Damage to car seat after an accident

Published On: October 30, 2018

Why a car seat is possibly damaged now

You have your car repaired after an accident, but you cannot have a car seat repaired. Replacing your child’s safety device is the safest option after an accident.

People often assume with no immediate signs of damage to a car seat, it is still properly functional. However, car seats have hidden elements and only some show they functioned and performed their job in an accident. According to the NHTSA after moderate and severe accidents car seats and boosters should be replaced. Some signs to help spot the urgency of replacing a safety seat are:

  • Rips (even in the stitching)
  • Distressed/Overstretched (of the harness straps or material)
  • Damage to the nearby doors of where the seat is positioned
  • Any airbag deployment


Even simple breaks in the stitching show the impact a car seat braced for your child. Be sure to inspect the stitching within the sitting space, as well as the exterior even around the back of the chair. In the event of another accident, the chair is no longer secure with damaged stitching.

Distressed Harness Straps and Material

Car seats function to hold children in place, and keep them secure. When safety straps retain a child in place, they can become stretched. Depending on the age of your car seat, will make the comparison easier for some than others. If you notice the strap/harness material is weakened, it is better to retire the exhausted car seat. Check the seat’s material as well, if there is stretching in the seat’s cover that is a concern as well. Exhausted material may not retain a child as well in the future.

Damaged Doors

Although the car seat may appear unharmed, but the closest doors to the child took impact and are damaged, is a big indicator to replace the car seat after an accident. Since a heavy force was so near, it is better to retire the seat than it not be functional for the future.

Any Airbag Deployment

All vehicles are different, some come with side curtain airbags in addition to front driver and passenger airbags. Whenever any airbags deploy and there is a car seat within the vehicle, it is best to seek a replacement car seat.

If you think you may need to replace a car seat after an accident, your policy could extend coverage for the replacement. Our attorneys are parents themselves, and know the importance of car seats to a family. If you have been in auto accident involving car seats, please be sure to let us know so we can help address your safety seat concerns during a free consultation. Call us now 1-800-4-INJURY for a free consultation today.