Can Georgia’s Car Seat Laws Affect My Personal Injury Case?
Car seat laws in the state of Georgia are strict, and with good reason. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, children are about 60 percent less likely to be injured in a car accident if they have been properly secured in a car seat.
If you were involved in a car accident while driving with a child in a car seat, you may not know how these laws might affect your ability to seek compensation. After talking with a personal injury lawyer, you may realize these laws do not affect your case at all. But, if they do, our experienced team at Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC can help.
Georgia’s Child Safety Laws
Georgia has specific requirements on the books regarding drivers transporting children in a motor vehicle. For instance:
- A child under the age of eight and measuring 56 inches or less must sit in a car seat or booster seat, placed in the back seat of the motor vehicle.
- Parents must follow federal guidelines when choosing a car seat or booster seat, and the seat should be appropriate for the child’s height and weight.
- ONLY if the backseats are entirely occupied, or your vehicle lacks a back seat, can a child that weighs 40 pounds or more sit in a car seat or booster seat in the front passenger seat.
Georgia’s car seat laws are rather strict. Your first violation comes with a $50 fee per child, plus one point added to your driver’s license. A second violation increases the fee to $100 per child and adds two points to your license. Georgia police can stop your vehicle if they suspect you are violating the state’s car seat laws – even if you don’t appear to be violating any other laws.
We know how scary a situation like this can be, and we are here to help. Call Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC for a free consultation today if you have been stopped by a police officer due to an alleged car seat law violation.
Protecting Your Personal Injury Claim
Parents and guardians of children who are injured in car accidents can seek compensation for their child’s injuries. You can sue for funds necessary to cover medical expenses and, in the worst cases, wrongful death. Our car accident lawyers can explain additional losses you may want to consider claiming as part of your personal injury case.
One thing the court will determine is whether your child was secured properly, even if you were not the one at fault. Being secured properly does not mean simply being buckled into the car seat or booster seat. Instead, it means that the child must be secured into a car seat that is appropriate to his or her height and weight.
The failure to secure the child in a proper car seat or booster can reduce the amount of compensation you receive, even if you are only claiming compensation for your child. The other driver’s lawyer can argue that you were negligent in your selection of the wrong car seat or booster seat. Without a good attorney beside you to support your claim, you will receive less money for your child’s injuries – or possibly even no money at all.
Georgia uses what is called a “modified comparative negligence standard” when determining compensation for the parties in a personal injury lawsuit. Under this standard, it is possible that each party may share in the blame for the accident.
It is up to the jury to determine how much fault each party should bear. The jury will then decide what level of blame as a percentage. Any party found to be responsible for more than 50 percent of the blame cannot seek compensation under this standard.
If the other driver’s lawyer can successfully convince the jury that you used an improper car seat, you will be considered partially at fault for the extent of your child’s injuries. This means that the jury will award you less money, and you will have to pay for your child’s medical expenses and other losses out of pocket.
Do not let this happen. Let Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC review your case today and help you decide your next steps.
Involved In An Accident With A Child In The Car? We Can Help!
Failing to follow Georgia’s car seat laws can, without question, reduce how much money you receive for your child’s medical expenses. You may not have even realized you were doing anything wrong, yet now your child is hurt and the lawyers for the other driver are claiming that you failed to follow the law – all to reduce the settlement their client has to pay.
Here at Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC, we understand that while your being in an accident is one thing, your child being involved in an accident is an entirely different matter altogether. We can help you get the compensation you deserve so your child can receive the best medical treatment possible and be on the fast track to recovery.
Connect with us today by calling us at (855) 329-7144 or filling out our contact form. Both you and your child can benefit from having a skilled lawyer by your side who knows the law and can get you the fairest settlement possible for your case. We offer a no fee and no obligation to retain, so contact us today!