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Car Seat Requirements in Texas

If you have a child in the car, it is important to use the right car seat. Children’s car seats help keep smaller occupants safe when driving in a vehicle and may offer protection during a collision. 

Texas requires parents and guardians to use age and size-appropriate car seats until a child reaches a certain height. Failure to abide by these rules can lead to serious consequences, so it is important to buckle up.

Texas’s Car Seat Laws

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, children must use car seats until they reach 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between the ages of eight and 12 years old. Different seats are appropriate for children at certain ages.

  • Infants and toddlers up to two years old must ride in a rear-facing car seat. They must ride in this seat until they reach the age of two or outgrow the manufacturer’s height and weight limits.
  • Children two years and older can begin to use front-facing seats, as long as they have outgrown rear-facing seats. The front-facing car seat must include an appropriate harness. 
  • Children between four and eight years old can begin using a booster seat after they have outgrown the front-facing seat’s height and weight limits. 
  • Children can stop using a booster seat when the car’s seat belt fits them properly. This usually occurs when children are 4 feet 9 inches tall or are between eight and 12 years old.

Failure to abide by Texas’s car seat requirements can result in a hefty fine of up to $250. Additionally, children can be at risk of severe injury if they ride in a vehicle without the appropriate restraints. To avoid these consequences, it is important to follow these rules.

Defective Car Seat Injuries in Texas

Car seat manufacturers provide detailed guides that discuss the seat’s proper use, height and weight limits, and other important safety information. Unfortunately, not all car seats are safe to use.

Sometimes, car seats are defective in their design, manufacturing, or instructions. The manufacturer may use a low-quality material in the harness, making it prone to breaking. The seat may have a sharp edge that was not sanded down during manufacturing, posing a risk to the child. In other cases, the manufacturer fails to include proper warnings or instructions in their safety manuals.

A malfunctioning car seat can severely harm a child and cause significant distress to his or her parents. If your child has been injured by a defective car seat, the emotional and physical toll of the incident can be difficult to bear.

In these situations, you have the right to hold the manufacturer accountable for its subpar product. You could file a product liability lawsuit against the company and recover a settlement to pay for your child’s medical care, long-term accommodations, pain and suffering, and many other damages. 

What to Do If a Car Seat Malfunctions

If your child’s car seat malfunctions without warning, it is important to remain calm and seek help. Get your child to safety as quickly as possible and call 911 for emergency assistance. Seek medical care as soon as you can and save all records and evidence related to your child’s injuries and treatment.

Then, contact a McAllen personal injury attorney and discuss your case. Your lawyer can evaluate your child’s case and identify your family’s optimal path to justice.