Car seat laws in South Carolina require children of a certain age to be restrained in a car seat or booster seat. These laws protect children the same way that seat belt laws protect older children and adults.
If your child sustains injuries in a car accident while not in a car seat, you might still be able to recover compensation. A personal injury lawyer can help you make a claim if you or your child sustained injuries or suffered property damages.
What Are South Carolina’s Car Seat Laws?
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety requires that children aged eight and younger have a booster seat or a car seat. All children aged one or younger should stay in a rear-facing infant car seat. Children who are two years or older can stay in a forward-facing car safety seat. Children aged four and older can use a booster seat.
South Carolina laws allow children aged eight and older to use a safety belt instead of remaining in a booster seat. However, the law requires that the child be at least 4’9” in height. Parents or guardians that violate S.C. Ann. § 56-5-6410 may face fines.
Exceptions to the Car Seat Law Protecting South Carolina Children
All children below the age of eight years should sit in the back seat in a booster seat. The state allows an exception if other children already occupy the rear seats. The law does not apply if the vehicle does not have back seats, such as a truck.
South Carolina law recognizes that some children may not be able to sit in the recommended car seat. This requires parents to get a special child restraint system. Children who may require such restraints include those with muscle abnormalities, Spica casts, and tracheostomies.
Once your child has graduated from their booster seat, you must obey South Carolina’s adult seat belt laws.
Exceptions to South Carolina’s Seat Belt Laws
As the driver, the law requires that you ensure all persons in your car aged 17 and below wear a seat belt. You are not required to follow this directive in all situations, though. These include when:
- Riding in a vehicle with no seat belts
- Riding in a public transit vehicle
- Riding in a school or church bus
- Riding in a United States Postal Service truck
- Medical professionals or patients in an ambulance
- A passenger who is medically unable to use a seat belt
Wearing a seat belt protects people from sustaining serious injuries in car accidents. If you have been in a car accident but you didn’t wear your seatbelt at the time of the crash, it is best to talk about this with your car accident attorneys in Walterboro or your Anderson car accident lawyer. The failure of wearing a seatbelt cannot be used of evidence of comparative negligence in a car crash lawsuit in South Carolina. However, it is crucial to hire an attorney in the city/area where your accident occurred and ask them more about it, as insurance adjusters will most likely try anything to deny or reduce your claim.
What Happens When You do Not Follow the Law and an Accident Results?
The penalty for violating car seat laws in South Carolina is a $150 traffic ticket. Violating the safety belt law (S.C. Ann. § 56-5-6520) may result in a fine of $25 and no more than $50. These laws do not apply to taxis.
While the law does not discuss whether a failure to place your child in a car seat could affect your claim, South Carolina’s seat belt laws state that a violation can not be used as evidence of negligence per se. Our team can explain whether or not your violation of car seat laws will affect your case.
Your Violation Should Not Affect Most Aspects of Your Life
South Carolina does not allow the failure to wear a seat belt to get used as evidence of negligence. Your violation will not:
- Get reported to your insurer
- Get on your driving record
- Result in an arrest
Your Lawyer Will Protect Your Chance at Fair Compensation After a Car Accident
Insurance adjusters may offer a low settlement or deny your claim without legal representation. This is because they may think you do not know about South Carolina car seat laws. A South Carolina car accident lawyer can protect you from the insurance company’s tactics.
Protecting Your Child While On the Road
The best way to protect your child from injury in a car accident is to follow the car seat law and ensure they are in the right car seat or booster seat for their age and height. Once your child is too big for their booster seat, always ensure they have their seat belt fastened. Driving defensively and always paying attention to your surroundings are other ways to prevent car accidents.
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Helps South Carolina Families
Car seat and seat belt laws in South Carolina help protect you and your loved ones from serious injury in a car accident. Violating these laws should not prevent you from making a claim against the liable party, though.
Our team has the knowledge and resources to fight for fair damages. Contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, at (888) 612-7001 today and get a free consultation. After the accident, we will deal with the insurance company so you can recover with your family.