When we buy toys, cribs, baby seats, and various other products for our children, we attempt to purchase the safest products. We never expect and rarely imagine that these products will lead to some kind of harm. There are few things worse than seeing your child in pain, especially as a result of something you purchased and provided for them. It is worse still when the injuries are serious, life altering, or even fatal. If your child has been injured by a defective product, you need to know your options and how to proceed with a product liability claim.
How Children’s Products Become Dangerous
The first step is to make yourself aware of what factors result in products that might be unsafe for your child. The three primary factors that could make the product unsafe are found in the design, the manufacturing process, and even distribution, where there may be inadequate instructions or warnings provided with the product. A design defect occurs when the product is poorly designed from the start. For example, the design might include sharp edges, excessive gaps between the bars of a crib, or small parts of a toy that can be swallowed by children. A manufacturing defect occurs when defective parts are used in the product or when someone makes a mistake in assembling the product. A distribution or marketing defect occurs when the consumer is not warned of any hazards or provided with correct instructions on how to use the product. For example, if a toy that has small parts does not have a warning sign for choking hazards on the packaging, this could be a marketing defect.
Although you may read every detail on the packaging before buying every product, the manufacturer could deliberately or mistakenly miss some details that you are then not able to be aware of. The product may seem perfectly safe, but there may be hidden hazards without warnings. Manufacturers of children’s products have a legal obligation towards their consumers to make their products as safe as possible. Any negligence on their part can result in serious injury to your child.
All too often, the manufacturer of a children’s product does not keep in mind the safety of the children while the product is being manufactured. In other cases, the manufacturer may be unaware of materials that could be harmful to a child. In the past, manufacturers of children’s products have used lead paint, flammable materials, and small parts that could be swallowed by a child, either without realizing it or without thinking about the potential consequences. Some manufacturers have also created and distributed cribs that have collapsed with children in them due to faulty parts. Such defective products do not only pose a risk of injury but can also lead to death.
In Savannah, Georgia, if your child is harmed due a defective product, you can file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of the product in the form of a product liability claim.
Children Are at Greatest Risk of Harm from Defective Products
Children are vulnerable and easily susceptible to injuries. Sometimes, they are also too young to effectively communicate what they feel. Thus, the parents may not even be aware that the child has swallowed an object or has been ingesting something harmful; and by the time they realize, it may be too late. Many injuries suffered by children can have life- long consequences and result in several other illnesses and disabilities when they’re older. If manufacturers use lead paint in products, it can lead to lead poisoning, which can cause developmental problems, disability, or fatal consequences. As a parent, you might do all that you can to keep your child safe, but a small mistake or negligence on the manufacturer’s part can cause severe injuries.
Pursing a Product Liability Claim in Savannah, Georgia
According to Georgia law, you can sue the manufacturer for the injuries and damages associated with any defective product. This includes all medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. In cases where the defective product leads to death, you can seek compensation for burial and funeral costs as well as compensation for your emotional suffering and loss.
The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim involving a child is different from that of an adult. For an adult, the statute of limitations is two years. For a child, the two year statute starts when the child turns 18. Thus, a personal injury claim for a child can be filed until the child turns 20.
If your claim is based on negligence, you must prove that the manufacturer was aware or should have been aware of the defect in the product, but ignored it or failed to correct it or warn consumers about it. In this way, you must prove that the manufacturer was at fault for the associated injuries.
In strict liability cases, you do not need to show fault, but must prove that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s control, that the product was not altered or broken, that the product was being used as instructed on the packaging, and that the defect in the product caused injury or death to your child and the associated costs and damages.
In some cases, multiple entities may be responsible for the injury, such as in cases where the manufacturer could have prevented a defect, but the distributor was also aware of it and did not take steps to reduce the likelihood of injury. There are also cases where the design was defective, and the manufacturer knew it or the retailer knew it, and nobody did anything to prevent the harm.
Contact the Bader Law Firm for More Information
If your child has been injured due to a defective product in Savannah, Georgia, you will want to discuss your claim with an experienced Savannah, GA personal injury attorney who will work tirelessly for the benefit of your child and your family. Although the harm cannot be undone, compensation will help with the medical bills, rehabilitation costs and any special treatment that your child may require after the injury. The Bader Law Firm is here to help you get you the compensation that you are entitled to.