The Court of Appeal has today upheld a High Court decision that a mother was partly to blame for her child's injuries having used a child booster seat to restrain her child on a car journey instead of a child seat. The Court of Appeal agreed that the injuries sustained by the three year old in the car accident would have been largely avoided if a child seat had been used.
The child was on a booster seat which, according to the manufacturer's instructions, was not suitable for someone of their age, height or weight. Whilst it was accepted that the defendant driver was wholly to blame for the accident, the trial Judge found that if the child had been appropriately restrained in a child seat she would only have suffered slight injuries.
The Judge's view was that whilst manufacturers' instructions should not be the only factor in determining who is to blame for someone's injuries, where the instructions are clear, they should be followed and it was wrong to do otherwise, no matter how well intentioned and understandable the reasons for doing so may have been. The Court of Appeal agreed and upheld the original finding that the mother should contribute 25% towards her child’s compensation.
Tom Ranson of Ashton KCJ Injury Services comments: "It is important that we take appropriate safety precautions when travelling, both in relation to ourselves and those in our care. Indeed, the message is clear: read and follow safety instructions."