Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Have You Been Injured by a Recalled or Unsafe Product?
Ask a Defective Product Lawyer for Legal Advice
When a product on the market is found to be dangerous and causing injuries or deaths, it is common practice for the manufacturer or producer to recall the product. Many of the product recalls are a result of inadequate testing or insufficient inspections. Unfortunately, many of these recalls come too late and many consumers are not aware of the recall. Common products that are recalled include child seats, children’s toys, cars, hairdryers, helmets, children’s beds, defective auto parts, and other products which can cause extreme hazards if they don’t work correctly.
If you’re not sure whether your injury occurred as a result of user error or a legitimate product defect, it can help to ask whether the injury should have been avoidable according to modern safety standards and technology. If you or a loved one were injured by a recalled or unsafe product, it is essential that you preserve the product itself as well as any packaging or instructions that came with the product. If the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has already taken the product, ask for it to be returned to you so your attorney can add it to the primary evidence supporting your case as you seek compensation for you and your family.
What are the Statistics on Product Liability?
If an injury occurred as a result of a defective product, you may have a claim against the manufacturer that could help pay your medical bills and other potential damages. If a product carries inherent risk, the manufacturer is required to provide adequate warning to its customers. When they fail to do so, or fail to correct an avoidable and severely hazardous aspect of a product, injuries can be incurred on unsuspecting users.
Let’s go over some important product liability related statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- There were an estimated 226,100 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2018, and males accounted for 56 percent of the injuries.
- Of the 226,100 estimated toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries, an estimated 73 percent happened to children younger than 15 years of age; 70 percent occurred to children 12 years of age or younger; and 37 percent happened to children younger than 5 years of age.
- There is an estimated annual average of 33,100 emergency department-treated injuries (2013–2015) and 489 reported fatalities occurring between 2000 and 2015 associated with tipovers
- There was an estimated average of 48 electrocution fatalities associated with consumer products per year over the 4-year period from 2010 through 2013.
- The three most common product categories associated with electrocutions over the 4-year period 2010–2013 were: “Large Appliance” (31 electrocutions), “Small Appliance” (21 electrocutions), and “Ladder” (15 electrocutions).
- In terms of consumer product-related injuries, an estimated annual average of 361,400 fires, 2,350 deaths, and 10,760 injuries and $6.45 billion in property losses occurred over the 3-year period from 2014 through 2016
- From 2010 to 2015, 28,273 products were recalled in the United States.
Who is Responsible for an Injury by a Recalled or Unsafe Product?
The litigation process for product liability lawsuits is relatively straightforward. There are three different times of product liability claims: defectively manufactured products, defectively designed products, and/or failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions. If one of these defects is present and/or the product has been recalled without a customer’s knowledge, and that customer is injured, they may be eligible for legal compensation from the manufacturer to help pay the damages. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, several parties may be involved in your particular case. These may include:
- Product manufacturers. If the manufacturer of a product knowingly or unknowingly allowed for a defect or lack of warning in their product which could cause their customers harm, they may be liable for any injury and/or ensuing damages that occur.
- Parts manufacturers. The manufacturers and/or retailers responsible for making specific parts of a product, but not the product in its entirety, could be held liable if one of their pieces is defective and affects the overall safety of the completed product.
- Employers. Employers are required to provide safe working conditions and working personal protective equipment to their employees. If an employer fails to provide proper maintenance or inspection of a potentially hazardous piece of equipment, or knowingly continues to allow the use of recalled equipment, and an employee is injured as a result, the employer may share partial liability with the manufacturer.
Do You Have a Claim for an Injury Caused by a Recalled or Unsafe Product?
Every state has slightly different laws regarding product liability. it’s wise to seek legal counsel to understand the laws governing product liability in your state. Depending on the nature of you or your family member’s injuries due to an unsafe or recalled product, your personal injury lawyer may identify possible claims for:
- Medical expenses. Injuries resulting from recalled or unsafe products may include: lacerations; contusions; abrasions; head, neck or back trauma; spinal cord injury; loss of limbs; brain injury; disfigurement; burns; tissue trauma; internal bleeding; paralysis; and, in the worst case scenario, death.
- Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of an unsafe or recalled product victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care.
- Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
- Vocational rehabilitation.
- Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
- Loss of consortium (the services of a close family member) and loss of care and companionship.
- Wrongful death.
- Funeral expenses.
If you were injured by an unsafe product or a product that was recalled, or if a loved one was killed by one of these products, you need to contact a personal injury attorney before the statute of limitations ceases. The attorney should be aggressive in seeking the compensation that you deserve.