What are the Dangers of Defective Power Tools?
January 19, 2021
Power tools are used every day in the workplace and in the home. Construction workers and homeowners alike use various types of power tools to complete a wide range of tasks that they would not be able to do with a regular hand tool. However, many of these tools are very powerful and have extremely sharp blades or points that can cause serious injuries. In fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 960,000 people are injured, and another 200 are killed each year in accidents involving power tools. Some of these accidents are caused by user error or inexperience. Others are caused by tools that are defective in some way. If a defective power tool caused a serious injury, a skilled products liability lawyer will conduct a detailed investigation and recommend the best legal course of action.
What are Some Examples of Power Tool Defects?
When a person is using a power tool that is defective, things can go terribly wrong. These tools that are meant to cut through wood, steel, and fiberglass can easily cut through skin and bone. The following are examples of power tool defects that can cause serious injuries:
- Malfunctioning safety switches
- Lack of adequate safety warnings
- Insufficient amount of fluid in hydraulic power tools
- Missing safety guards
- Loose fittings on air compression-powered pneumatic tools
- Cracked wheel in grinders, cutters, polishers, and buffers
- Damaged power cords
- Overheating motors
- Loose blades in power saws
- Misfiring nail guns
- Power jacks that are not lubricated
Which Power Tools Cause the Most Accidents?
Many of the injuries and fatalities associated with power tools can be prevented if manufacturers and distributors prioritize safety over profit and take the necessary steps to ensure that the tools are not defective in any way. It is crucial that safety is a top priority at every stage of the process. The following are examples of risks associated with dangerous power tools:
- Chain saws that are commonly used to cut down trees and cut up large branches can cause serious cuts and lacerations to arms and legs when they kickback, pushback or pull-in.
- Table saws use extremely sharp, fast moving blades that can easily sever the user’s finger or hand.
- Nail guns shoot sharp nails rapidly and with great force.
- Circular saws are similar to table saws, but they have less stability. A defective circular saw can cause severe injuries to the hands, fingers, arms, and legs. In extreme cases, they can cause amputations.
- Power drills that are run by electrical cords or battery packs can cause serious puncture wounds, as well as electrocutions if the person using the tool drills into a live wire.
- Lawnmowers use sharp blades to cut grass. Common injuries associated with defective lawnmowers include cuts, lacerations, and amputations from rotating blades.
What Types of Injuries can Defective Power Tools Cause?
Defective products of any kind put consumers at an increased risk for serious injuries. However, defective power tools are particularly dangerous because an accident with a power tool is more likely to cause severe injuries and fatalities. The following are examples of common injuries caused by defective power tools:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones and fractures
- Eye injuries
- Hearing loss
- Eye injuries
- Brain injuries
- Hand injuries
What Types of Defects are Involved in a Products Liability Lawsuit?
If a consumer suffers a serious injury while using a power tool, and he or she was operating the tool safely and correctly, he or she may be able to file a products liability lawsuit if the tool was defective. The user must prove that he or she would not have been injured but for the defect that caused the injuries. Products liability lawsuits generally involve the following types of product defects:
- Design defects: These are mistakes that occur during the design process. This can have a significant impact on consumers because this means that the defect affects the entire product line, rather than one singular product.
- Manufacturing defects: These are mistakes made during the manufacturing process. They occur when a product departs from its intended design, causing it to be more dangerous than consumers expect.
- Marketing defects: These occur when a product is sold without adequate warnings or instruction regarding proper use. Manufacturers have a responsibility to warn consumers of any potential dangers that may not be obvious.
How Do I Prove that a Power Tool is Defective?
If a consumer believes that a power tool is defective, call an experienced products liability attorney to discuss your rights. Some evidence that will help your case include:
- Photographs and video of the power tool that caused the injury, including pictures of the tool, the location of the accident, clothing, gloves, or boots that have blood on them, or blood on the ground or surrounding areas.
- Witness statements from friends, family members, co-workers, or anyone else who saw the defective tool malfunction, and the injuries it caused.
- Copies of medical records and bills associated with the injury, including emergency care, hospitalization, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages from being unable to return to work because of the injuries caused by the defective tool. This can include overtime, bonuses, vacation, and paid sick leave.
How can a Products Liability Lawyer Help My Case?
If an individual is seriously injured by a defective power tool, he or she may pursue a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. These cases can be very complex, and the tool company may have a team of lawyers at their disposal. A skilled products liability lawyer will protect the interests of the injured consumer and ensure that his or her legal rights are protected throughout the claims process. A products liability lawyer can also assist an employee who has been injured on the job and is pursuing a third-party liability claim against the manufacturer in addition to collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Seek Justice for Victims of Defective Power Tool Injuries
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an accident involving a defective power tool, you are urged to contact the Philadelphia products liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP as soon as possible. We will walk you through every step of the claims process and address all your questions and concerns. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-222-8792 or contact us online. With offices in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown and Harrisburg.