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Is your child safety seat free of defects?

It is that time of the year again for Los Angeles-area children to return to school. While the start of school can bring a flood of emotions for children and parents alike, the top concern for all involved is the safety of the children.

Unfortunately, there is never a shortage of risks to children, who are particularly susceptible to injury. A simple drive to school, for example, can result in serious injury, or even death, when an accident occurs.

Aside from the direct injuries that can be suffered in the car crash, there can be further injuries suffered when defective child safety seats are involved. A simple car crash can be made far worse if the child's safety seat does not function as intended, resulting in serious injury to the child.

Many safety measures are in place to try to prevent these defective child products from causing injuries. For instance, child seat manufacturers often issue recalls when defects are known to arise in their products. The trouble is, these recalls may not be noticed until it is too late for many who have suffered injuries because of the defective product. Other times, the recall may be issued, but people may not receive notice of it. Indeed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that only 40 percent of people get their car seats fixed after a recall.

Children injured by defective car seats have another means of getting relief, however, through a products liability action. The action will hold the manufacturer or others responsible for the defect in the child safety seat, similar to what can be done for other types of products. If the defect can be established in the case, the injured party can obtain an award of damages.

Source: Consumer Affairs, "Child car seat-maker Graco hit with multi million dollar fine," James Limbach, March 26, 2015

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