Has your child been hurt due to a defective toy? Can you file a personal injury lawsuit against toy makers for defective products? Keep reading
Accidents resulting from defective or unsafe toys can lead to serious injuries and or even death in rare cases.
According to a report by the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 226,100 related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in 2018. The most commonly affected parts of the body are head and face areas. Common defective toy injuries include laceration, brain injuries, fracture, burns and puncture wounds.
As a parent or guardian, you might be wondering what your options are if your kid sustained an injury due to a defective toy. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may have grounds for product liability claims.
What Can Make A Toy Manufacturer Liable For Your Child’s Injury?
Some toy-related injuries occur as a result of improper use of the toys by kids while some occur because the products are defective.
If you could prove that your kid sustained an injury due to certain defective features of the toy, you might be able to file a lawsuit and recover damages for their injuries.
Toy-related injuries typically involve one or more types of product defect due to:
Unsafe designs: This refers to mistakes or flaws built into the toy during the design stage. A product with defective design will fail to perform as safely as a reasonable person would expect. Recently, Disney had to recall 80,000 of its plush “forky” toys because it was found out that the toys portended severe choking hazards to the users.
Manufacturing defects: Manufacturing defects occur when the design was safe, but mistakes occurred while the product was being built making it unsafe for the intended users. Manufacturing defects could occur due to a number of reasons including:
- Coating the toy with lead-based paint
- Use of wrong type of screw for a mechanical parts
- Breakdown of a critical component due to quality issue
- Two parts were not correctly attached
Inadequate warning/instruction: A toy manufacturer may also be liable for injuries resulting from their products if they failed to provide the user with enough information or warning about safe usage.
For example, each toy is designed for kids under certain ages. If a manufacturer failed to disclose such information, you might be able to prove that their negligence resulted in your child’s injuries.
Toy manufacturers are expected to warn about danger that might occur while the product is being used as intended or can possibly be anticipated.
What To Do After Defective Toy Related Injuries Occurred
Get immediate medical attention: The first port of call after the accident is your child’s pediatrician or an urgent care center.
Once the child is treated, make sure you keep the medical bills, receipts and records of lost wages (if applicable) to show the financial implication of the accident.
Keep the defective toy: Evidence is extremely important while filing for personal injury lawsuits arising from defective products. Therefore, make sure you hold on to the toy for evidential purposes.
Take photograph: To bolster your claims, you may have to provide additional evidence to show to the judge or jury in case the case could not be settled with the at-fault party through negotiation.
Hire a product liability attorney: For serious injuries, it is advisable you engage the service of an attorney who will be able to represent and defend you throughout your case. An experienced attorney can help you recover the highest compensation.
Proving Liability For Injuries Arising From Defective Toys
Product liability claims generally rely on evidence. There are two ways to establish liability in defective toy lawsuits:
- Strict liability
To prove that the toy was defective due to the manufacturer’s negligence, you must be able to prove that the company owes your child a duty of reasonable care, but breached the duty which proximately resulted in your child’s injuries.
Meanwhile, a product liability claim based on strict liability doesn’t require you to prove that any sort of duty was breached. Instead, you will need to show evidence that the product was sold in an unreasonably dangerous condition. And that the condition existed at the time the product left the manufacturer’s control.
Also, authorities have to investigate the case. Their confirmation of the product’s inherent danger or absence of safety consideration across its design, manufacture or marketing is enough to prove that your child’s injuries resulted in compensable damages.
When Do You Need A Product Liability Attorney?
You probably don’t have to involve an attorney if the injuries were not serious enough to see a doctor. However, it is important to engage the service of an experienced lawyer if the injuries were serious.
Toy manufacturing companies are big establishments with financial strength and an intimidating army of lawyers. Thus, you need to hire a competent attorney with extensive experience and a track record of winning high profile product liability cases.
That way, you have higher chances of recovering highest compensation to cover the medical bills and other expenses incurred as a result of your child’s injuries.