Can I File a Personal Injury Claim if My Child Was Hurt by a Toy?
Every year, a number of children die, and many more end up in the emergency room from toy malfunction injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11 U.S. children died and 252,400 suffered injuries in 2015 alone. The numbers have probably grown judging by the continuous expansion of the toy industry, and, unfortunately, more and more Augusta, GA children become part of these cruel statistics. When this happens, their parents should know they have the right to file a child personal injury claim for Augusta toy malfunction injuries falling under Georgia’s product liability laws.
What Are Georgia’s Product Liability Laws?
According to Georgia laws, manufacturers are responsible for the injuries and property damages their defective products, in this case toys, cause. However, before filing a child personal injury lawsuit, Augusta parents should be aware of several important aspects:
1. Statute of Limitations
The period for filing personal injury claims is just two years from injury and malfunction discovery. For property damage claims, it is of four years. There is also a statute of repose according to which victims who suffer injuries after the ten-year time frame from the product’s launch can no longer seek damages for their suffering.
2. Basic Liability Principles
When filing a child personal injury claim, Augusta parents have to prove that the injury their child suffered is the strict liability of the manufacturer or occurred due to the manufacturer’s negligence. This is why many parents choose to hire a Georgia personal injury lawyer.
If they base their claim on strict liability, they do not have to prove the defendant’s liability. Instead, they have to show that:
- The defendant manufactured the toy
- The toy was defective when it left the manufacturer’s facility
- The toy’s malfunction or defect caused the child’s injury
Depending on the particularities of the case, your attorney can argue that the toy malfunction was the result of defective design, or that the malfunction occurred as a result of a manufacturing defect, something that went wrong during the production process and led to a defective toy.
If they choose negligence as a basis for the child personal injury claim, Augusta parents and their attorney have to show that:
- The toy manufacturer and defendant had the duty to warn users of the dangers their products pose
- The defendant breached their duty and failed to act reasonably
- The defendant’s negligence caused the injury, and the defendant should have known this would happen
- The plaintiff, in this case the child, suffered injuries and deserves to receive damages
In some cases, the defendant may succeed in proving that the plaintiff was partially at fault for the injuries for failing to act with reasonable care. An example of this would be if the parent did not read or failed to follow the instructions on the package and allowed the child to use the toy in an unsafe manner. This is another reason why you would want to consult with a Georgia personal injury lawyer prior to filing a claim. Based on the details of your case, they can foresee any counter arguments the defendant may try to make and prepare a proper rebuttal accordingly.
3. Limits for Damages
If the fault of the plaintiff rises to 50% or more, the defendant does not have to pay damages. If the plaintiff’s fault is lower, the defendant only has to pay the percentage of the total damages awarded corresponding to one’s fault. Thus, in a case with damages of $100,000, if the plaintiff is 30% at fault, the defendant only covers the remaining 70%.
In order to increase their chances of winning the personal injury lawsuit, Augusta parents whose children suffer toy malfunction injuries should keep the toys, preferably in their original packages, and contact a Georgia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. For those who delay this step, it is very important to keep records of the medical treatment their children receive and any expenses they incur in the process, so as to justify their claim for damages.
When reviewing a child personal injury claim, Augusta judges take into account not only physical injuries and documented expenses, but also psychological harm and potential future expenses. Fortunately, their verdict often depends on the skills and experience of the plaintiff’s lawyer. This means that you will want a skilled attorney in your corner to help prove negligence for your toy malfunction case.
Consult with a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer
If your child suffered from an injury due to a toy malfunction, contact Ted A. Greve & Associates! You will get the assistance of both a doctor and a lawyer in filing and sustaining your child personal injury claim in Augusta. A Georgia personal injury lawyer increases your chances of obtaining a full and fair settlement for your child’s injuries. The first consultation is FREE, so schedule it now!