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  1. #1
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    Car seat replacement after accident in California

    I was involved in a moderate accident today when our Honda Element was rear-ended on a highway. Thankfully everyone seems ok. Our car didn't show significant external damage because the bumper is all plastic, but the Chevy Suburban that rear ended us looked inoperable and had sprayed transmission fluid all over the place. My 17 m old was sleeping RF in her Peg Perego Convertible at the time and when reporting the accident to my insurance company (we'll actually be dealing with the at-fault party insurance soon) he mentioned that the seat MIGHT get replaced pending an inspection from the adjuster. I was under the impression that the law in CA pretty much dictated than an occupied child seat would be replaced as that would be my demand. I'm just concerned that I might encounter some resistance from the at-fault insurance company as a replacement seat is pricey and this company is one of those smaller budget insurance companies based in another state. What's your experience with this matter?

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member veggiegirl228's Avatar
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    Re: Car seat replacement after accident in California

    I don't know for a fact but I'm sure that in Cali the seat is automatically replaced in a crash. There should be no fault deal since you was rear-ended.
    Jennifer, SAHM to DD, 9.9 yrs old, 4'7", 73 lbs. Current ride is Safety 1st Incognito

  4. #3
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Patriot201's Avatar
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    Re: Car seat replacement after accident in California

    Good morning and welcome to car-seat.org!

    I am so sorry to hear about your accident, but am glad that everyone is okay.

    I have linked the California law below. If you have any difficulty with the adjuster, please have him/her refer to section 11580.011 (specifically bullet "b") in the law linked below. While there might not have been damage to your vehicle, there was damage in the accident, so there must have been significant impact.

    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/in...codes-vosp.pdf


    “Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.” ~Carl Sandburg
    Learning to cope with the unexpected...

  5. #4
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    We were recently in a crash while driving through New Mexico, but with California insurance. We worked with our company (not the at-fault driver's) and they immediately said they would replace the seats. They had me email a photo of the seats and the brand, and they sent me a check within a week based on the value at Amazon (high value, not low). It was no problem.

    On the other hand, a friend of mine was recently told by her insurance company that her occupies seats didn't need to be replaced. I sent her the link to the law saying they do.

    If you meet resistance, send them the link and offer to call the state Insurance Commissioner.

  6. #5
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    Re: Car seat replacement after accident in California

    This is timely. First off, I'm sorry about your accident. I was also rear ended in California and I just spoke with the adjuster from the at-fault insurance. I was told they only have to replace the seats if they were in use at the time.

    We only had 1 seat in use but I'm nervous about damage to the other ones. The force was strong enough that the seat was loose at the belt path after the accident.

  7. #6
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theriviera View Post
    This is timely. First off, I'm sorry about your accident. I was also rear ended in California and I just spoke with the adjuster from the at-fault insurance. I was told they only have to replace the seats if they were in use at the time.

    We only had 1 seat in use but I'm nervous about damage to the other ones. The force was strong enough that the seat was loose at the belt path after the accident.
    California's law just changed a little over a year ago. It used to specify occupied seats, but now it requires replacement of any seat that's damaged (or any seat in a vehicle that was damaged--unfortunately the law uses the pronoun "it," so it's hard to tell whether they're referring to the seat or the car).

    What seats were they? If they were brands that require replacement after any crash, I would argue that the manufacturer deems them damaged, and therefore they must be replaced.

    I would also send the insurance company a copy of the updated law.

  8. #7
    CPS Technician morninglori's Avatar
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    Re: Car seat replacement after accident in California

    Just wanted to post the current Insurance code section. The code in the link above is dated 2006. Here is the text from California Legislative Information Law/Code Search Scroll down to section .011 to see the current law/code.

    11580.011. (a) As used in this section, “child passenger restraint system” means a system as described in Section 27360 of the Vehicle Code.
    (b) Every policy of automobile liability insurance, as described in Section 16054 of the Vehicle Code, shall provide liability coverage for replacement of a child passenger restraint system that was damaged or was in use by a child during an accident for which liability coverage under the policy is applicable due to the liability of an insured.

    (c) Every policy of automobile liability insurance that provides uninsured motorist property damage coverage, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 11580.26, shall provide coverage for replacement of a child passenger restraint system that was damaged or was in use by a child during an accident for which uninsured motorist property damage coverage under the policy is applicable due to the liability of an uninsured motorist.

    (d) Every policy that provides automobile collision coverage, as described in Section 660, or every policy that provides automobile physical damage coverage, as described in Section 660, shall include a child passenger restraint system within the definition of covered property, if the child passenger restraint system was in use by a child during an accident or, if the child passenger restraint system was in the vehicle and it sustained a loss covered by the policy.

    (e) Upon the filing of a claim pursuant to a policy described in subdivision (b), (c), or (d), unless otherwise determined, an insurer shall have an obligation to ask whether a child passenger restraint system was in use by a child during an accident or was in the vehicle at the time of a loss that is covered by the policy, and an obligation to replace the child passenger restraint system or reimburse the claimant for the cost of purchasing a new passenger restraint system in accordance with this section if it was in use by a child during the accident or if it sustained a covered loss while in the vehicle.

    (f) An insured, upon acquiring a replacement child passenger restraint system, may surrender the child passenger restraint system that was replaced to the nearest office of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
    Lori, CPST
    DD Mason--Dec2005, 48lb Monterey/Parkway SGL
    DS Cole--Nov2007 39lb GN / Frontier85

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