Every state in the U.S. has a child car seat law. These laws require children to ride in an approved child restraint until they reach a certain age or height. Car seat laws fall into two categories. Some states specify the types of restraints drivers must use, while others leave that decision to the driver. Florida child car seat laws fall into the second category.
If your child gets injured in a car accident, the at-fault driver and their insurer might scrutinize your actions, looking for a way to shift the blame to you. The Orlando car accident attorneys at Payer Personal Injury Lawyers will stand up to insurance companies and defend your child’s right to compensation.
How Can Payer Personal Injury Lawyers Help After a Car Accident in Orlando, FL?
Payer Personal Injury Lawyers was founded in 1999 by an experienced personal injury attorney in Orlando, Florida.
Since its founding, the firm has recovered tens of millions of dollars for accident victims like you.
If you suffer an injury in a motor vehicle accident, our Orlando car accident lawyers will:
- Evaluate your case for free so you understand your legal rights and options
- Advocate aggressively on your behalf with insurers to fight for a fair settlement
- Use over 28 years of litigation experience to battle in court if the insurer refuses to settle
A car accident injury can disable you and your child and require a lifetime of treatment and therapy. Contact Payer Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your crash and the compensation you can seek.
How Many Children Get Killed in Car Accidents in Florida?
A query on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website shows that 31 children under the age of six died in Florida traffic accidents in 2021. Once you eliminate pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents, the database indicates that 27 children aged five and under were killed in car crashes in Florida that year.
When you cross-reference this information with Florida’s Crash Facts report for 2021, you will find that 14 of these children were restrained in child car seats, and 13 were not. This might make it seem like children riding in car seats are just as safe as children who use seat belts or ride without any restraints.
However, the number of children riding in safety seats far exceeds the number of improperly restrained children. By crunching some numbers, you’ll see that 0.07% of restrained children were killed, while 0.24% of unrestrained children died. In other words, unrestrained children were over three times more likely to die in a crash.
The numbers from the Crash Facts report also show that 80% of children in boosters or car seats walk away from their crashes unharmed. Children without restraints only had a 45% chance of avoiding injuries in a car crash.
Child Car Seat Laws in Florida
Florida’s car seat laws require drivers to restrain all children five years or younger in an approved child restraint system. Restraint systems can include built-in child seats, removable child seats, and booster seats. Only systems approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) qualify as an “approved” system.
Some states specify the restraints you must use based on the child’s age or height. For example, some states require children to use car seats or boosters until they reach four feet, nine inches in height.
Florida’s law does not specify the type of child restraints you must use based on age or height. Instead, it presents options.
Drivers comply with the law as long as they select one of the following options:
- A child car seat from birth through three years old
- A child car seat or booster from four through five years old
Once a child turns six years old, they can ride without any booster or car seat. But they must still wear a seat belt until they turn 18.
Florida enforces its law through traffic citations. If a police officer stops you and issues a ticket for an unrestrained child, you will face a fine of $60. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) will also add three points to your driving record. Depending on where the violation occurred, the local court may allow you to take a child restraint safety class and avoid the fine and points.
Liability For Child Injuries After a Florida Crash
Florida uses a complicated no-fault insurance system. This system requires car accident victims to seek compensation from their PIP insurer rather than the at-fault driver’s insurer. This means you may need to seek compensation for your child’s injuries from your auto insurer under your no-fault policy.
But this system has two exceptions. First, you can pursue the at-fault driver if your child’s medical expenses exceed your policy limits. Second, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver if your child suffered significant, permanent injuries. Thus, you have options when your child has serious, costly injuries.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Orlando Car Accident Lawyers
A car accident could temporarily or permanently disable you and/or your child. Contact Payer Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your damages and what we can do to fight for your financial future.