All parents know that what is appropriate for one child may not be suitable for another child. This is also true with respect to the toys kids play with. Age can determine what type of toys are safe for children.
It is the toy manufacturers legal duty to ensure all products display labels describing the proper age ranges of a toy for the safety of consumers. Failure to label these toys is a marketing product defect that can make a toy unreasonably dangerous. Parents of kids injured by toys because they were not properly labeled may have the right to file claims against manufacturers.
Should you find yourself in this situation it is important to follow these important steps:
Go to the Hospital
If your child is injured by a defective toy, take care of your child’s physical wellbeing first. Go to the hospital or a medical professional for an examination.
Common toy-related injuries include choking, suffocation, and strangulation. Projectile-related injuries can also occur, such as eye trauma. If any of these occur, it’s important to get medical treatment immediately. Moreover, document the name of the health care provider, your child’s diagnosis, the physician’s treatment plan, and all medical bills.
Build Your Case
If a toy injures your child, you may have grounds for a product liability claim in North Carolina. You will not need proof of the manufacturer’s negligence to have a claim. You simply show the item contained a defect, and the defect caused your child’s injuries. Incorrectly displaying the suitable age range on a toy is an example of a product defect. If possible, perform the following tasks:
- Keep the toy that caused the injury, and its packaging.
- Write down where and when you purchased the toy.
- Write down what happened using as much detail as possible.
- Take photos of the toy and your child’s injuries.
- Talk to anyone who may have witnessed the incident.
- Gather all documents such as medical records and incident reports.
- Find out if the manufacturer has issued any warnings or recalls.
- Keep all receipts.
Lastly, keep all documents and information relating to your child’s injuries in an organized folder and immediately contact an attorney. These documents will be the foundation of your product liability claim. A good product liability lawyer will help you build your case and collect any additional evidence for you.
Know Your Rights
North Carolina’s product liability laws state that a manufacturer or product seller is liable for a consumer’s damages if the item that caused the damages was defective. A manufacturer could also be liable if it was negligent in some way that caused or contributed to the consumer’s injuries. Failure to warn consumers of possible, foreseeable damages of a toy is an example of a product defect.
The creators of toys have strict age determination guidelines from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. These guidelines state appropriate ages for different types of toys. For example, regulations ban toys with small parts for children under the age of three. Breaking these guidelines may result in toys that pose risks to kids, such as choking hazards.
As a consumer and parent, holding the toymaker liable for your child’s injuries could result in compensation. A successful settlement or trial could reimburse you for your child’s as well as your losses such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and property damage.
If your child was hurt by a toy or product and you suspect the product was inappropriately labeled for your kid’s age, contact the experienced North Carolina product liability attorneys at Riddle & Brantley for a free, no-obligation consultation today.