Replace Car Seats After Accident?

Updated on August 31, 2011
L.M. asks from Spring, TX
12 answers

We were involved in an accident yesterday. The car in front of me slammed the brakes (on the freeway) to avoid road debris, and came to a stop. Then I slammed on my brakes and came to a stop without hitting her. THEN, 3 cars behind me all hit and pushed us into the car ahead of me. So, we were hit from behind and the front. Thankfully it wasn't very bad and we are all okay! (my 2 girls were with me--ages 3 1/2 years & 15 months old). NHTSA recommends that child safety seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.
NHTSA recommends that child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.
Minor crashes are those that meet ALL of the following criteria:
The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site;
The vehicle door nearest the safety seat was undamaged;
There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants;
The air bags (if present) did not deploy; AND
There is no visible damage to the safety seat
By these definitions, we do not need to replace the car seats. Britax follows these guidelines, but Chicco says to replace no matter what. I would like to replace both of them to be on the safe side! Has anyone dealt with this with insurance companies before? Do you think they will give us the $ for them? They are so expensive and I'd really like to be reimbursed! BTW, I was not at fault for the accident, and the at fault driver does have insurance. I am waiting for the adjuster to call me back. Thanks for your input!

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much Mommas! I was planning on replacing them whether we get reimbursed or not :) So glad to hear that ins companies usually pay! :)

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

My husband was in an accident where the person in front of him was stopped (waiting for a train to pass) and my husband was fully stopped well a drunk driver rear ended my husband and my husband was hit so hard that he hit the car in front of him (oh and it was 2pm). The insurance company paid for all the car seats that needed to be replaced. I didn't have to get specific ones or only spend X dollars, I got what we wanted and reimbursed for them.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Replace no matter what. Your insurance company will include the carseats and booster seats as part of the claim. Why risk it? There could be internal damage and stress cracks that aren't visible. Better to be safe on this one and err on the side of caution than use a now-inferior safety seat.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I would replace them if at all possible regardless of what the insurance company does or does not cover...better safe than sorry regarding children's safety. When we were in a car accident when my son was 3 months old, I submitted the receipt and the insurance company reimbuser us. Because my son was almost at the end of the weight restriction of the infant style seat, I actually bought a more expensive convertible seat to replace it with but they paid for the less expensive one. That was back in 1992 and ours was not considered minor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My friend was in a minor accident and said that insurance paid to replace all car/booster seats that had been in the car.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I had an accident with both kids in the car. I bought new ones and the insurance company cut me a check using the receipt. If only taking care of the car was that easy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

I would, claim it under your insurance...better safe then sorry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I'd go with Chicco guidelines. Better safe than sorry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

My accident insurance even replaced the seat that was not in use. I would replace all as you never know the next accident you might need it for more serious injuries better safe then sorry. and yes I know that 30 years ago we all survived bla bla bla, but really why risk it. I was reimbursed for going cost on the car seat "I" wanted to buy which was 250 over the price the car seat was that I replaced. Keep that in mind.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I had the same thing happen to me, but it was during rush hour and we were only going like 5 miles an hour at the time, so very low impact. I still definitely took advantage of getting new car seats. It was done under the person who hit me's insurance, hopefully that makes sense. They had to get a report from me, and then the other person, just to make sure they were at fault. There was a police report and such, so this obviously wasn't much of an issue. All I had to do was go buy whichever car seat I wanted, (I even called and asked if they had to be the same or equivilent, and they said no). I had britax before, but I bought some nicer ones, and obviously the expiration dates are newer. Then I had to take the old car seats to the actual insurance office, with the receipt for the new ones, and she cut me a check for the new ones right there no questions asked. I don't think she ever even glanced at the old seats. I'm sure someone just comes to pick them up to demolish them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

My step-mother was hit by a woman who did not know you have to stop for red blinking lights. She had been driving my 5 year old niece who was in a booster seat. Although it took a while to come through, the other lady's insurance did pay for the seat. It happened to be a more expensive brand of a seat and she was hassled about receipts for the seat, but everything was eventually taken care of. I was under the impression that you HAD to replace the seat, but that might be a state by state case.



answers from Milwaukee on

Push for the other driver to cover new ones.



answers from Los Angeles on

If you think you need to pay more for insurance and your premiums need to go up, file for new car seats even if they weren't damaged. Based on what you said the seats weren't damaged and don't need to be replaced.

The insurance companies are going to make a profit if at all possible. The more money they spend unnecessarily the more they have to raise their prices to cover their expenses.

Good luck to you and yours.

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