People should feel safe in their homes. After a long day at work or school, many people feel grateful to finally come home and close the door on their stress. Sadly, the typical Glens Falls home also contains many hazards. From toppling bookcases to dangerous clothing and batteries, many products in your home can cause bodily injuries and property damage in unforeseen accidents.
Call ourGlens Falls personal injury attorney if you believe a malfunctioning product has injured you. We can review the facts and help you determine if you have a legal case. Filing a products liability claim is complex, so please don’t hesitate to contact us. Below, we look at some of the most dangerous items in the typical home.
Bookcases, Bureaus, and Entertainment Systems
Any piece of furniture that is taller than it is wide is at risk of tipping over. We often see tip-over accidents involving bookcases and bureaus or chest of drawers. The most vulnerable to injury are children, who can yank on a drawer or shelf and help topple the piece of furniture onto them. But even adults could be injured if a bookcase crashes onto them.
There is a serious risk of injury. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that tip-over accidents send 22,500 people to the emergency room each year. About 44% of those victims are children who can become pinned beneath the furniture.
Entertainment systems are particularly dangerous because heavy televisions are usually sitting on top of them. Many children suffer devastating head and brain injuries in these incidents.
Typically, manufacturers recommend that homeowners brace a bookcase or bureau to the wall to keep it upright. Unfortunately, the direction might be hard to read or difficult to find, or the brace the manufacturer provides might be worthless.
Any appliance in your home could malfunction, but most appliances are in the kitchen. You or a loved one could suffer a serious injury when:
- Toaster ovens catch on fire and cause burns.
- Stoves tip over and burn a person while the stove is hot.
- Refrigerators topple over, especially when you try to move one.
- Electric beaters and blenders electrocute users.
In addition to injuring someone, a malfunctioning appliance could potentially burn down your house, harming the entire family and causing massive property damage.
Babies can suffer serious injuries in cribs, which pose several hazards:
- A baby’s head could get wedged in between slats that are spaced too far apart. A child could be strangled.
- A baby might chew the foam cushion and try to swallow large pieces. This can lead to choking.
- Metal components could cut or scratch a baby, leading to infection and other complications.
- The crib could collapse due to poor design or construction, injuring your child in the fall.
Careful parents should stay on top of all consumer recalls and never use a crib that seems rickety or dangerous.
Even the clothes we wear can injure us. A common example is children’s clothing which has buttons. A baby could chew the button and then choke when they try to swallow it. Children’s clothing is regularly recalled by manufacturers for posing a hazard to children.
Other clothing could be defective if it catches on fire easily. The federal government sets fire safety standards for clothing, but many items enter the market without meeting them.
Like clothing, children’s toys are often dangerous because they have pieces which a baby swallows and chokes on. Parents should regularly check theSafe Kids website to check the latest recalls of child-related items.
These batteries are used in many consumer goods, including:
- Power tools
Defective batteries can catch on fire, burning a consumer but also causing potential property damage.
Home Security Systems
People install alarm systems to keep them safe from intruders. Although crime might not be out of control in Glens Falls, many businesses and homeowners use a system to provide peace of mind. Unfortunately, a defective alarm system could allow a criminal to enter and potentially injure someone inside. When this happens, many homeowners feel outraged, as if their security was an illusion. You can hold the manufacturer accountable when a security system fails.
Can You Sue for Compensation?
Legally, anyone injured by a defective product can sue regardless of whether the product has been recalled or not. Products are typically dangerous for the following reasons:
- Design defect. When there is a design defect, we see many items causing injuries around the country. For example, the slats on a crib could be set too far apart, allowing a child to wedge their head in between. That is a design defect.
- Manufacturing defect. Although the design is safe, the way your particular product was manufactured is defective. For example, the legs on a crib might not have been screwed in properly, causing the crib to collapse.
- Lack of instructions or warnings. Some products need warnings so that consumers can use them safely. For example, household chemicals should warn you to keep them away from children. Other products need to provide detailed instructions so you can assemble or use the product properly. When instructions or warnings are missing or inadequate, the product is defective.
In a lawsuit, we can seek damages for lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and medical care.
What to Do after an Injury
The most important step is to receive medical care as quickly as possible. Burns, lacerations, and crush injuries can be life threatening in some cases. Babies could die from a heavy item landing on them. Go directly to the hospital or call an ambulance to pick you up.
It’s also critical to preserve the product that injured you, if you can. Your attorney will want to investigate to determine if it is defective. We can’t do that if you throw the item into the dumpster.
Some manufacturers provide a number to call to report an accident. Doing so can protect the public who might suffer injuries as well.
Arrange a Consultation with Our Legal Team
Larson & Gallivan Law can meet with anyone injured by a defective product. Call us today, 518-862-8799, to schedule a consultation.