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Product Liability for Christmas Products and Toys

Christmas is a time for joy and celebration. It’s when the family comes together, you drink warm eggnog and you all gather around the Christmas tree while opening presents.

However, the holiday could be ruined if one of the presents you purchased or toys you gave your child turns out to be defective. If a product is not made correctly, it could cause a minor to serious injury, and you can end up spending the rest of the holiday in the hospital. You could also be in recovery for weeks or months on end. Watching your loved one suffering – or suffering from an injury yourself – is going to be incredibly difficult.

On top of everything you’re going through, you don’t want to have to worry about how you’re going to pay for the injury, too. Medical bills can be very expensive, and it’s not fair that you should have to cover the costs since the injury was not your fault.

That’s why it makes sense to reach out to a product liability lawyer and file a lawsuit. Then, you can get the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills as well as any lost wages and pain and suffering you experienced.

Three Types of Product Defects

Your Christmas product or toy may have had one (or more) of the following three types of defects: Design, Manufacturing and Marketing.

A design defect is an issue with how the product was designed in the first place. For instance, a toy gun that backfires and flings rubber balls at the shooter instead of the target may have a defective design.

A manufacturing defect occurs when the product was actually made in the factory. For instance, let’s say that toy gun was designed properly, but the trigger faced the wrong way and caused the balls to go in the wrong direction.

A marketing defect applies when the manufacturer does not provide clear instructions on how to use the product or warnings that a product could hurt you if it’s not used properly. For instance, let’s say that the toy gun was designed and manufactured properly, but there was no warning that the balls are very heavy and could hurt someone when shot out of the gun.

No matter what type of defect you are dealing with, in California, you’ll have two years from the date of injury to file your claim. Otherwise, it’ll be tossed out and you won’t have any legal grounds to recover your compensation.

What Can You Recover for Your Injuries?

If a defective product injured you or a loved one, then you could potentially get compensation for: Medical bills, Lost wages, Property damage, Punitive damages and Pain and suffering.

If you had to go to the hospital and follow-up appointments for your injuries, then the compensation could cover all those costs. Tests, prescriptions and medical equipment would be included as well.

If you had to take time off work to go to appointments, you may be able to get money back for your lost wages, and if the product damaged your personal property, you could claim that damage too. If your injury caused you extreme emotional harm, you could get compensation for pain and suffering.

And if the defendant’s actions were incredibly harmful, they may have to pay punitive damages. For example, if a toy company intentionally didn’t put any warning label on the toy or do safety inspections, you might be able to receive punitive damages (to make an example of their wrongdoing).

What to Do if You Get Injured

If a product injures you, first take photos of the product, your injuries and damage to your property and write down any details about the incident. If there were witnesses, collect their statements and contact information.

Go to the hospital immediately to treat your injury. If you wait, it could affect your recover or harm your case because the defendant could claim that something else caused your injury, or you failed to take care of yourself properly. Also, for your own health, it’s best to get treatment right away.

When you get home, make sure you look at and gather all of the warning labels and pamphlets for the product. As long as you were using it correctly, then you can call a product liability lawyer to help you with your case. If you weren’t using it correctly, then your injury may be your fault and you possibly wouldn’t have a case. For instance, the Nerf gun may have had a warning label that properly advised you not to do that which caused your injury.

Even if you’re worried the injury was your fault, it’s always best to call a product liability lawyer to get a professional opinion. You never know: perhaps the defendant was indeed responsible for your injury. Years of cases and experience go into the analysis.

Working With a Product Liability Lawyer

When looking for a product liability lawyer, search for someone who has extensive experience representing clients and actually winning cases. These types of claims can be hard to prove, so hiring someone who has successfully done it in the past is going to be your best bet.

Once you find someone you think can represent you, give them all the details of your case and ask for their opinion. You can always contact a few lawyers and see what they say to ensure you have a strong case on your hands.

Your lawyer is unlikely to charge a consultation fee for the initial meeting. They will work on commission, and you’ll only pay them once you get a settlement. They will negotiate with the defendant and aim to get a successful conclusion to your claim.

Contact a Product Liability Lawyer

Getting injured around the holidays is tough. It takes away from your celebration and diminishes your joy.

Even though you might be going through a hard time right now, you should call a product liability lawyer to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your injury.

If you’re ready to pursue your product liability injury claim, then call the personal injury attorneys at Heiting & Irwin at 951-682-6400, or contact our office online to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible.

Mr. Serrano has been admitted to practice before California State and Federal Courts. He was named to the Super Lawyers’ 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Southern California Rising Stars List, an honor awarded to no more than 2.5% of attorneys in Southern California each year. View Attorney Jean-Simon Serrano's Attorney Bio Here.

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