Consumer Product-Related Injuries and Deaths in the U.S.
Every single day, we use a countless number of products to carry out various activities. We use products to prepare our meals, clean our households, perform work-related duties, entertain our children and much more. Unfortunately, these are the very same products that can sometimes send us to hospital emergency rooms with injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a report in February 2012 that showed how many individuals in recent years sought out medical treatment for injuries related to consumer products. The report also outlined the products most associated with these types of injuries, as well as data about product-related deaths.
According to the report, more than 38.5 million people in the U.S. sought medical attention for injuries associated (but not necessarily caused by) consumer products in 2010. This represented a 5.6% increase when compared to the same types of figures for 2009. To obtain a more accurate picture of what these numbers look like (to lessen some of the year-to-year variability), CPSC also calculated a three-year moving average for the year of 2008 through 2010. According to that average, the number of people seeking such medical attention was about 36.7 million, which represents 11.9 people for every 100 U.S. residents.
Injuries related to slips and falls played a considerable factor in these product-related injuries, according to the report. Injuries that involved ramps, floors, stairs and landings led to more than 7.3 million (or 19%) of injuries that were medically attended and nearly 2.7 million (or 18%) of injuries that were treated in emergency departments. Other notable product-related injuries included those that involved chairs, beds and basketball (either from the sport or from equipment). Each of these made up between 1.46 million and 1.85 million injuries a year that were medically attended.
As for deaths that involved consumer products in 2008, 57% of them—or 20,310 deaths—were caused by falls, particularly among elderly individuals. About 2,800 of product-related deaths per year were attributed to fires, and 2,100 to suffocation. Of the suffocation deaths, 1,010 were of infants. In total, there were 35,900 deaths that involved consumer products in 2008, and there was a three-year moving average of 34,200 such deaths. The CPSC data shows that 2008 completed an eight-year trend of increasing product-related death rates.
Consumer product-related injuries and deaths can be caused by a broad spectrum of factors, such as incorrect use of the product, dangerous activity carried out in proximity of the product, or simply pure accident. In other situations, however, product-related injuries can be caused by mistakes made by the item’s designer, manufacturer, distributer, marketer or others parties involved in getting the product to market.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website, consumer product-related injuries, deaths and property damage result in national costs of more than $900 billion a year. While the federal commission has practices in place (such as recalls) to help protect consumers from unsafe products, it is apparent that injuries and deaths from the use of such products continue to occur nationwide.
Those who believe they were injured because of a defective product should not hesitate to take legal action so they can be properly compensated for their injuries. A good legal professional will know the best tactics for proving both the cause and the extent of a victim’s injuries. Contact Overett Group to learn how an experienced Long Beach personal injury from our firm might be able to help. We can provide cutting-edge legal representation, whether the injury victim is negotiating a claim settlement or carrying out a lawsuit against the responsible party.