When you purchase appliances for your home or business, you never expect those appliances to be the cause of a serious injury. You read the instructions, use the appliance correctly, and take the necessary safety precautions. So, when a defective appliance fails to work as expected and causes a serious injury, you are likely to be caught off guard.
You may think this rarely happens, particularly if it has never happened to you before, but the reality is that over 150,000 Americans are injured by appliances every year. Sometimes, appliance injuries do occur through the mistake or error of the user or consumer, but plenty of injuries arise from actual defects in the products themselves.
When you have been injured by a defective appliance, you can file a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury claim known as a product liability claim. This is a claim for compensation for your injuries that you pursue against the designer, manufacturer, or distributor of the defective appliance, depending on where the defect occurred.
A Defective Appliance Can Result in a Charlotte, North Carolina, Personal Injury Claim
If you use an appliance that turns out to be defective, and you are not injured, then you cannot file a personal injury claim to recover compensation. However, you may be able to get your money back for the product or pursue compensation for any property damage that may have occurred. However, if you are injured by the defective appliance, then you can seek compensation through a product liability claim. Some common causes of injury that result from defective appliances include burn injuries, fractured bones, electrocution or shock, and traumatic brain injuries.
Can You Prove that the Appliance was Actually Defective and Cause Your Injury?
Many people make the mistake of throwing away the appliance that caused their injury. This can kill your case when it comes to pursuing compensation in a personal injury claim. You need to keep the product and any packaging or instructions that came with it, if possible. This is how you are going to be able to prove, through an investigation into the defective appliance, that it was defective, that you did not tamper with the product to cause the defect, and that the defect did cause your injuries. This is also how you’re going to figure out which entity caused the defect: the designer, the manufacturer, or the distributor. If it was a design issue, then all appliances that were manufactured based on that design are also going to be defective. If it is a manufacturing issue, then it may be just your appliance or all appliances that were manufactured in the same lot. If it is a distribution issue, then it could be that the distributor failed to warn of certain hazards, gave inappropriate instructions, or sold a recalled item. This could affect far more consumers than only you.
Protect Your Charlotte, North Carolina, Personal Injury Claim After a Defective Product Injury
Whenever a defective appliance injury occurs, you need to take steps to protect your Charlotte, North Carolina, personal injury claim. This means more than just holding onto the product and the packaging. It also means that you need to seek immediate medical treatment, take photos of the damage and injuries, and make a note of any witnesses who were present at the time. If you are severely injured, then you may need to dial 911 to get an ambulance on the scene. How you respond to your injuries will not only depend on their severity, but on what kind of injuries they are. For example, if you are dealing with a second degree burn, then you should quickly remove jewelry and put the affected area of skin under cool running water if possible. On the other hand, if you suffered a third degree injury, then it is not a good idea to put it under cool running water because you could go into shock. If you have a fractured bone, then the best thing you can do is to stay still and wait for help. If you have a head injury, then you need to seek help quickly, especially if there is fear of losing consciousness.
In some cases, you may not be able to help yourself beyond calling for help. In other cases, you may have minor injuries and be capable of driving yourself to the hospital. Do not try to do this if you have a severe burn injury, fractured bone, or head injury. Get a ride or call an ambulance. If you are conscious and able, then take photos of everything you can, including the product, the damaged property, the injuries, and any other relevant evidence. Gather up the instructions and the packaging. Most importantly, do not wait to seek treatment. You might be in shock or confused after a serious injury, and you may think it’s okay to wait until the next day to see if those injuries are severe. Yet, waiting to seek treatment could harm your claim. Similarly, throwing away any evidence, such as the defective appliance, or attempting to modify the appliance to fix it, could also damage your claim.
Call a Charlotte, North Carolina, Personal Injury Attorney for a Defective Appliance Injury
If you have been the victim of a defective appliance injury, you can learn more about your claim and get it thoroughly investigated by contacting the skilled personal injury attorneys in Charlotte NC, at Ted A. Greve & Associates Injury Lawyers. We will find out what caused the defect, whether it was a design, manufacturing, or distribution errors, and whether the injury could have been prevented. You may even find out that you have a place in a class action lawsuit, if the given defective product was not the only one with the defect that caused your injuries. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights and options for pursuing compensation.