Laptop Recalls and Electric Product Fires

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Electrically powered products commonly pose two hazards: the risk of shock, and the risk of fire caused by short circuits or overheating. In either event, the injured consumer has rights and can recover for injuries and/or property damage arising out of electric product liability.

Laptops with Electric Risks

Any electric or battery-powered can poses risks of injury under the right—or wrong—circumstances. The most high-profile recalls lately have involved laptop recalls, where the laptop’s battery (typically a high-energy lithium ion battery) or some other component overheats. For example, both HP and Acer laptops have been the subject of recalls over the last year. Also electrical battery chargers, such as a cell phone’s charger, can pose hazards: that was the case with Nokia charges last year. Beyond those common examples, though, electric motors, pumps, lamps—again, literally any electrical or battery-powered device—can cause problems. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regularly posts lists of household products subject to recalls.

Recovering for Damages and Injuries

If a product is designed or manufactured incorrectly, the manufacturer is liable for the injuries or damages it causes. If the existence of a design or manufacturing flaw can be shown, the injured consumer can potentially recover some or all the following: medical costs, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and the cost of compensatory or support equipment or services (such a visiting nurse or therapist).

Filing a Complaint

Manufacturers and their insurers will not go out of their way to make people injured by their products whole. Instead, you will need to institute a lawsuit, which means filing a legal complaint.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Product liability law is a specialized area of law. To bring a successful action, a person needs to understand the law relating to product liability—what constitutes a design or manufacturing flaw, for example? How do you show that the flaw caused injuries? Or how do you eliminate the customer’s own behavior (such as misuse of a product) as the cause of injuries or damage? In addition, the regular rules and procedures which apply to any lawsuit or legal action must be followed as well.

An experienced product liability attorney already possesses this knowledge. He or she will also know how to value your claim—that is, how much compensation you deserve and can reasonably ask for, based on the circumstances and the injury or losses you’ve suffered. Rather than try—often while you are suffering from some loss or injury—to master what lawyers go to school for years to learn, allow an experienced attorney to advise and represent you.