Motor vehicle accidents often result in injuries that can range from broken bones to serious internal bleeding. When two vehicles are traveling at high speeds and collide, accidents can even be fatal.

However, even minor car accidents can have life changing consequences. For one family, their minor car accident caused severe brain damage in their 2-year-old daughter. Now, three years later she cannot do many of the things that her friends can do because of the brain injury she had suffered in the crash.

The crash occurred nearly three years ago. The family had been waiting for a stoplight to turn green when a car coming up behind them did not realize they were at a stop. The car crashed into them at 30 miles per hour, causing their vehicle minor damage.

Though the rest of the family was okay, the little girl sitting in the back seat was struck in the head by the front seat that collapsed backwards onto her. Injuries like this are common as the front and passenger seats are sometimes not strong enough to maintain its position. Anyone sitting behind them can get hurt when they slam backwards.

The problem is that the seats don’t absorb the crash impact the way they should. The family filed a lawsuit against the company that makes the seats, alleging that the seats were defective and dangerous. They were awarded a very large settlement by the jury.

It’s frightening to think that even a minor car accident can cause a brain injury to this extent. The car seat manufacturer maintains that their product conformed to all the industry safety standards and that it is actually the vehicle manufacturer who should determine how strong the car seats need to be to withstand the impact of a crash.

Source: NBC Chicago, “Collapsing Car Seats Blamed for Injuring Passengers,” Lisa Parker, 10 November 2010