At the law firm of Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. our child injury attorneys represent children injured in Michigan car accidents. By far this is the most common type of injury accident involving children even though the majority of Michigan drivers make sure that a seat belt or child safety seat properly secures their children every time they hit the roadway. There are accidents every year, however, involving children who are not restrained. When this happens, the results can be devastating. If you are traveling anywhere in the state of Michigan with a child, it is important that you learn about Michigan's seat belt laws and restraint use statistics.
Michigan Child seat belt Laws
Under Michigan law, any child under 4 years of age must be secured in the rear seat in an approved child safety seat. A rear-facing seat must be buckled into the vehicle so tightly that it only moves about an inch from side to side or front to back. Children under 4 are not allowed in the front seat unless children under 4 years of age are already occupying every other seat. Furthermore, that child must be in a rear-facing seat and the airbag must be turned off. Children ages 2 to 4 must ride in a forward facing car seat in the back seat. In fact, all children must ride in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4'9" tall.
Child Restraint Statistics
According to the 2012 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts as reported by the Office of Highway Safety Planning, there were 188 injury accidents involving children under the age of 1. In those collisions, 43 infants were wearing a seat belt, 125 were secured by a child restraint, six were unbuckled and one was not restrained. In those accidents, two newborns were killed and 180 were injured.
When reviewing other age groups, it becomes clear how effective child restraint systems and safety belts are at preventing fatal injuries. Of the two 2-year-olds who were killed in traffic accidents in the year 2012, neither was secured by a safety belt or child restraint system. Similarly, two of the five fatally injured children between the ages of 4 and 7 that year were not secured at the time of their crash. Of the eight children aged 8 to15, who were fatally injured in Michigan car accidents, five were not buckled up.
Defective Child Seats
If your child is properly secured at the time of an accident and still sustains a serious injury, it may be in your best interest to have the seat inspected. If the seat is defective in some way, you may be able to pursue financial compensation from the manufacturer. Child safety seats that do not properly latch or that become loose during a collision put children at risk.
If Your Child Has Been Injured in a Michigan Car Accident
If you have been involved in a Michigan accident and there is any chance that your child has been injured, it is absolutely vital to seek medical attention right away. It is not always possible for children to communicate their injuries, so you may not know how hurt your child is without the help of a doctor. Some injuries such as brain trauma or soft tissue damage get worse over time if they are not properly diagnosed and treated right away.
It is also important that you notify the authorities of the accident and gather evidence from the crash site. Take photos of the vehicles involved, the injuries suffered, the site of the collision and even the car seat. Make sure you write down the contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the crash as well. Last, but not least, it is advisable to discuss your situation with a skilled injury lawyer who will help protect your legal rights and best interests.
The experienced Michigan child injury lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. will help protect your rights and ensure that you are offered fair and full compensation for your significant losses. Please contact our award winning law firm now at 1-800-606-1717 for a free consultation and comprehensive case consultation. We have significant experience in representing parents and their children in car accident cases and offer a No Win, No Fee Promise, which means there are no legal fees or costs until we win or settle your case. Call now to learn what legal recourse is available after your child suffered injuries in a Michigan car accident.