If your son or daughter choked on a defective product or part, you’re no doubt horrified that something you gave them to use or play with wasn’t safe like you thought it was. Contact Loewy Law Firm immediately. We can work to prove that the product was defective and dangerous and hold the manufacturer liable for causing your child’s injury.
Choking hazards are everywhere. An infant or toddler might put something in their mouth, thinking it’s food. A broken part from a toy or small piece of a household item can cause severe injuries if a child chokes on it.
At Loewy Law Firm, we understand the trauma you experienced. Seeing your child choking is scary. Because the manufacturer’s product was defective, you might be entitled to compensation for the medical bills and other expenses incurred from the incident. Call us at (512) 280-0800 right now for your free consultation with an Austin injuries to children lawyer to learn about your legal options.
Common Choking Hazards in the Household
According to the New York State Department of Health, 12,000 children require an emergency room visit yearly for choking injuries. In children under five, choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death.
The two main types of choking hazards children encounter at home are toys and household products.
Choking Injuries from Toys
Small toys and those with movable, small, or detachable parts pose a choking risk. A young child might ingest or swallow a tiny piece of a damaged or broken toy. Choking can occur if part of a toy gets lodged in the child’s airway.
Common toys that cause choking injuries include:
- Latex balloons
- Stuffing from a bean bag chair
- Small rubber balls
- Parts from a stuffed animal
- Pieces from a board game
- Action figures
- Clothing and accessories for dolls
A defective toy isn’t safe for children. The manufacturer’s instructions might recommend its product to the wrong age group. A design flaw can cause a part to disconnect from the product, creating a choking hazard.
Choking Injuries from Household Products
Even though careful parents use childproof locks, kids can get into closets, cabinets, and cupboards and find items around the house that endanger their safety or life. You might not realize some household products can cause a young child to choke.
Household items that can lead to a choking injury include:
- Rubber bands
- Pen caps
- Refrigerator magnets
- Kitchen appliances
When a young child gets their hands on something small, they might put it in their mouth. Defective products can contain small parts or loose accessories that infants and toddlers can swallow and sustain choking injuries from.
Common Types of Product Defects
Choking injuries can result from any type of product defect, such as:
- Design defect – A design defect makes a product inherently unsafe for consumers due to an error or mistake during the design, development, or planning phase.
- Manufacturing defect – A manufacturing defect occurs when the manufacturer makes an error while making, installing, constructing, or assembling a product. The defect leads to a dangerous product even if the manufacturer follows the appropriate design.
- Failure to warn – “Failure to warn” is also called a marketing defect. A marketing defect results from a manufacturer marketing a product as safe despite knowing its dangers. This type of defect also involves providing unclear or confusing user instructions or failing to disclose the risks of a product.
Determining Liability for Choking Injuries
Multiple parties can be at fault for your child’s choking injury. Knowing who you can hold liable requires a thorough investigation. Liability for a defective product depends on the person or company that caused the defect.
The most common parties held liable for defective products include:
Loewy Law Firm can investigate and gather the available evidence to prove the product was defective. We know how to build product liability cases and recover the compensation owed to our clients.
Compensation for Choking Injuries
The negligent manufacturer, supplier, or another party should be financially responsible for your child’s choking injury. You can file an insurance claim or lawsuit to pursue compensation for:
- Emergency room visits, prescriptions, and other medical expenses
- Mental anguish
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of household services
Exemplary damages might be recoverable in a lawsuit. This financial award punishes the defendant for their actions. You must show clear and convincing evidence of the at-fault party’s fraud, gross negligence, or malice to be awarded by a judge or jury.
Pursuing Compensation for Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is a person’s death caused by someone else’s unskillfulness, neglect, default, wrongful act, or carelessness. Choking can be fatal to children because a blocked airway prevents them from breathing and keeps oxygen from reaching the brain.
You can pursue legal action against the person or company at fault for your child’s death. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you might recover compensation for:
- Funeral expenses
- Mental pain and anguish experienced from the death
- Loss of comfort, companionship, and love
You could pursue exemplary damages if the defendant’s gross negligence, fraud, or malice caused your child’s fatal choking injury.
Statute of Limitations for Choking Injuries
If your child choked on a defective toy, household item, or another product, recovering compensation might be possible by suing the at-fault manufacturer. However, you must adhere to a strict law, or you can lose your right to compensation.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for product liability cases allows a fifteen-year timeframe to file a lawsuit. That means you have two years from the date of purchase to initiate your lawsuit against the manufacturer or seller of a defective product.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases also allows a two-year timeframe for filing suit against another party. You must file your lawsuit within two years of your child’s death to pursue a financial award.
Speak to an Experienced Austin Child Choking Injury Lawyer
Loewy Law Firm has advocated for clients and their families since 2005. When you hire us, we will review the circumstances of the choking incident and determine who we can pursue for compensation. You will have an aggressive and dedicated legal team in your corner to fight for the justice your child deserves.
If your son or daughter sustained a choking injury due to a defective product. Call Loewy Law Firm at (512) 280-0800 for your free consultation.