What should be the most joyous time of the year can quickly if a holiday product causes a fire, such as a faulty string of lights, a holiday candle, or something else. The burns resulting from these fires can be devastating, changing a victim’s life forever. Victims will typically have to undergo excruciating treatment and may never be the same again.
The attorneys with McEwen Law are extremely experienced in these kinds of cases, and we’ve helped our clients obtain millions of dollars in compensation. If you’ve suffered a severe injury due to a defective holiday product or you lost a loved one, please get in touch with us as soon as you can for a free consultation. You can use our online contact form, or you can give us a call at (800) 732-3070.
Holiday House Fire Statistics
The numbers associated with holiday house fires are astounding. An average of almost 50,000 fires take place across the country during the holidays, leading to more than 500 fatalities. They also cause about 2,200 injuries during the typical year. About one in 22 of these fires involving a Christmas tree results in fatal injuries, and about 40 of these fires happen each day due to children playing unsupervised.
Types of Holiday Products that Cause Fires
But many of these fires occur due to defective products. These are just a few examples.
- Electrical fires – These can occur due to defective bulbs in strings of lights, a defective electric candle, or one of a number of other different types of holiday decorations.
- Pre-lit artificial trees – If a pre-lit artificial tree is defectively designed or manufactured, it could pose an electrocution risk or simply catch fire through normal use.
- Faulty stoves or ovens – Many people will receive new stoves or ovens for Christmas and will decide to use them early because they want to cook for friends and family. If one of these appliances is faulty, it may not contain safety features that are designed to prevent a fire.
Types of Product Liability
Product liability cases involve one of three issues – a problem with the design, manufacturing or labeling of the product. Here’s a quick look at each.
- Defective design – There are many cases where a product already has a defect before it ever gets to the assembly line. When someone designs a product that’s intended for use by the general public, they have to make sure they’re safe – not only for the age group for which the product is intended but also for the purpose for which it’s intended. A set of electric candles, for instance, should not overheat and cause a fire when used properly.
- Defective manufacturing/failure to warn – A product could be designed perfectly fine but be defective once it’s actually made. There could have been some mistake during the manufacturing process, or there was a failure to properly test in order to make sure it was safe.
- Defective labeling – Even if there’s no issue with the design or manufacturing, the labeling could be misleading, confusing, or have some other type of problem. If directions aren’t written in a way that’s easily understandable, that could potentially lead to a fire – and could potentially make the manufacturer liable for any injuries or deaths that result.
Steps to Take After a Holiday Product Causes a Fire
The first thing you’ll need to do will be to get whatever medical attention you need. If you delay medical help, your injury could quickly get much worse than it would have otherwise been. Also, the insurance company could claim you really weren’t as badly hurt as you claimed.
The next step will be to try to gather any documentation relating to the product, if possible. If there is anything left of the product after the fire, keep it. Both the documentation and the remnants of the product could be valuable evidence that could help you get the compensation you deserve.
Finally, you’ll need to hire a burn injury lawyer as quickly as you can. Your legal representative will begin an investigation to determine exactly what happened and to also determine all potentially liable parties.
Do I Need to Hire a Defect Product Attorney?
The answer to this question is an emphatic “Yes.” In addition to conducting an investigation, an attorney will help you in the following ways.
- Understanding all applicable laws and knowing how to navigate the court system.
- Meeting all court-related deadlines, so your case proceeds in the most efficient manner.
- Planning for all potential defenses, the defendant will try to employ.
- Having a deep knowledge of all rules of evidence.
- Preparing the most convincing argument possible should your case go to trial. However, the vast majority of personal injury cases never get to that stage because they’re settled out of court.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
There are two main types of compensation you will likely be able to obtain through a defective product lawsuit.
One is known as “economic” damages. The word “damages” is just a legal term for financial losses. Economic damages are tangible. For example, you may have a severe injury that requires extensive, long-lasting treatment. The medical bills associated with that treatment are sky-high – and included in your damages. Also, severely injured people have to take longer breaks before returning to work. The wages you lose from work will also be part of your damages.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are subjective. They include issues such as emotional and mental trauma, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and others. These can be substantial as long as you have a skilled attorney who knows how to calculate them accurately.
Contact McEwen Law Firm to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
Don’t hesitate to contact the McEwen Law Firm for more information on how we may be able to help you recover compensation for your damages. You can give us a call at (800) 732-3070, or you can use our online form to schedule a free review of your case.