Few people, except perhaps new parents considering nursery furniture, consistently consider the potential danger of poorly designed or manufactured furniture when they make a purchase. However, the reality is furniture can cause injuries or even death. Here at Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, we have a team of product defect attorneys that know the dangers that manufactured furniture pose.
Design and Manufacturing Defects
Some furniture suffers from poor design. Although the piece of furniture was made correctly according to specifications, the way it was designed renders it defective. In these situations, you can see defects across the entire product line.
When chairs have design defects, the manufacturer will often recall the entire line of furniture to prevent others from being injured.
Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with the design, but because of how it was put together, the particular piece of furniture is defective. For example, materials used might have a weakness which causes a chair to collapse, or the joints might not have been joined securely. Fortunately, furniture with manufacturing defects should be available for your lawyer to look at to find the defect. Generally, when there is a manufacturing defect not all of the furniture in the product line will be defective.
Dangerous furniture poses a risk for injury to anyone who may use it, but children are particularly vulnerable because they tend to climb up on furniture or use it to pull themselves to a standing position. Two-thirds of furniture and television tip-over fatalities are toddlers.
Common furniture accident injuries to babies and children include concussions and traumatic brain injuries, damage to the neck and spine, fractures and crushed bones, and suffocation.
Common injuries for victims of all ages include:
- Head trauma from falls and blows from collapsing or tipping furniture
- Neck and spine injuries caused by collapsing or tipping furniture
- Suffocation from entrapment in or under defective or tipped furniture
- Bruises, cuts, and scrapes from breaking furniture or falls caused by collapsing or tipping furniture
- Broken bones and cracked or knocked-out teeth from falls caused by collapsing or tipping furniture
- Pinched fingers and hands from drawers, hinges, and lids
- Brain damage or cancer from exposure to lead and other toxic chemicals
- Chronic health problems such as respiratory distress and asthma from exposure to noxious gasses
- Burns caused by fires involving upholstered furniture without flame-retardant
Proving a Piece of Furniture Is Defective
To show that a defective piece of furniture was unreasonably dangerous and that it caused your injuries, you should begin building your case. In addition to holding onto your medical records, you should briefly write down how you were using the piece of furniture. For example, when it collapsed, were you sitting on a chair like a normal person? Or were you trying to do something different, like balancing on it while doing a handstand?
Compensation cannot be received if you were injured while using the chair in a manner that wasn’t intended. You also cannot have altered the chair in a way that made it more dangerous.
After reviewing your case, a lawyer might decide that you need an expert witness to help you. To explain to a jury how a particular design was defective or how a particular piece of furniture was manufactured in a defective manner, you need an expert.
At Harris & Harris, we have worked with expert witnesses in many product liability cases, so we know how to find ones with the right combination of expertise and ease communicating.
What to Do if You Were Injured by Poorly Designed or Manufactured Furniture
Furniture accidents are more common than you might think. Liability for damages caused by defective or malfunctioning furniture goes to anyone in the chain of distribution, including designers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers. Such damages may include but are not limited to medical costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one have been injured, you should take action:
- Seek appropriate medical attention for your injuries. It is best to seek treatment promptly. However, some injuries do not become apparent until later. Maintain all medical records and the costs of any medical care from the date of the accident or event that caused your damages.
- Keep the furniture in its present condition following the accident, and take pictures.
- Document all injuries, damage to surrounding areas, and take notes or record contact information from any witnesses.
- Speak to our experienced personal injury lawyers.
Contact a Las Vegas Products Liability Lawyer
Furniture should support you, not send you falling to the ground or topple over and crush you.