Christmas brings a lot of new appliances, gizmos, and gadgets into the home. Toasters, vacuums, curling irons, and fancy Italian juicers to name but a few. Almost all these devices promise to make life easier and more convenient. The frightening reality is that these devices and appliances look safe in the packaging. However, they can spark fires, electrocute the user, or cause considerable injuries. Even diligent consumers who research a product’s safety rating and reputation before making a purchase are not immune.
One of the greatest risks defective products present is electrocution. The Consumer Product Safety Administration estimated that faulty products caused 2632 electrocutions from 2002 to 2010. Many of these were caused by power tools, small appliances, light fixtures, large appliances, and antenna.
Fires are also a considerable risk to consumers. From 2006 through 2008, faulty appliances caused over 150,000 fires each year. These caused 3,670 injuries and resulted in 150 deaths. The costs of treating these injuries was significant. The lost income they caused unknown. And, the emotional and mental suffering they left behind in the smoldering ashes incalculable. The property damage alone exceeded $547 million dollars.
Consumers and their personal injury lawyer in Chicago can pursue damages against a product manufacturer, seller, or distributor when a defective product results in damage to property or causes personal injury. This requires showing either strict liability, breach of warranty, and/or negligence. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury claim is 2 years. It is 5 years for damage to property. These countdowns begin from the date of the incident, not from the date the defective product was purchased.
Strict liability can be applied to a personal injury case if a manufacturer sold a product they knew to be dangerous or defective. Breach of warranty applies if the manufacturer’s description of the quality and safe operation of the device did not match the product’s actual performance. Finally, negligence involves showing that a manufacturer, seller, or distributor did not use ordinary care when designing, manufacturing, or selling the product.
Consumers have a right to expect that they will not be injured or killed by the products they purchase. If a consumer has been injured by the products within their home, they should contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer to pursue a claim. Doing so just might help the next person avoid a similar injury and disruption to their life.