When an unexpected accident occurs, there are usually many questions that arise. Who or what is responsible for the injury? Can a manufacturer be held liable? In this blog post, we’ll examine what happens when you experience burn or fire-related injuries because of a manufacturer’s faulty manufacturing and design process.
What Causes Products to Be Defective?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that consumer products contribute to around 31 million injuries and 23,000 deaths each year in America. Products can become defective due to a variety of reasons, including design defects, manufacturing defects, or defects in instructions or warnings.
- Design defects: occur when the product is designed in such a way that it is inherently dangerous and could not be made safe for its intended use.
- Manufacturing defects: occur when there is an error during the production process that results in a product being unsafe for its intended use.
- Defects in instructions or warnings: occur when the manufacturer fails to provide adequate information about how to safely use their product.
Common products that may have defects include:
- Space heaters
- Clothing dryers
- Gas grills
- Electric blankets
- Faulty electrical outlets
Common Defective Product Burn Injuries
When purchasing or using a product, we expect it to be safe and functional. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Defective products may seem harmless at first, but they can cause serious and even life-threatening injuries.
There are a variety of defective product scenarios that can cause burn injuries. From highly flammable clothing to defective lighters to heated blankets, there are many products that can result in burn injuries. Space heaters are commonly known to start fires. They may have defects in wiring or functioning that lead to dangerous fires and can cause injury. These injuries can have a lasting impact on a person's life, including emotional trauma and financial burdens from lost wages, medical bills, and more.
Fire-related injuries caused by defective products may include:
- First, second, or third degree burns
- Respiratory damage, smoke inhalation, or airway obstruction
- Muscle damage
- Brain injuries
Who Is Responsible When a Defective Product Results in Injury or Death?
A defective product could lead to serious consequences that may affect your physical and financial wellbeing. If you have been injured due to a faulty product, it's important to understand that you may be able to recover compensation from any and all liable parties through a product liability or wrongful death claim.
You may be able to recover damages from the manufacturers, designers, or labeling companies responsible. If you received injuries from a defective product, compensation you could recover may include:
- Medical care
- Lost wages/loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment
If the defective product resulted in wrongful death, you may recover compensation for the following:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of companionship and guidance
- The decedent’s lost future income
- Emotional distress
Key Elements to a Product Liability Claim
When it comes to product liability claims, there are a few essential elements that need to be present. Product liability claims need to prove the following:
- The product was defective.
- Your injury resulted from the defective product.
- You used the product as intended.
If you've been injured by a defective product, one of the most crucial things you can do is keep track of any evidence related to your injuries. This can include taking pictures of the product and any injuries sustained, as well as keeping a record of all medical bills, diagnosis, and invoices. By doing so, you'll be better equipped to present your case as part of a potential lawsuit.
Key Elements to a Wrongful Death Claim
If the defective product led to a fire or explosion that resulted in a wrongful death, the following elements must be included:
- The death of a human being was caused by a defective product.
- The product was used as intended.
- The surviving family members suffered monetary loss due to the death.
Similar to product liability claims, having proper evidence and documentation is key in proving that a defective product caused fatal harm. Keeping records such as medical bills, photographs of the defective product, and any other relevant information can make all the difference in a case.
Our attorney at Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC has spent decades fighting for victims and families in personal injury cases. If you or a loved one has suffered fire-related injuries from a defective product, trust that our attorney can provide you the legal support to help you in your situation.
Call today at (502) 242-8877 or contact us online.