As parents, our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our children. We strive to create a nurturing environment where they can grow and play without harm. Unfortunately, there are instances when a seemingly innocent toy can become a potential hazard.
If your child is injured by a defective toy, it is crucial to know the appropriate steps to take to ensure their wellbeing and seek justice. The defective toy attorneys at Kherkher Garcia, LLP can help. Below, we provide you with a comprehensive guide on what to do if your child is injured by a defective toy.
What Type of Products are Harmful to Kids?
When it comes to the safety of children, it is important to be aware of the potential hazards of certain products. There are some injuries involving defective toys that are more common than others, such as choking. While countless products can be harmful if not used properly, here are some common types of products that may pose risks to children:
Small parts, such as buttons, beads, or detachable components, can pose a choking hazard to young children who tend to put objects in their mouths. Jewelry, toys, or even household items like coins or batteries can be potential choking hazards.
Toys with Sharp Edges or Points
Toys with sharp edges or points can cause injuries if mishandled or used improperly. These can include toys with sharp corners, protruding wires, or sharp plastic parts that can cut or puncture the skin.
Certain toys or children’s products may contain hazardous chemicals such as lead, phthalates, or other toxic substances. These substances can be harmful if ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.
Products made of flammable materials, such as certain fabrics or plastics, can pose a fire hazard. This includes clothing, bedding, or toys that can easily catch fire and potentially cause burns or injuries. Recently, the CPSC has recalled numerous children’s sleepwear and clothing products due to violation of flammability standards.
Baby equipment, such as cribs, strollers, high chairs, or car seats, can pose risks if they are poorly designed, improperly assembled, or if safety features are compromised. These products should meet safety standards and be regularly checked for recalls.
Sports equipment, including bicycles, skateboards, or trampolines, can be dangerous if not used with caution and appropriate safety gear. Lack of supervision, inadequate protective equipment, or faulty equipment can increase the risk of injuries.
Some art supplies, such as paints, markers, or glues, may contain toxic substances that can be harmful if ingested or if contact is made with the skin or eyes. It is important to choose age-appropriate and non-toxic art supplies for children.
Household cleaning products, pesticides, or other chemicals found in the home can pose significant risks to children if not stored properly or if children gain access to them. Securely store these products out of reach and utilize childproof locks or safety measures.
Small, powerful magnets used in toys or building sets can be dangerous if swallowed. If multiple magnets are ingested, they can attract one another inside the body and cause severe internal injuries.
It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and there may be other products not mentioned here that could also pose risks to children. Vigilance, reading product labels and warnings, following age recommendations, and supervising children during play are crucial in ensuring their safety.
What to Do if Your Child is Injured
If your child is injured by a defective toy or other product, the immediate concern is your child’s safety and wellbeing. Attend to their injury promptly by providing any necessary first aid or seeking medical attention.
Next, there are some things that parents can do to properly document the injury and hold those responsible accountable. At Kherkher Garcia, our attorneys recommend the following:
Document the Incident
Preserving evidence is vital when dealing with a defective toy injury. Document the details surrounding the incident, including the date, time, and location of the incident, a description of the toy, and any visible defects or malfunctions. Take photographs of the toy, the injury, and any other relevant factors that could contribute to your case. If there were any witnesses, collect their contact information for future reference.
Retain the Toy and Packaging
Keep the defective toy and its packaging in a safe place, as they may serve as crucial evidence in your case. Do not attempt to repair or modify the toy, as it may alter its original state and hinder your ability to prove the defect. Preserving the toy and packaging will strengthen your claim against the manufacturer or distributor.
Research Product Liability Laws
Familiarize yourself with the product liability laws in your jurisdiction. These laws vary from country to country and even from state to state. Understanding the legal framework will help you determine the appropriate course of action and identify potential parties responsible for the defect. Consulting with an attorney specializing in product liability is highly recommended to navigate the complex legal process effectively.
Check for Recalls
Stay informed about product recalls by regularly checking official recall lists or subscribing to notifications from relevant consumer protection agencies. Recalled products may have defects or pose hazards that could lead to injuries. If your child is injured, check online for recalls or other complaints about that specific product.
Contact the Manufacturer
Reach out to the toy manufacturer or distributor to report the incident. Provide them with a detailed explanation of what occurred, including the injuries sustained by your child. Keep records of all communication, including dates, names of individuals spoken to, and summaries of the conversations. The manufacturer may initiate an investigation into the defect and offer compensation or a recall if necessary.
Report to Regulatory Agencies
Notify the appropriate regulatory agencies responsible for monitoring toy safety in your country. Reporting the incident can help protect other children from suffering similar injuries and contribute to overall toy safety.
Document Medical Expenses and Losses
Keep track of all medical expenses incurred due to your child’s injury, including hospital bills, consultations, medications, and rehabilitation costs. In addition, document any other losses or damages resulting from the incident, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, or lost wages due to time taken off work to care for your child. These records will be essential when seeking compensation.
Consult an Attorney
If your child’s injury is significant or you believe you have a valid case, consult with a qualified attorney experienced in product liability cases. An attorney will guide you through the legal process, evaluate the strength of your claim, and provide advice on the appropriate legal actions to take. An attorney will also negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies or manufacturers to secure fair compensation for your child’s injuries.
Understanding Product Liability Lawsuits
A product liability lawsuit is a legal action brought against a manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or other party in the chain of distribution of a product that caused harm to a consumer. The plaintiff in a product liability lawsuit must prove that the product was defective and that the defect caused the injury. The defendant may be liable for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
There are three main types of product liability claims:
- Design Defects: A design defect occurs when the product is inherently unsafe and was not designed with the safety of the user in mind. For example, a car with a faulty braking system would be considered to have a design defect.
- Manufacturing Defects: A manufacturing defect occurs when the product is not manufactured according to the manufacturer’s specifications. For example, a toy with sharp edges that were not intended to be there would be considered to have a manufacturing defect.
- Failure to Warn: Failure to warn occurs when the product is marketed in a way that is misleading or deceptive. For example, a product that is advertised as being “child-proof” when it is not. Similarly, a product with known risks that are not included on the label. In such cases, the manufacturer or distributor has failed to warn consumers of known hazards.
To prove a product liability claim, the plaintiff must show that the product was defective, that the defect caused the injury, and that the defendant was negligent in designing, manufacturing, or marketing the product.
Get a Free Defective Toy Case Evaluation
The product liability attorneys at Kherkher Garcia are respected throughout Texas, and nationwide, for their role in helping consumers obtain justice, while also fighting for product safety. If your child is injured due to a defective toy or other product, we can help.
Start your free case evaluation by calling us at 713-333-1030, or by completing our online contact form. Our attorneys will help you understand your rights and the options you may have to pursue compensation.