Forward-Facing Car Seats for Preventing Spinal Cord Injury in Children

- David Boehrer

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injury in the U.S. Due to their less developed spinal cords, younger children are more susceptible to such injuries in a motor vehicle accident. To reduce young children’s chances of suffering from spinal cord injury, American pediatricians recommend the use of seat restraints and appropriate safety seats.

But not just any type of child safety seat can prevent or minimize a child’s chances of spinal cord injury. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, forward-facing car seats increase the child’s risks of brain and spinal injury in a motor vehicle crash. In response, a number of U.S. states including Nevada have passed laws requiring the use of rear-facing car seats for children under 3 years old.

Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury

Depending on the severity of the injury, there may be complete or partial paralysis, marked by a loss of all or some sensory and motor functions such as:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of the ability to feel cold and heat, and of touch
  • Changes in sexual function
  • Extreme pain or intense stinging sensation
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

An injured spine can also alter one’s life as work and educational opportunities may be restricted, resulting in loss of earning capacity, and reduced quality of life.

In a recent case in Texas, a jury ordered a car child seat manufacturer to pay an injured child’s family $24 million as compensation for the child’s permanent injuries, disfigurement, mental anguish, physical impairment, and loss of future earnings arising from a spinal cord injury sustained in a car accident.

The award stemmed from a product liability case where the plaintiffs claimed that the defendant manufacturer failed to adequately warn consumers of the risks of using the forward-facing car seat that they bought and installed for the child. At the time of the accident, Texas had not yet passed the rear-facing car seat law. The jury also awarded $10 million in punitive damages.

Damage to the spine after an accident may not always be apparent. It’s important to undergo thorough medical examinations to detect potential spinal cord injury and seek treatment and rehabilitation for it. You may also want to seek the opinion of an experienced spinal cord injury attorney who can evaluate your case and determine whether a specific party caused your injury.

Representing Injured Clients in Nevada

In Henderson and other parts of Nevada, the personal injury attorneys at the David Boehrer Law Firm have years of experience in litigating spinal cord injury. Our dedicated attorneys will work very hard for you to get the medical help that you need and the compensation that you legally deserve.

We invite you to call us today at (702) 750-0750 to arrange a free case evaluation.