How to Handle Dangerous Toy Injuries

Sakkas Cahn & Weiss

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, hospital emergency rooms in the United States saw 198,000 toy-related injuries in 2020.

Some accidents are just accidents. Others happen when a manufacturer releases an unsafe product.

When a toy manufacturer’s negligence harms your child, you can seek compensation on your child’s behalf.

>What are the most common toy-related injuries?

Table of Contents

According to CPSC, the most common injuries are:

  • Lacerations (40%)
  • Contusions & Abrasions (26)
  • Fractures (18%)

The head and face are the most common body parts injured, followed closely by the hands and fingers.

What are the most common design defects leading to toy injuries?

The most common defects are:

  • Small parts that can become choking hazards
  • Riding toys with sharp edges
  • Unbalanced riding toys
  • Riding toys containing bad lithium-ion batteries
  • Toys with cords or straps that pose a strangulation risk
  • Toys coated with toxic substances

Technology is beginning to create new issues of liability. For example, hackable “smart” toys may give dangerous people a wealth of information about your family and your children.

When do you have a case?

You can’t sue for just any toy-related injury. You have to show negligence on the manufacturer’s part, which means the toy must be used as intended by the intended age group unless the toy is so defective or dangerous that there is no safe way to play with it.

You may also have a case if the manufacturer failed to warn adequately about potential dangers.

As your personal injury lawyers, we’ll help you identify responsible parties. A dangerous toy lawsuit usually targets manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and advertisers.

What if there’s a recall?

Many parents never receive notice that a recall has been issued. If they bought the toy online and the recall doesn’t make major news outlets, parents may be left clueless as their child continues to play with an unsafe toy.

It’s illegal to sell a toy that’s been recalled, but some people keep right on doing it, especially online. Some do it because they found an old toy in their closets. They don’t know about the recall either. Others just don’t care.

Recalls don’t tend to harm plaintiffs in toy injury cases. The defendant would have to prove the plaintiff received adequate notice of the recall and did not comply with it.

What if the toy is counterfeit?

Counterfeit toys are flooding the marketplace. Parents often snap them up because they’re sold at a deep discount. Who doesn’t want to save a little money?

Unfortunately, counterfeit toys aren’t under the same rigorous safety standards as the brands they’re copying. That means your child may be playing with a toxic toy or a toy made so poorly that pieces are bound to break off and become a choking hazard.

Worse, it’s almost impossible to hold the manufacturer accountable.

That doesn’t mean you can’t sue. Sometimes we can hold the retailer or distributor accountable. Nevertheless, it’s better to avoid counterfeit toys in the first place.

Protecting Your Children

Hopefully, your child never gets hurt. Here are a fed safety rules to reduce your child’s chances of taking an injury from a toy.

  1. Do your research before you buy secondhand toys. Buy only from known, reputable toy dealers. Be wary of online deals and deep discounts.
  2. Always read the warning labels and toy instructions.
  3. Always save the original packaging and instructions on all toys you keep in your house.
  4. If your toy includes batteries, especially lithium-ion batteries, make sure those batteries are UL-approved.
  5. Pay close attention to age-based safety labels, and adhere to them. Even if you think your child is smarter than the average three-year-old, the risk of choking, for example, is still roughly the same.

Finally, we recommend keeping an eye on the news. If a toy gets recalled, you’ll want to know about it before tragedy strikes.

What steps should you take if a toy injures your child?

Once you obtain medical attention for the child, you need to go back and gather some evidence.

Preserve the toy and its packaging if you still have it. Preserve any instructions that came with the toy.

Take photos of the toy, the area around the toy, and your child’s injuries.

Then, retain a personal injury attorney immediately. It will be almost impossible to file a claim without one, and it’s definitely almost impossible to win without one. You’re going up against major corporations, all of whom have very large, very talented legal teams on their side. You’ll need a lawyer of your own if you want to win.

We’ve helped our clients win thousands of dollars and will happily review your case for free. Contact our offices to get started today.

See also:

What to Do if a Product Makes You Sick

Some Toy Manufacturers Ended Up on the Naughty List

Understanding a Wrongful Death Action

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