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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Smile Car Seat Replacement Legislation - A positive response!

    After a car accident and the accompanying drama of trying to get reimbursement for the car seat, I decided to check into the California and Illinois laws regarding replacement. This morning, I wrote to my Florida State Legislature Representative this morning and received a response from the representative this afternoon!

    Perhaps reading this will inspire others to contact their state reps or senators.

    Here is the text of my letter and his response:

    "To the Honorable (rep's name):

    As a mother of one child, with a second on the way, child safety is very important to me, and I appreciate your support of this issue. A recent personal incident has prompted this e-mail to you. In October, my husband's car was severely rear-ended in an accident (due to another driver's fault). Thankfully, he was relatively unharmed, and neither myself nor our child was in the vehicle at the time. Our carseat, however, was installed in the back seat during the crash.

    Upon contacting the carseat manufacturer, I discovered that due to the severity of the crash, the carseat was no longer safe for use. In fact, further investigation showed that almost every carseat manufacturer recommended replacement after a crash, even if the carseat was not occupied at the time. Apparently, hidden damage to the carseat can prevent its proper function in a subsequent accident.

    When I contacted my own insurance company regarding reimbursement for a replacement carseat, they were extremely resistant. Despite the fact that I provided the carseat manufacturer's information and the critieria for replacement from the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration), they remained resistant to providing this reimbursement. Only after I requested that they provide a written guarantee of responsibility for injuries should the carseat malfunction during a subsequent crash did they relent and agree to reimburse.

    If I had been less persistent, and had not received a reimbursement, I would not have been able to afford to purchase a replacement. I can only surmise that there are many parents in your district who would be in similar straits if they were in this situation. Upon looking further into the issues of carseat replacement after a car accident, I discovered that the state of California has a law in place that requires insurers to replace carseats that are either occupied or damaged during a car accident. The full text of the law, entitled "Insurance Code Section 11580.11" can be read at website of the California Department of Motor Vehicles:

    Because of our common interest in child safety, I am writing to you to ask that a similar law be proposed in the state of Florida. I thank you in advance for your time and would be glad to speak with you further if I may be of any assistance.


    Here is his response:

    "Dear (me):
    You are a fabulous advocate!
    Requesting your insurance company to guarantee responsibility was brilliant.
    Our bill slots are full, but I'm asking my Legislative Aide to check into the California law and then (depending on what he finds out) determine if there are any bills filed to which we could add such an amendment.
    Thanks for caring enough to write!"

    Hopefully, it will get somewhere. If not this year, I'll try again next session.

  2. Thank You from:

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    April, 2001

  4. #2
    Carseat Crazy PunkyMonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Sunshine State
    Great!!! I am really interested to see where that goes (as a FL resident too) and definitely kudos to you for such a great letter!!!
    M Dec 2010, 93 lbs, 49.5 in | Chicco LBB
    E Dec 2019, in utero | Nuna Pipa Lite, Maxi Cosi Mico 30, Diono Radian RXT (for later)
    2019 Acura MDX A-spec
    2015 BMW 328i Msport
    2011 Ford F-150 SuperCrew

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