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Baltimore residents: is your car seat compliant with new law?

Baltimore parents do their best to keep up with the changing standards in the child care landscape. It seems like every week a new study is released about health and safety standards pertaining to child care.

Parents can now add to that list a new law aiming to reduce car seat injuries in Maryland. The law, which took effect at the beginning of October, requires children under 8 years of age to sit in a booster seat or child seat until they are 4-foot-9-inches or taller. Unlike previous law, where children weighing more than 65 pounds were exempted, the new law contains no weight limits.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number one cause of death of children in the United States is due to car accidents. The numbers are tragic in Maryland as well, as 8 child passengers under 16 years old were killed in car accidents in 2010. The new law aims to eliminate these deaths and improve safety for children.

When children are involved in car accidents, there may be questions of legal liability, just as for adults. With children, however, the cases may be more sensitive, and require experts and specialists to determine the nature of the injuries to the child. For instance, medical providers can best determine the long-term impact on a child's life and future after an accident.

With the assistance of these experts, damages may be recovered based on a child's medical care. Moreover, damages may be recovered for a child's pain and suffering, both physically and emotionally. Finally, in certain cases, punitive damages may be appropriate.

Source: Baltimore Sun, "New state laws on car seats, chemotherapy coverage begin," Ian Duncan, Sep.30, 2012

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