Getting into a car accident is every parent’s worst fear when it comes to protecting their children. That is why a big part of protecting your child when they are in the car is making sure you follow Indiana car seat laws. These laws are there to protect children and make sure they are adequately restrained in the case of an accident.
If you have been in a car accident and your child was injured, you need to hire a child accident lawyer who will fight for the best outcome. Contact us today at Sevenish Law Firm to speak to a child injury lawyer in Indianapolis.
Indiana Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws
Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children between the ages of one and 13. Because of this, it is extremely important for parents to follow car seat laws in Indiana. Indiana breaks these laws down by the type of car restraints, the age of the child, and the weight of the child.
Children under the age of one should always use a rear-facing car seat. It is ideal if you can use a rear-facing car seat as long as possible since this is one of the best ways to keep small children safe. Some parents are able to do this for children up to three years old as long as they are under the height and weight limit of the car seat manufacturer.
Because these car seats are the safest option, Indiana law requires children under 20 pounds to be restrained in a rear-facing car seat.
Indiana Front-Facing Car Seat Laws
Once your child becomes too old to sit in a rear-facing car seat, you will need to familiarize yourself with the next set of Indiana child restraint laws. These laws are centered on front-facing car seats that are usually used for children between the ages of 3 to 7 years old.
Front-facing car seats are required in Indiana for children at least one year-old and weighing 20 pounds. It is encouraged that parents keep their children in a front-facing car seat until they are at least 40 pounds. If your child is petite, it may take them a bit longer to graduate to a booster or a seatbelt.
Booster and Seatbelt Laws
Aside from standard car seat laws in Indiana, it is also important to understand laws around seatbelts and boosters. Boosters are the next step up from a car seat that is usually used for slightly older children who are at least 30 pounds. Indiana car seat laws also require that children under the age of eight have some kind of child restraint system in place.
Most children can switch to using a seatbelt when they are between 8 and 12 years old. They will need to be large enough for the seat belt to fit snugly across their upper thighs and across their shoulders and chest. The law requires children under the age of 16 to wear a seatbelt or a child restraint system any time they are in a moving vehicle.
Violations of Indiana Car Seat Law
If a child is not restrained according to Indiana car seat laws, there will be violations. These violations are very similar to what would happen if an adult was pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. This includes the possibility of getting a ticket for a class D infraction and receiving a $25 fine for first-time offenders.
Unfortunately, the real consequences of driving without the right car seat or booster could possibly be injuries to the child. Children are much lighter than adults and are more at risk of being thrown around or thrown out of the vehicle in the case of an accident. That is why the proper restraints are necessary to make sure they are secure and as safe as possible.
When You Should Replace a Car Seat
If your child is using a car seat in the car, it is your responsibility to make sure it is in good condition so that it keeps them safe. If you have been in a vehicle accident, it is a good idea to replace the car seat as soon as possible. This may not be required for more minor crashes if the car seat is not visibly damaged and the vehicle wasn’t damaged on that side.
You also need to make sure you are replacing the car seat as your child reaches the maximum height and weight limits. These are there for a reason and ensure your child fits comfortably and safely in the car seat.
Contact an Indianapolis Child Accident Lawyer Today
Getting into an accident with your child is a very scary experience, but it doesn’t have to end that way. You can hire a child accident lawyer to make sure you receive the financial compensation you are owed. This is important if you need to cover your child’s medical bills after the accident.