When you purchase a product, you do so because you expect it to perform as advertised and to provide you with some benefit in the process. The last thing on your mind is being injured by the product in question. Unfortunately, this is a serious issue that the pandemic has exacerbated. If you or your loved one is injured as a result of a faulty consumer good, turn to an experienced South Carolina product liability attorney for the professional legal counsel you need.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Weighs In

A recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shares that some injuries caused by faulty consumer goods (that require treatment in the emergency room) have increased during the pandemic (relative to the corresponding overall decrease in trips to the ER). While consumers seem to be avoiding ER visits for minor to moderate product-related injuries, they continue to head to the ER for those injuries that are more serious, which suggests that serious issues related to faulty consumer goods may be on the rise.

Taking a Look at the Findings

The report’s findings (which correspond with March through September of 2020) include:

  • While product-related injuries that led to ER treatment declined by 24 percent, visits for severe product-related injuries decreased by only 1 percent. 
  • The increases in injuries treated in the ER overall and across all age groups had the most significant increases, regarding fireworks and flares (58 percent increase); skateboards, hoverboards, and scooters (39 percent increase); and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), minibikes, and mopeds (39 percent increase).
  • Injuries treated in the ER related to button batteries rose by a whopping 93 percent among children aged 5 to 9.
  • Injuries related to cleaning agents saw a steep increase of 84 percent, and those related to soaps and detergents saw a 60 percent increase.
  • Injuries related to sports, including those that are normally associated with schools) decreased significantly (81 percent).
  • While bike-related injuries remained fairly steady (with a 1 percent increase), users aged 40 and up experienced a 21 percent increase, and users over the age of 70 experienced a 39 percent increase.

The numbers tell a concerning story that strongly encourages consumers to beware.

Always Make Safety Your Primary Concern

In an effort to help ensure that this product safety trend abates, the CPSC offers the following safety advice:

  • Always wear a helmet when you or your kids head out on bikes, scooters, hoverboards, or skateboards, and stay out of the street. If you’re on your bike, stick to bike lanes and trails, or proceed with extreme caution. Children, of course, should stay off of streets entirely.
  • Keep all items with small batteries away from small children who might put them in their mouths. It’s easy to forget that all those remotes you have lying around contain tiny batteries that small hands can quickly access. Further, make sure that the battery compartments on all those children’s toys that contain batteries are secured according to their manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • Keep all cleaning products and other consumer goods that contain toxins in their original containers and put them up and away from any younger children in your home (or who visit your home).
  • Fireworks are especially dangerous for young children, and children should never be allowed to ignite or play with them (including sparklers).

The Elements of a Product Liability Claim in South Carolina

Bringing a successful product liability claim can be complicated but obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled and that you need to reach your fullest recovery is too important not to move forward with purpose, and an experienced product liability attorney can help you with that. The elements that are necessary for every South Carolina product liability claim include:

  • The consumer good in question must be in essentially the same shape that it was in when it left the manufacturer (or seller, depending upon the situation). In other words, if the product has been altered in some way or is dangerously worn from use, this element is not likely to be satisfied.
  • The injury or injuries cited in your claim were caused by the product’s defective condition, which proved unreasonably dangerous to you as the consumer.
  • Depending upon the situation, the manufacturer (or seller) failed to exercise the necessary duty of care (in some capacity).
  • You were injured as a direct result of the at-fault party’s failure to exercise that duty of care.

Your Damages

If a dangerously faulty consumer product has injured you, the damages (or losses) you suffer can be immense.

Medical Costs

The cost of medical treatment and care after being injured by a defective product can include all of the following (and more besides):

  • Emergency transportation
  • Emergency treatment 
  • Surgery and follow-up care
  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pain management
  • Prescription medications
  • Adaptive physical devices

Lost Wages

While you’re recovering from your injuries (and watching your medical costs skyrocket), you’re very likely to miss work and experience a decrease in earnings. If your injuries are serious, you could be facing a decline in earnings into your future and could even experience a significant shift in your career trajectory.

Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering

The physical and emotional pain and suffering associated with being injured by a consumer product are as real as they can be difficult to overcome. This pain and suffering can manifest in serious psychological ways, including:

  • Severe mood swings
  • Increased anxiety, including social anxiety
  • Bouts of depression
  • Emotional lability
  • Self-isolation
  • Pushing others away
  • Irritability that is difficult to control
  • Emotional outbursts

The sad irony of this pain and suffering is that it can push members of your support system away just when you are most in need of their help.

You Need an Experienced South Carolina Product Liability Attorney in Your Corner

The formidable product liability attorneys at McCravy Law in South Carolina have more than 25 years of experience successfully helping clients like you obtain just compensation, and we’re here for you, too. For more information, please don’t wait to contact or call us at 864-388-9100 today.