What To Watch Out for When Given a Defective Product for the Holidays

defective productHolidays are typically times where we can enjoy family, delicious meals, and celebrations. The last thing that we expect is for a gift that another gives us to result in our injury. But unfortunately, defective products and design flaws often go unnoticed until it’s too late. And in some circumstances, these defective or flawed products result in significant injuries to us and others. 

With that said, who is to blame for our injuries from a defective product given as a holiday gift? Let’s discuss what you should watch out for while giving and accepting gifts, and what to do if you suspect that a product you received caused your injury.

Who is liable when a dangerous or defective product injures someone?

When someone suffers an injury while using a product, they may think that they are at fault. However, this is not always the case, depending on what the product is and whether it was used as intended. If you believe that your injury is due to a defective product, it is always a good idea to discuss your accident with an attorney.

Typically, it is the manufacturer’s duty to provide safe products to consumers. They generally oversee the manufacturing of the products they sell to consumers. Therefore, it is their job to locate and stop defective products from being sold. Failure to do so can show negligence on the manufacturer’s behalf.

With that said, sometimes a manufacturer does not need to be negligent to be found liable for your injuries. This is true with products that are inherently dangerous or come with known health risks. Although this adds some complexity to defective product cases, it gives peace of mind to consumers who know that manufacturers must sell products that are as safe and reliable as possible.

What holiday gifts most commonly have defects?

Over the holidays, a lot of our gift-giving centers around providing toys to children. Unfortunately, children often lack caution while using toys, which can lead to injury. Although a majority of toy-related injuries do not lead to serious health consequences, some do lead to hospitalization and even result in fatalities. 

Here are some of the most common causes of toy injuries:

A toy presents a choking hazard.

Children’s toys are often small and may contain small pieces that children put in their mouths. If a child chokes on or swallows an item not meant for consumption, this is often a serious incident that requires medical treatment. This is something to watch out for with gifts that are not preassembled, which often contain several small parts.

A toy presents a suffocation risk.

A toy itself or even its packaging could be a suffocation risk for a child. Even if someone suffers an injury from packaging, the manufacturer may still be at fault. This is the case if the manufacturer fails to warn about suffocation risks with the product or packaging.

A riding toy, such as a scooter or another children’s transportation device, can lead to an accident.

The most common accidents occur with riding toys. This can involve non-motorized items like bicycles and scooters, or powered ride-on vehicles. These accidents often involve a misunderstanding of how to operate the riding toy. For example, injuries often occur when a child rides their toy into a body of water or on unfamiliar terrain.

What should I know about product liability?

There are several types of product liability claims to know. Defective products, defective designs, and a failure to warn are different types of product liability that can determine how you prove your holiday defective product claim.

A defective product alone is not a reason to bring forward a claim. Instead, the use of a product must lead to specific injuries and damages that you can prove in court. An attorney will help you determine whether you have a case. They can also help you determine which party or parties are liable for your defective product injuries.

What should you do next if you received a defective product that caused your injuries?

Whenever a loved one purchases a gift for a family member or friend, they expect that gift to work properly. If you have purchased or received a defective product that accidentally injures you, we can help. The law offices of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath will explain complex product liability claims in terms that you understand. 

Contact us using the live chat feature on our website, or by phone at (561) 655-1990. During your free consultation, we can help you decide whether to file a lawsuit and determine what your next actions should be. Contact us today.

What is the Difference Between Product Liability and Strict Liability?

what is difference between product liability and strict liabilityWhen you purchase and use a defective item that results in injury, who is to blame? Unfortunately, this can be a puzzling question to answer. Yet, when you want to hold someone accountable for the damages you faced from using your product, there must be a legal answer. Otherwise, it will be hard to bring forward a lawsuit when you have not determined all the parties involved. For this reason, there are two law terms you should know: product liability and strict liability. But what is the difference between product liability and strict liability?

Let’s discuss these two terms so that you have an easier time understanding which party is at fault for your product-related injuries.

Defining Product Liability

When a product that you use results in an injury, you will use a product liability lawsuit to hold the manufacturer accountable. Product liability cases require you to prove that the manufacturer’s negligence resulted in your injuries. There are three main ways that your West Palm Beach product liability attorney can do this.

Design Defects

First, you can prove negligence by showing that the product had a design defect. For example, let’s say that your vehicle’s accelerator gas pedal is too close to your brake pedal. One day as you are driving, you slightly miss the brakes. Instead, you press the gas pedal and slam into the car in front of you. This is an instance of a design defect. If your gas and brake pedals were further apart, you would never have injured yourself, nor damaged the car ahead of you.

Manufacturing Defects

Second, you can show negligence by proving that your product had a manufacturing defect. As an example, let’s say that your airbags are defective. As you cross an intersection, another vehicle slams into you but your airbags fail to operate properly. Instead, the airbag explodes and sends metal shards flying toward your face. In this case, a device that was manufactured to protect you made the accident worse. 

Failure to Warn

The final way you can prove negligence is by explaining that a product that injured you failed to warn you about its appropriate use. For instance, imagine that you are in your car driving to work. On the way there, you are rear-ended. During the collision, your car seat suddenly jolts backwards, injuring your head and neck. 

After an investigation, it is determined that your car seat only functions normally in a crash if you weigh less than 200lbs. If the product manufacturer was aware of this problem but failed to notify you, then the manufacturer has product liability.

These three examples would all prove product liability. If you could prove these details, you would be able to bring forward a lawsuit against a product designer, manufacturer, or retailer. But how does product liability differ from strict liability, and why does it matter?

Defining Strict Liability

In some cases, you can prove that another party is liable for an accident without showing negligence. This is defined as strict product liability. Unlike with cases of product liability, strict liability usually occurs whenever you are injured by a product or activity that is inherently dangerous. 

Under these circumstances, you can receive compensation even if a manufacturer warned you about the potential risks of using their product. Likewise, because there is a different burden of proof, you will not need to show that the defendant is at fault.

What is the burden of proof with strict product liability claims?

With these facts in mind, what is the difference between product liability and strict liability regarding burden of proof? Essentially, with product liability claims you must prove that your injuries were a result of a defect, carelessness from another party, or negligence.

With strict liability cases, you must prove that you used your product as intended. Your attorney will also need to show that the product was defective and resulted in your injuries. No negligence or carelessness needs to be proven.

Talk To a Product Liability Attorney Today

Understanding the difference between product liability and strict liability is important. This is especially true if you plan to bring forward a lawsuit due to injuries caused by a specific product. If you would like to speak about your case and receive a consultation, please contact the attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at (561) 655-1990. 

Our experienced lawyers can help you recover damages in either a product liability or strict liability claim, and help you receive compensation for your injuries.