In the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2016 report concerning fatalities and injuries from toys in the United States, the commission reported that there were roughly 240,000 toy-derived injuries seen in emergency rooms in that year alone.
While a total of seven fatalities were reported in connection with injuries from dangerous toys that year, an astonishing 43 percent of these fatalities were linked to ride-on toys.
If your child has been injured by a hazardous or defective toy, you could benefit from speaking with a Michigan dangerous toys lawyer to discuss your options for pursuing legal action.
A dedicated injury attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. who has experience handling these claims could help you determine whether you or your child may be entitled to compensation.
Common Injuries from Defective Toys
There are any number of injuries that could arise from a defective, dangerous, or otherwise faulty toy. These include, but are not limited to
- Organ perforation and damage
- Broken bones
- Severe cuts
Parents whose child has suffered any of these injuries due to a dangerous toy should consult with a Michigan attorney immediately to learn whether they may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the toy manufacturer, retailer, or another negligent party.
The bar chart below shows the percentage of injury types due to toys of all groups in the United States for the 2018 calendar year. Most toy injuries are lacerations, with lacerations, contusions and abrasions, and fractures being responsible for over half of all types of injuries.
|Contusions and Abrasions||16%|
|Strains and Sprains||9%|
Toys That are Typically Defective
In 2019, the Michigan Attorney General released the 2019 Dangerous Toys Guide, containing information gleaned from the CPSC regarding the “10 Worst Toys” that could present the highest risk of hazard to children. Included on this list were toys containing strong magnets, smart toys, and battery-operated toys.
Ride-on toys were identified as the most common reason for injuries associated with these items.
Other toys that could result in severe child injuries include those with small components (such as beads and small plastic pieces), sharp parts, toys that break easily, toys featuring lead paint, toys with ropes or other strangulation hazards, and toys with an appearance that mimics food. Balloons, building sets with blocks, and toy ovens are also among the leading causes of child injuries.
The stacked bar chart below shows the ratio of toy injuries vs injuries where non-motorized scooters are involved in the United States for the years 2014-2018 in the two listed age groups. The number of non-motorized scooter injuries has decreased each year in both age group classes from 2014 – 2018, while total toy injuries have stayed relatively consistent over the same time period.
Dangerous Toy Injuries with Non-motorized Scooters
|Year||Age Group||Injury Class||Injuries with All Toys|
|2014||Younger Than 15 Years||Injuries With All Toys||132300|
|2015||Younger Than 15 Years||Injuries with All Toys||136100|
|2016||Younger Than 15 Years||Injuries with All Toys||134300|
|2017||Younger Than 15 Years||Injuries with All Toys||143700|
|2018||Younger Than 15 Years||Injuries with All Toys||134500|
|2014||Younger Than 12 Years||Injuries with All Toys||127400|
|2015||Younger Than 12 Years||Injuries with All Toys||131300|
|2016||Younger Than 12 Years||Injuries with All Toys||129700|
|2017||Younger Than 12 Years||Injuries with All Toys||137500|
|2018||Younger Than 12 Years||Injuries With All Toys||130000|
|2014||Younger Than 15 Years||Injuries With Nonmotorized Scooters||47400|
|2015||Younger Than 15 Years||Injuries With Nonmotorized Scooters||45500|
|2016||Younger Than 15 Years||Injuries With Nonmotorized Scooters||39800|
|2017||Younger Than 15 Years||Injuries With Nonmotorized Scooters||40300|
|2018||Younger Than 15 Years||Injuries With Nonmotorized Scooters||31700|
|2014||Younger Than 12 Years||Injuries With Nonmotorized Scooters||42900|
|2015||Younger Than 12 Years||Injuries With Nonmotorized Scooters||41900|
|2016||Younger Than 12 Years||Injuries With Nonmotorized Scooters||36600|
|2017||Younger Than 12 Years||Injuries With Nonmotorized Scooters||36800|
|2018||Younger Than 12 Years||Injuries With Nonmotorized Scooters||28800|
Filing a Lawsuit in Michigan for a Harmful Child Product
In order to file a dangerous toy lawsuit in Michigan, the plaintiff must comply with the statute of limitations governing their specific claim. Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.5805 states that the general statutory deadline for product liability claims is three years from the injury. However, this deadline is extended for injuries suffered by children.
When a minor is injured, they usually have up to 12 months after they turn 18 to start a civil claim. If a lawsuit is not started by the applicable statutory deadline, the claimant’s right to compensation may be lost.
The pie chart below shows the distribution of injuries per 100,000 people where toys are involved in the United States for the 2018 calendar year. Most toy injuries happen to children younger than 5 years old; however, 25% of all toy injuries happen to people who are older than 15 years old.
|Younger Than 5||37.06%|
|Greater Than 15||26.5%|
Holding the At-Fault Party Accountable
Most dangerous toy claims are filed under the doctrine of strict liability or the legal theory of negligence. In a strict liability claim, the plaintiff is only required to show that the toy was faulty and that this flaw was the reason they were injured.
In the case of a negligence-based claim, the plaintiff must prove that the at-fault party was negligent, that this negligence caused the product flaw, and that these flaws caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Negligence constitutes a violation of a legal duty of care owed by a person or entity to another.
For instance, if a manufacturer failed to take the proper precautions to ensure that a specific toy was safe for children to use, and a child is injured and suffers damages as a result of this default of duty, the manufacturer could be held liable for negligence. A dangerous toy attorney who is well-versed in the laws governing Michigan product liability claims could advise the plaintiff regarding the most effective strategy to seek damages from the at-fault party or parties.
The Legal Process
Once an attorney is retained to handle a dangerous toy claim, they could launch a comprehensive investigation into the alleged defect. An attorney could, for example, obtain the faulty toy for later use as evidence, as well as gather other evidence such as medical bills, and a background of the product and its applicable warranties.
During a case, an attorney may try to facilitate an out-of-court settlement to avoid a drawn-out trial. If going to court is unavoidable, however, an attorney in Michigan could request a range of potential damages from the liable party or parties, including compensation for the plaintiff’s emotional distress, mental anguish, medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, and future medical expenses.
Get Help from a Michigan Dangerous Toys Attorney
If your child was injured while handling a faulty or defective toy, do not hesitate to reach out to our team of dedicated attorneys at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.
Our Michigan dangerous toys lawyer could help to guide you through the lawsuit process and provide you with support during this difficult time. To learn more, call to schedule a free consultation.
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