Defective Furniture Can Cause Serious Injuries
When you think of dangerous products, you probably think of things that can kill you, such as medicines or automobiles. But thousands of people are injured each year in furniture mishaps. According to a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 30,000 people visited emergency rooms from 2014 to 2016 because of furniture or television tip-over incidents. Since 2000, over 500 people have died in similar accidents. Unstable furniture is no laughing matter.
Generally, defective furniture injures people because it is unstable. You might fall off a chair or stool when it tips over, or you might be trapped under a piece of furniture that tips over onto you. Large objects like dressers and bureaus can cause serious injuries because they are so heavy.
Regardless of how the accident occurred, victims can suffer the following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Crushed limbs
- Other traumatic brain injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal injuries
Children are especially vulnerable to furniture accidents. According to statistics, children made up 52% of emergency room visits caused by tip-over incidents. Children under 14 also made up 84% of reported fatalities.
Proving a Piece of Furniture is Defective
To receive compensation, accident victims will need to show that the piece of furniture was unreasonably dangerous because of a defect. Typically, defects can take the following forms:
Design defect. Something about how the furniture has been designed makes it unreasonably dangerous. For example, a stool’s legs might be too close together, rendering the stool prone to tipping over. Often, every piece of furniture in the product line will be dangerous since they were all manufactured according to the defective design.
Manufacturing defect. There might not be anything wrong with the design. However, the particular piece of furniture you bought was defective because it was not made according to plan. For example, a stool’s legs might have been joined improperly, thus rendering the stool unstable.
Failure to warn. Typically, furniture is safe so no safety instructions are needed. However, children’s furniture sometimes has instructions or warnings telling you how to use the furniture safely. If these warnings are missing or inadequate, the product might be unreasonably dangerous.
Investigating Your Case
To help build the strongest case possible, you should save the defective piece of furniture so that your personal injury lawyer can look at it. Instead of throwing a defective crib in the trash or leaving it on the side of the road, keep it in your basement or attic.
Your lawyer will also want certain pieces of evidence, so gather it ahead of time:
- Medical records that show the severity of the injury
- Names of every doctor and hospital you have visited
- Proof of how much money you have spent treating your injuries (bills, receipts, etc.)
- Pictures of your injuries before they have had a chance to heal
- Any witnesses to the accident and their contact information
- Your own memories of what happened
A key focus will be whether you used the furniture in the manner it was intended to be used. If you didn’t, then you might not be able to receive compensation.
Lawyers Who Will Protect Your Rights
Furniture accidents are less rare than you might think, and injured victims are entitled to compensation. At Bundza & Rodriguez, we treat every case that comes through the door seriously. Our experienced Florida personal injury lawyers will investigate the surrounding circumstances and advise you about whether you have a legal claim. Since Florida gives injured victims only a limited amount of time to bring a lawsuit, you should not delay contacting us for your free consultation.