In a previous blog post, we discussed common accidents during the holidays, including those involving consumer products. Because the holiday season is one where children and adults alike enjoy new toys and where consumers use a number of products to spruce up their homes with decorations or put together celebrations, there are increased risks for product-related injuries. As such, it becomes important to take steps in reducing this risks, and to understand one’s rights when a defective product has caused preventable injuries.
Our legal team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP helps injured victims and families throughout Southern California after they have been harmed by negligence, including the negligence of product manufacturers, retailers, and others who make unsafe products available to the public. Because defective products create risks, we want to help you stay safe and protect your rights this holiday season.
Reducing Risks of Product-Related Injuries
During the holidays, there are a few important ways to reduce risks of product-related injuries:
- Check for recalls – One of the best ways to avoid risks related to consumer products is to ensure they are safe and that no recalls have been issued. Government agencies like the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) keep track of consumer products that have potential hazards, as well as products that have already been known to have caused injuries or death. When purchasing products or toys this holiday season, do your due diligence to check it there are any recalls on the product. You can use the CPSC website, which regularly posts about recalls, to make sure the products you buy don’t pose unreasonable safety hazards.
- Use products appropriately – Toys and products should come with instructions for their intended use. Be sure you always read instructions prior to using new products, whether they are for adults or for children, and that they are used only for their intended purpose.
- Supervise children – During the holidays, children often receive new toys and products to enjoy. To ensure those products don’t cause unintended harm, make sure children are properly supervised when appropriate. It is also important to ensure children wear proper safety gear when using certain products, such as a new bike or scooter, and that they understand instructions and how to safely use the product as intended.
Your Rights After a Defective Product Causes Harm
Even when taking appropriate safety measures, defective products can still cause preventable harm. Fortunately, victims have a right to seek financial compensation for their damages – including the costs of any medical treatment they required, the pain and suffering they endured, and lost work wages, among others – by pursuing a product liability claim against the responsible manufacturer or business that made it available to the public. Here are a few things to know about product liability claims.
- Defects come in different forms – When pursuing a product liability claim, victims allege that a product was either defectively designed, defectively manufactured, or poorly marketed. Depending on the circumstances, you and your personal injury attorney will need to prove how and why a manufacturer or other defendant failed to take appropriate steps in ensuring the safety of a product. This may involve showing how a design made a product inherently unsafe (and that there were safer alternative designs available), how poor manufacturing resulted in a defect (through poor quality materials, poor craftsmanship, or other errors during the construction of a product), or how a failure to warn about hazards or provide adequate instructions led to an injury.
- Seek medical treatment – Your health is always a top priority, which is why you should seek immediate medical attention for any injuries caused by a defective product. This can allow for a thorough assessment of your injuries and treatment to help you recover. Seeking medical treatment is also important to any personal injury case you pursue, as it provides evidence of your injuries and damages.
- Keep the defective product – After a defective product causes an injury, you will want to keep that product as evidence for any personal injury claim you choose to pursue. This means keeping the product in a safe location away from children or others who may attempt to use it. When you contact a lawyer, you can give them the product for safe keeping. An attorney and any experts they hire will also examine the product to determine where defects exist, which is essential to your case.
- Consult a lawyer – The best thing you can do following any injury caused by negligence is to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer. At our firm, we guide clients step-by-step through their legal journeys, and help them take the right steps when it comes to seeking medical treatment, establishing fault and liability in their case, and fighting for the compensation they rightfully deserve.
Consumer products are part and parcel when it comes to the holidays, but risks associated with those products – and defective products – should never be overlooked. If you or your loved one do suffer harm due to a defective product or the negligence of another party, our personal injury team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP are readily available to help! Contact us for a FREE review of your case.