While the accident was judged to be entirely the fault of the other driver, according to the report, his insurance company insisted that part of the responsibility for the girl's injuries fell on her mother. Despite having an appropriate car seat with a five-point harness in the vehicle, the three-year-old girl was riding in a booster seat designed for older children. The judge agreed with the insurer and ruled that the mother was 25 percent liable for her child's head, spinal and internal injuries, which the report said will affect her for the rest of her life. The decision means the woman will receive less financial compensation from the insurance company.
While we're sure that the woman – who was described by the judge as "an excellent and caring mother," according to the report – feels no small measure of guilt, her case reinforces the necessity of proper seatbelt and child safety seat use. For more information about keeping kids safe in and around cars, please visit Parents Central, provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.