As parents, we naturally want to make our children as happy as possible by any means in our power. One easy way that many parents choose to do so is by buying their children the toy that they have been asking for. We should reasonably be able to expect that these toys are safe and enjoyable for our children. Sadly, this is not always the case and our kids can get seriously hurt from some defective toys on the market.
According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 217,000 children are treated at hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries. Also, in 2005, 20 children died due to toy-related injuries. This is a simply unacceptable amount. These toys can result in countless harmful injuries or conditions that can even potentially impact a child for the rest of their lives. But, we are here to help if such an accident occurs.
At Agruss Law Firm, LLC, we have helped thousands of clients to seek justice and compensation for personal injuries, and you won’t owe us a penny for our services unless we win your case. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a dangerous toy, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Common Causes of Dangerous Toy Accidents
Even though we expect children’s toys to be made with particularly close attention and care, this is not always the case. There are details that are overlooked by these manufacturers that lead to children’s injuries and hospitalizations. Even if designed right, they must also come with warnings of potential hazards. Among the many ways that these dangerous toys can cause injury, some of the most common causes include the following:
- Small components – Choking hazards are one of the most common causes of children’s injuries from dangerous toys. A child may swallow and possibly choke or even suffocate on a toy’s small pieces if they are not protected from that possibility.
- Defective products – These toys must be made after numerous, thorough tests and inspections of its safety are successfully completed. Defective electrical components, sharp components of the toy, and more could result in a wide variety of injuries.
- Lead paint – Some toys may contain lead or be covered by lead paint, which causes lead poisoning in children.
- Phthalates – These are chemicals that are used in many plastic toys. When children are exposed to this chemical, it can cause reproductive and developmental impairments.
- Magnets – Magnets in toys may be swallowed and cause serious damage to the intestines, including holes, blockages, infection, and even death.
- Riding toys – Toys such as bicycles and tricycles may not have the proper safety equipment built in to ensure that its young users stay safe while using it.
Illinois and Federal Guidelines and Laws
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the governmental agency responsible for promoting the safety of consumer products to keep the public safe from unreasonable risks. They set the guidelines on how products must be manufactured and designed in order to ensure their safety. They also announce recalls of certain products, so it is helpful to always check that list prior to going to the store to buy certain toys.
Additionally, the Illinois Children’s Product Safety Act is another protection for parents and children faced with a dangerous toy. It says that Illinois retailers must remove a dangerous toy from its shelves and announcing its recall in its place. It says that toys that are recalled, pose a safety hazard, or do not follow its appropriate federal laws and standards are deemed unsafe. This is another basis for parents of those with a child that has been injured due to a dangerous toy.
If your child has been injured by a toy, there are a few things to do from there. First of all, you should obviously seek medical attention for your child so that they can be treated for their injuries. You should also keep the toy as it is and take photos of the toy and your child’s injuries to serve as proof the event. From there, you should consult one of our attorneys for free so that we can guide you through how to proceed with your claim and who is at fault. We will gather witness statements, order medical records and bills for your child, and more to prove the damages that you have endured due to this event. These and actors in the chain of distribution can have lots of money and backing to defend themselves. We do not suggest that you take on this fight alone. Rather, we will handle the big companies and the insurance company so that you and your child can focus on healing and recovering from this.
Dangerous Toys in Product Liability Cases
These types of cases are product liability cases, which are a type of legal claim that can be filed against any actor in the chain of distribution of a product if that product was defective and caused the person’s injuries and damages. The Illinois statute of limitations for these cases is two years, meaning that you must file a claim within two years of the date of the injury in order for your case to be considered valid and accepted.
Product liability cases are rooted in negligence, which generally has four elements required in order to prove its presence and validity. First, you must be able to prove that a duty of care existed between you and the at-fault party. Your attorney will assist and guide you in identifying this party. Then, you must prove that that duty of care was breached, which can be shown by the accident and injuries themselves. Then, you must prove that their actions or inactions were the direct and actual cause of the accident that caused your child’s injury. Lastly, you must be able to prove that they did suffer actual damages and injuries which can be proven through medical records and bills, witness testimony, and more.
In product liability cases, any and all actors in the chain of distribution of the product can be found liable. These parties include the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer. Depending on your accident, the defendant should be a party that should have reasonably known that the product could be dangerous to its users.
There are three specific types of negligence in product liability cases. These may be difficult to cite on your own, but your attorney and the experts that we consult are there to help you find which type of violation occurred:
- Failure to warn – The manufacturers have a duty to use warnings of the dangers posed by their product. The packaging should display this warning as well as an age restriction so that users can safely use the toy. This warning must be for dangers that could occur while the product is being used for its intended use or dangers that can reasonably be anticipated.
- Manufacturing defect – Manufacturing defects occur when the manufacturer made some errors in the manufacturing process that resulted in the toy becoming unsafe for use. These products should not be released, but if they are, they are often the ones that are recalled from the shelves.
- Design defect – A product may be manufactured without flaw, but the design of the product is inherently dangerous.
Damages That Can Be Recovered
Dangerous toys account for many injuries to children each year. When you expect that they can enjoy this toy, it is particularly upsetting and traumatizing for it to cause harm. The injuries that can emerge from these incidents can be costly, but any parent would pay whatever is needed to ensure their child’s health. By filing a successful claim, you can recover some of the costs that you had to shell out in this unexpected incident. We acknowledge that it does not completely resolve the consequences of this terrible event, but we hope that the compensation that you can recover can alleviate some of the financial burdens that you had to take on and give you some sense of justice. Some damages that you can recover after an accident from a dangerous toy includes the following:
- Medical expenses
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of reputation
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a dangerous toy, contact our office today for a free consultation.