I still remember my accident like it was yesterday. One minute I was driving my daughter to school and the next I was waking up in a hospital bed. It was frustrating to deal with the emotional trauma of forgetting an entire week of my life, in addition to stressing about my small child. Fortunately, we were both able to recover, but it wasn't easy walking dealing with the medical bills that accompanied the accident. I found myself struggling with things as simple as answering the phone, because I was nervous about dealing with another insurance adjuster. Fortunately, by working with a lawyer, I was able to make sense of my situation. I know that you can overcome difficult challenges too, which is why I shared my story on this website.
Kids love toys, but these things may also cause them injury. If a toy harms your kid, you may have a liability claim against its manufacturer. Answers to these four questions will help you evaluate the strength of your case against the manufacturer:
Is The Toy Age Appropriate?
What may be harmless for a thirteen-year-old child may be dangerous for a one-year-old. For this reason, toys are designed for children of specific ages. Younger children, especially those below the age of three, are particularly vulnerable to choking injuries since they tend to put everything into their mouths.
There are specific and detailed guidelines governing their design and manufacture of toys for specific ages. For example, toys meant for children 12 years of age and younger must be tested by third parties and certified as compliant with federal toy safety standards. Therefore, you may not have much of a case if you gave your three-year-old child a toy meant for 13-year olds.
Did It Have A Warning?
Since it may not be possible to make toys a hundred percent harmless, they must be accompanied by warnings. The warnings cover relevant issues such as proper use and disposal, as well as any potential harm the toy may cause. You have a strong injury case if the toy did not have relevant warnings and the lack of information leads to an injury.
Consider an example of a battery-operated toy whose manufacturer hasn't indicated whether the batteries are rechargeable or not. The manufacturer may be liable if your child injures himself or herself while trying to recharge the battery. However, the manufacturer may escape liability if there was a clearly visible warning not to recharge the batteries.
Did You Use It Correctly?
Another thing you should consider is whether you used the toy as directed by the manufacturers. For example, you may be warned not to let a child sleep in a toy costume, carry a toy into a tanning booth, or play with a toy in water. It is your responsibility to ensure that your child heeds these directions while playing with the toy. Failure to adhere to these directions may not automatically make the manufacturer escape liability, but it weakens your case.
Was the Toy Properly Manufactured?
A toy may be age-appropriate and carry all the necessary warnings, but it may still cause injury if it is improperly manufactured. For example, toys for very young children should not have sharp edges that may cut them. Therefore, it may be considered a product defect if a toy that normally has smooth edges comes with a sharp edge that injures your child. That means you may still get compensation for your child's injuries.
Toy-related injuries and associated claims aren't always easy to manage. You may mistakenly believe that a claim doesn't have merit when it does. Do yourself a favor and hire a personal injury attorney to help you with the case.