Product Liability Claims During the Holidays; What You Need to Know

A legal scale with the words, "product liability claims during the holidays."

It is a truly magical moment. Watching as your loved ones open the gifts that you so carefully chose for them. A new scooter for your son. A beautiful porcelain doll for your daughter. That new grill for your husband that he just had to have. The smile on their faces is enough to put the bow on another perfect holiday.

However, disaster strikes as your husband starts up that grill and gets seriously burned due to a defect in the grill’s design that makes sputter the gas, causing shooting flames. Now your husband is being rushed to the ER and the excitement on you and your children’s faces turns to dread. The horror continues as you realize the heavy blow it is going to have on your family’s financial situation and the amount of time that your husband is going to be out of work. What do you do now?

Your dedicated attorneys at Branch & Dhillon, P.C. is dedicated to the continuing education and advocacy of our clients. We know that an accident that occurred due to the negligence of another party often leaves the victim picking up the pieces. We work hard to ensure that our clients gain the compensation they deserve to aid with the recovery process and put them back on the right path to success. When it comes to product liability claims during the holidays, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here is a guide to help you navigate this difficult situation:

What Kind of Defective Products Are the Most Likely to Result In Injury?

Technically, any product a consumer purchases has the potential to cause injury if there is some type of defect with the item. Whether it be a new high chair or something as simple as a toothbrush, a defective product can lead to severe injury and extensive treatment.

For example, in Texas, a lawsuit was filed after a Texas mother released a public warning about the dangers of fidget spinners. She had purchased the toy for her child, unaware that the fidget spinner could be taken apart. The child removed the smaller parts and swallowed a piece of the toy. She was unable to breathe and was quickly rushed to the hospital. She had to have surgery to remove the piece of the fidget spinner that had gotten lodged into her esophagus.

While it is true that any product can cause injury, some products have a higher risk of being defective and causing injury than others. These products include but are not limited to the following:

  • Children’s toys, especially those that have small parts
  • Hoverboards
  • Laptops and Tablets
  • Sports Equipment
  • Vehicles and Vehicle Accessories
  • Appliances

It is important to note that just because you sustain an injury from using a product doesn’t necessarily entitle you to compensation. Some items, such as the hoverboard, have a higher risk of sustaining an injury from using it than others due to the nature of the product. Individuals who are unfamiliar with how to operate the product should always check the direction and user guide before attempting to use it for the first time and avoid reckless behavior.

However, continuing with the hoverboard example, if the product were to have a loose wheel or another defect that was in no part caused by the user of the product, and they were to get hurt, there is a good chance that you would be able to file a lawsuit against them to recover medical expenses and damages.

What Are the Three Categories of Product Liability?

A child sitting at a doctor's office with a broken arm.

Injuries due to defective products are often placed into different categories depending on the details of the case. These details are generally unique to each case but they have some similarities that will place them in one of three categories, or sometimes several of them.

Defective Design

A product may be faulty even before it hits the manufacturing stage. Product designers have a duty to ensure that the products that they are designing are safe for the use of the product’s intended purpose and its intended age group. For example, toys for children under three years old should not have small parts that can be easily removed and swallowed by a child.

Defective Manufacturing

Products can develop defects during the manufacturing process. Whether it is an issue with the materials being used, a step was missed during the manufacturing process, or there was a failure to inspect and test the product to ensure it was safe, this can lead to serious injuries. For example, Zantac was recalled due to issues with the ingredients being used in the drug during the manufacturing process that was making individuals who took the drug have a higher chance of developing cancer. 

Defective Labeling

All products must have proper labeling and instructions to warn consumers of the risks involved and directions for safe usage. If a manufacturer fails to properly label their product or inform the consumer of the risks, then they may be held responsible for damages and medical expenses should an injury occur.

One of My Loved Ones Was Injured Due to a Defective Product, What do I Do?

If you or a loved one was hurt by a defective product, there are steps you need to take to ensure that you and your family can get the help and compensation you deserve.

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Always seek out medical attention for injuries after an accident. While you may feel fine, it is important to get checked out as adrenaline can make some injuries seem less than they are or mask other serious issues such as a head or neck injury.
  2. Gather Documents That Identify the Product: These include any user guides that were included with the product and the packaging. This helps identify and give information on the defective product that caused your injury. Other documents that should be added are any warranties, marketing materials, or any other identifying documents that came with the product.
  3. Contact a Trusted Product Liability Attorney: Never try to take on manufacturers or large consumer companies by yourself. You will want to have an experienced team of product liability attorneys to help you protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. 

Arlington’s Trusted Product Liability Attorneys

Branch & Dhillon has years of experience handling personal injury cases such as product liability claims. We work hard to ensure that you can focus on your recovery while we focus on fighting for the compensation you deserve. We don’t allow insurance companies or manufacturing companies to bully us into taking less than you deserve. Contact our product liability attorneys for more information on our services or to schedule an appointment with one of our caring lawyers today!

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