When we buy appliances for our homes, knowing that our families and children will constantly be around these products, we try to buy appliances that we know are safe. The last thing anyone ever expects is for an appliance to cause some kind of injury. Yet, over 150,000 people are harmed by home appliances in the United States, every year. While some of these injuries are caused due to misuse of the appliance, most of the injuries sustained occur due to a defect in the design of the product or a manufacturing defect.
As consumers, we want to be able to trust product companies and manufacturers to provide us with appliances that are not in any way defective or unsafe. These companies are supposed to follow a safety rules and regulations set by the government, but either by unavoidable mistake or through outright negligence, defective products still reach consumers’ homes.
Common Injuries Caused by Household Appliances in Augusta, Georgia
There are various categories of household appliances that could cause serious injuries due to product defects. For example, electronics like TVs, mobile phones, and chargers could cause fires or small explosions, if there is faulty wiring. Further, most kitchen appliances have sharp ends, are heavy, and operate at high temperatures with potentially faulty heating elements. Household appliances like heaters, toasters, stoves, microwaves, and many others, frequently cause injuries due to defective design or manufacturing. The severity of injuries caused by the defects in these household appliances vary. They can cause mild first degree burns or result in extremely dangerous electric shocks, broken bones, and even brain injuries.
The defect in the product can be a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a marketing defect. A design defect is when there exists an error in the design of the product, itself, and this impacts every product that is manufactured based on the defective design. A manufacturing defect occurs when something goes wrong in the manufacturing process, and this affects every product that was manufactured in that batch or group of the given product. For example, using faulty parts in the product or faulty equipment to make the product could lead to a defect that is not based on the design. A marketing defect occurs when the distributor is aware of the defect in the product of the potential for the product to be used incorrectly, but fails to put a warning sign on the packaging, effective instructions, or other relevant information for the consumer.
Defective Appliances in Augusta, Georgia Can Lead to Product Liability Claims
A product liability is a type of personal injury claim in which designers, manufacturers, and/or distributors can be held liable for any injuries caused due to a defect in the product. Every party involved in bringing a product into the market is tasked with ensuring that the product is not defective in any way. When a product leaves the manufacturer’s control, it is supposed to be safe and free of defects. If the manufacturer releases a defective product, and it causes any kind of injury to a consumer, then various entities can be held liable, depending on their role in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of the product, and what exactly went wrong.
Pursuing a Product Liability Claim in Augusta, Georgia After a Defective Appliance Injury
In Augusta, Georgia, product liability claims can be based on any of the following three primary legal theories: negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty.
Negligence: The negligence theory is applicable when the manufacturer, or any other parties involved, fail to act with reasonable care. For example, if an error arises in the manufacturing process, and the manufacturer was aware or should have been aware of this error, but ignored it, and allowed the product to be released into the market, then the manufacturer acted negligently.
Strict liability: Strict liability is applicable for a few products. Under strict liability, the manufacturer or another entity involved in the manufacturing process can be held liable without any proof of negligence. Under strict liability, all one has to do is prove that the product was defective when it left the control of the manufacturer.
Breach of warranty: Breach of warranty is relevant when the product fails to operate according to the warranty, given by the manufacturer. If a consumer is injured when the product fails to operate according to the given warranty, then the injured person may have a personal injury claim against the manufacturer.
Georgia has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims, which is the deadline by which you must file your claim in order to maintain your right to do so. If you have been injured due to a defective product, then you can file a product liability claim within two years from the day that you discovered the injury and the defective product’s role in causing it. Augusta also has a statute of repose, according to which you can only file a claim if the injury occurs within a given time frame, which is within 10 years of the date that you purchased the product.
What To Do After a Defective Appliance Injury in Augusta, Georgia
There are several household appliances that we use on a daily basis, which could be defective and lead to an injury. If you have been injured by a defective appliance in Augusta, Georgia, then you can file a product liability claim for compensation for your damages. However, to do so, you’re going to have to prove certain points, and this will involve ensuring that you seek medical treatment right away, and that you save all relevant evidence, including the product, its various components, and any packaging and instructions that came with it.
If you prevail in a product liability lawsuit, the liable party will have to cover any damage caused including medical bills, lost wages, extended medical treatment, pain and suffering, and any other damages. However, to prove liability you must prove that you were injured, that your injury was caused by the defect in the product, that there was no warning of the defect with the product’s packaging or instructions, that you used the product as intended and did not modify the product in any way, and that the designer, manufacturer, or distributor is responsible. Contact a determined personal injury lawyer in Augusta GA at Ted A. Greve & Associates to further discuss your product liability personal injury claim and what forms of evidence you will need to prove all of these points.