Getting injured is always frustrating, but when your child is injured due to a defective product, you might be particularly angry. When we buy or use products, it is under the assumption that they will make our lives easier and help us – not make things worse. If your child has been injured as a result of a defective product, your family deserves compensation for these injuries and damages. In order to get compensation, you can make a defective product liability claim. However, it is important to keep in mind that in order to be successful in your pursuit of compensation, you have to prove the following elements:
- The product itself is defective.
- Your child used the product the way it is intended to be used.
- Your child was injured.
- The defect in the product is what caused your child’s injury.
Let’s take a look at these elements individually, and see if your child has a case.
In order to successfully file a defective product liability claim, the burden is on your family to prove that the product your child used is defective. You can prove this in one of the following ways:
- Error in manufacturing. You will have to prove that the item that your child bought is defective by showing how it was improperly designed.
- There was a design defect. If there was an issue with the product you bought, you have to prove that this defect makes it unreasonably dangerous to use the product. Keep in mind that some products are inherently dangerous, and this does not mean that the item is defective. For example, if you buy a sharp knife, you take on the risk of potentially cutting yourself with the blade.
- Not being warned of a potential hazard. The directions and warnings should warn your child that the product is dangerous and they should properly instruct your child on how to use it. If not, you might have a defective product liability claim.
Using the Product as Intended
You have to prove in court that your child used a product as it was intended to be used if you want to win a liability claim. This doesn’t mean that your child has to use a product exactly as a manufacturer intended for it to be used, but it means that your child needs to use their judgment. For example, if your child buys a pair of garden shears designed to cut flowers and uses them to trim their nails, the blade slips, and they cut off part of their finger, this is most likely your child’s fault and you won’t have much of a claim. On the other hand, if your child uses flower shears to cut herbs in your garden, and they are injured because the blade comes off, this is more in line with what the product was meant to do, meaning you might have a claim.
Your Child Was Injured
Your child must have sustained an actual injury in order for you to have a liability claim. Trauma or a near injury is generally not enough to substantiate a liability claim. Your child’s injuries must be proven with photographs, doctor notes, or a doctor testimony.
Your Child Was Injured Because of the Defective Product
You can’t just say that your child was injured while using a defective product. There must be proof that it was the defect that caused your child’s injury. For example, let’s say that your child is speeding to school. At the last second they realize that the light in front of them has turned red and they slam on the breaks. Your child cannot stop in time and gets into an accident that causes injuries. In this case, you can’t really claim that it was faulty breaks that caused the accident and your child’s injuries, because your child’s speeding contributed to the accident.
There are many intricacies of proving a defective product liability claim, and in many cases these claims are not straightforward. To discuss your child’s situation with a professional, contact an attorney.