That is a great question. Rule of thumb is to evaluate your individual situation. Here are a few items you should consider.
Did my airbags deploy? If so its a good indication that you need to replace your car seat.
Did the door where the car seat was attached sustain any damage? If it did then its possibly an indication to replace your car seat.
Did you easily drive away from the scene of the accident with out sustaining much damage? If so you may not have to replace the car seat.
Did any passengers in your vehicle sustain any injuries? If so its usually an indication of enough of an impact to replace your child seat.
If you are not sure you can go to nhtsa.gov and take your vehicle to a free inspection station and ask for their advice. Colorado Auto Body representatives would be happy to inspect and give you advice. Typically if you sustained any severe impact and if there is any signs of stress on the seat belt restraint system you may want to not only replace the car child seat(s) but you should replace the restraint belt and there connecting assemblies. Colorado Auto Body as normal routine will negotiate on your behalf with your insurance company or the insurance company of the vehicle that cause the accident to make sure all components of the safety restraint systems are checked and replaced. This is something that many consumers do not consider or think of at the time of an accident. If you read this now you will consider what should be inspected at the very least.
Please consider Colorado Auto Body for all your auto body – paint & collision needs.