Defective Products & The Holidays: Protect Yourself and Your Rights

Defective Products & The Holidays: Protect Yourself and Your Rights

The holiday season means new toys, gadgets, and products for children and adults alike. Although consumer products make for great gifts during the holidays, and while there are plenty of products to use when it comes to holiday cheer and decorations, they are not without their risks. That’s why the holiday season is known for increases in product-related injuries.

If you and your loved ones are purchasing consumer goods or toys as gifts, or are sprucing up your house with holiday decorations, be aware that products designed, manufactured, or marketed in unsafe ways can create risks of preventable injuries. As such, our legal team at Joey Gilbert Law wanted to discuss a few ways to protect yourself and your family from preventable injuries, and to help you better understand your rights when defective products cause harm.

Tips to Avoid Product-Related Injuries

Whether using products yourself or buying them for others, there are a few important steps you can take to ensure safety:

  • Check for recalls – Safety recalls are issued for consumer products that contain potential defects which pose risks of various dangers, including fires, tip-overs, and injuries. Some recalls may be issued preemptively due to potential risks associated with products, while others are issued after products have already resulted in reports of consumer injury or death. If you are purchasing any products or toys, check to see if any recalls have been issued. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regularly posts about safety recalls and recalled products on its website.
  • Make sure children’s toys are appropriate – When buying toys and products for children, you can take steps to ensure they’ll be able to use them safely. Aside from checking for safety recalls, be sure to choose toys that are age appropriate for the child whom you intend to buy it for, and that they are suitable to their abilities and skills. You should also check whether toys require supervision, have small parts that could pose choking hazards to younger children, have sharp edges, and that they are legitimate toys from trusted brands or manufacturers.
  • Use responsibly – Whether you’ll be enjoying new products yourself, or have family members who will, making safety a priority when using them should always be a top priority. This means reading instructions thoroughly, supervising children when necessary, and taking precautionary steps to wear safety protection if needed, especially if you’re using new tools or equipment.
  • Holiday product safety – The holiday season poses unique risks when it comes to using certain types of products. This includes risks posed by trees, which should be kept in safe locations away from fireplaces and heat sources (the same goes for stockings and other decorations). If you’re lighting fires or candles, be sure no flammable materials are nearby, place them where they can’t be knocked over, and put them out when you’re not around. For those who’ll be in the kitchen during holiday gatherings, safety around stoves, knives, and other utensils is important, especially if children will be nearby.

Know Your Rights

Unfortunately, even the most safety conscious individual can suffer preventable harm when the products they use are defective. Under product liability law, victims harmed by defective products have a right to bring legal action against the manufacturer, distributor, and/or retailer responsible for making the defective product and making it available to the public. Although every case is different, there are generally three types of product liability claims. These claims allege a product is:

  • Defectively designed – Defectively designed products are inherently unsafe before they are even constructed and made into physical items. For example, shelves may be defectively designed so as to make them unreasonably prone to tip-overs. When pursuing product liability cases that allege defective design, victims will need to prove how a design made a product unsafe, as well as how safer alternative designs were available and feasible.
  • Defectively manufactured – Even when products are designed appropriately, they can become unsafe when there are manufacturing defects. These can include defects caused by the use of poor quality materials, poor craftsmanship, and poor quality control measures. Even if manufacturers took care in creating a process to safely build their products, they can be held liable for damages caused by defectively manufactured units.
  • Negligently marketed – Some product liability cases focus on injuries that result from the negligent marketing of consumer products. This may include products that fail to adequately warn consumers about potential hazards and risks, or products that fail to provide adequate instructions for using the product as intended.

If you or a loved one are injured by a defectively designed, manufactured, or marketed product – remember you have the right to take legal action and recover financial compensation for your damages, including any medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering you incurred. To protect your rights, be sure to keep the defective product that caused injuries (remember not to use it and store it in a safe place until you can give it to a lawyer who can maintain it as evidence). Keeping the defective product is essential to any personal injury case you pursue, as it will need to be examined by attorneys and experts.

Aside from seeking medical attention for injuries and keeping the defective product away from others, one of the best ways to protect your rights is to work with an experienced lawyer who knows how to help injured victims recover the compensation they need. At Joey Gilbert Law, our Reno personal injury attorneys have earned a reputation for fighting aggressively on behalf of the injured, and leverage decades of combined experience to guide victims through the personal injury claim process. If you wish to discuss a potential case, contact us for a free consultation.

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