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Colorado Child Car Seat Laws

Colorado Child Car Seat Laws

Colorado Child Car Seat Laws

Car seats protect children. According to the CDC, car seats reduce the risk of injury by 71% – 82%. Even though car seats are a life-saving tool for children, many people don’t use them or fail to use them properly. 

Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or caretaker, it is important to know the Colorado child car seat laws. Zaner Harden Personal Injury Lawyers can explain the rules and your obligations. There can be serious consequences if you fail to use a car seat. 

Below is a short breakdown of the law. And if your child was injured in an accident because of a defective car seat, we can help you recover compensation. Contact our law offices in Denver, CO, or call (720) 613-9706 to set up a free consultation. 

How Zaner Harden Law Can Help if Your Child Was Hurt by a Defective Car Seat in Denver, Colorado

How Zaner Harden Law Can Help if Your Child Was Hurt by a Defective Car Seat in Denver, Colorado

If your child is hurt in a defective car seat, the Zaner Harden Law can help you hold the manufacturer or distributor liable. You may be entitled to recover money on your child’s behalf. This money can go towards their medical treatment and any trauma associated with the crash. 

Our experienced Denver car accident lawyers will:

  • Calculate your damages
  • Investigate the accident
  • Collect evidence 
  • Review medical records
  • Find out why the car seat was defective or dangerous 
  • Consult with car seat and car accident experts 
  • Contact the manufacturer or distributor
  • Negotiate for full compensation
  • File a dangerous product lawsuit 
  • Represent your child in court 

Nothing is more important than protecting our children. Call our offices in Denver, Colorado, to learn more about your legal options after your child was hurt in a bad car seat. Your initial case review is completely free.

What Are the Child Car Seat Laws in Colorado?

Per Colorado law, children must be properly restrained while in a car. The type of restraint will vary depending on your child’s age, weight, and height. 

Under 1 Years Old 

Infants and children under 1 year old must always be in a rear-facing car seat. 

If the child is under 20 pounds, the car seat should be in the back seat only. If the child is 20-40 pounds, it must be rear-facing but can be in the front seat. However, keeping a child in the backseat is safest until age 13.

1-3 Years Old

Children 1-3 years old under 20 pounds must be in a rear-facing car seat. However, the car seat can legally be in the front seat, even though it is safest in the back. 

Children 1-3 years old and 20-40 pounds can be in either a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat in the front or back. If the child is over 40 pounds, they can be in a forward-facing car seat or a booster seat. 

4-7 Years Old 

Kids between 4-7 years old can be in a forward-facing car seat or booster seat as long as they are at least 20 pounds. 

8-15 Years Old 

Children aged 8-15 can be fully transitioned to a booster seat or seat belt as long as they are over 40 pounds. 

What Makes a Car Seat Safe?

Every car seat has a different safety rating. You can find safety ratings for common car seats on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website

In general, a car seat is safe if: 

  • It is installed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and 
  • The child is properly secured in the car seat 

Unfortunately, many people don’t install the car seat correctly. Colorado parents can go to an inspection station to get a free car seat check for advice. 

Furthermore, a child is properly secured in a car seat when the harness straps lie flat over their shoulders and are tightened until they are snug. There should not be any extra fabric at the shoulder or groin area. The chest clip should be at the armpit level. 

Does My Child Need a Car Seat on Taxis, Shuttles, or Buses?

In Colorado, your child does not need to sit in a car seat in a taxi, shuttle, or commercial bus. However, that doesn’t mean that these vehicles are safer than cars. 

If your child is not secured in a car seat, they are still exposed to danger if there is an accident. Many parents choose to travel with a car seat or booster seat so that their child is safe no matter what type of vehicle they ride in.

What Is the Penalty for Violating Colorado Car Seat Laws?

You can get ticketed if you do not follow the Colorado car seat laws. The ticket is a Class B infraction and carries a $65 fine.

If your child is hurt in an accident because you didn’t follow the car seat laws, you also risk losing the right to compensation. The defendant may argue that you were negligent when you failed to secure your child. That negligence caused their injuries or made them worse than they would have been otherwise. 

What if My Child Was Hurt in a Defective Car Seat?

Sometimes, a child is hurt even if properly secured in a car seat. Usually, this happens because the car seat is dangerous or defective. 

A car seat can be defective or dangerous if there is a manufacturing or design error. It is also dangerous if there are vague or misleading warnings. 

Some common examples are:

  • The buckles don’t fully secure 
  • There is not enough padding 
  • The base becomes detached even when installed properly 
  • The straps are not strong enough to support the child
  • The instructions or warnings are inaccurate or unclear 

Defective and dangerous car seats can have dire consequences for your child. It may result in serious injury or even death. In these circumstances, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or retailer of the car seat.

How Long Do I Have To File a Defective Car Seat Lawsuit in Colorado?

You have two to three years to file a defective or dangerous car seat lawsuit in Colorado. The three-year limitation period is for cases involving motor vehicle accidents.

Defective product lawsuits usually require a lot of investigation. You should speak with a lawyer immediately after the car accident to maximize your time. If you miss the deadline, then you cannot legally recover compensation for your child. Some exceptions could also change the time limit.

You can learn more about the statute of limitations in personal injury cases here.

Call Our Denver Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Review

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to car seats. Call a Denver car accident lawyer to talk about the relevant laws. Zaner Harden Law can help you protect your child on the road and take action if they are injured.

Where We Are

We are located across the street from Union Station in downtown Denver and offer validated parking for all our clients. We also have offices in Boulder and Colorado Springs.