions about car seats.

What If My Car Seat Is Recalled?

Check the car seat for the model number and give the manufacturer a call to verify. You can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (800) 327-4236. The latest recall information is posted on the NHTSA website at It’s also a good idea to register your car seat, so the manufacturer can contact you directly if there’s an issue.

Can I Sue the Manufacturer?

If you or your child was injured by a product that was recalled, you may have a case; however, product liability claims tend to be drawn-out and difficult, and only worthwhile if the harm was severe. The manufacturer has to send out formal notices alerting all consumers of the defective product. If it doesn’t, that may be grounds for a class action lawsuit.

Are There Penalties for Not Strapping a Child in Properly?

If your child is not properly placed in the car seat or booster, you face a fine of $10 up to $500 depending on the severity of the offense. If you are involved in a car accident and the child is harmed because he or she is not secured, you could face criminal charges.

Remember, the law is on your side to protect your child in the event of a car crash. No matter how much of a rush you are in or how much your child hates being strapped in, you must have your child properly harnessed in the car seat. You will be thankful in the long run.

If your child did suffer passenger injuries despite being strapped in, and another driver is to blame for the crash, you should contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney immediately. Children face additional challenges after a trauma, and our team at Novik & Stanley know what to do to help them recover. We have handled many of these cases before, and know how to get good results for our clients. For a free consultation, please call (888) 355-5552.

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