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Can an insurance company deny my claim if my child was in car seat that was not right for his age or size according to state law at the time of a car accident?

Even if your child was in an inappropriate car seat, you may still have a valid insurance claimMore information would be needed to answer your question definitively, but we can tell you that not all claims involving a child who is in the wrong type of car seat should be denied. However, you should be aware that insurance adjusters may try to convince you otherwise and may try to take advantage of parental guilt.

The Wrong Car Seat Did Not Cause the Accident

The crash that hurt your child would have happened even if your child had been in the correct car seat for his weight and his age. It was another driver’s negligence—not your child’s car seat—that caused the accident. Thus, liability for the crash should not be shifted to your child or to you.

That said, it is important to consider whether your child’s injuries were worse because he was not in the car seat required by Wisconsin law. The insurance company, or the defendant, may argue that you should bear the financial responsibility for any part of your child’s injuries that occurred because he was in an incorrect car seat.

For this reason, it is important to work with an experienced lawyer who can make sure that:

  • There is proof from reputable medical professionals about which parts of the injuries were made worse by the use of the wrong car seat.
     
  • The car seat that your child in was in was truly the “wrong” car set according to state law. The states of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois all have car seat laws that parents are required to follow. However, there are also recommendations put out by other groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics that are not legally binding. Furthermore, when children are certain weights and ages there may be more than one type of car seat that is legally acceptable.

Your lawyer will fight hard to make sure that your child gets the fair recovery that he deserves based on all of the facts of the case. Do not trust the insurance adjuster to protect your child’s rights; instead, hire an attorney you can trust to get your child the fair and just recovery that will help him now and in the future.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham