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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

Injuries From Kitchen Appliances

by Jared Staver in Personal Injury, Product Liability

Modern day kitchen appliances make it much easier to cook, clean, and store food. Most of us probably use standard equipment such as our microwave or stove with no problems, but in some cases, defective kitchen appliances have been known to cause serious injuries. In fact, over 800,000 emergency room visits every year are attributed to accidents involving housewares and kitchen appliances.

What are Common Kitchen Injuries?

  • Cooking fires– According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments annually respond to more than 145,000 home fires caused by cooking equipment. On average, cooking fires contribute to thousands of civilian injuries and fatalities, as well as over a billion dollars in property damage. While the majority of these fires result from equipment being left unattended, many accidents also happen due to defects in burners, electric stovetops, and ovens.
  • Microwave burns– When microwave instructions or settings are unclear, unexpected injuries can occur. You can easily burn your hands while reaching for or opening an overheated food item. Microwave ovens can be especially dangerous for kids, who may be unaware of safe-use protocols.
  • Cookware defects– Recent cookware recalls include Macy’s Martha Stewart Steel Cookware frying pans due to unhinged rivets, and Walmart’s Rival Griddles due to shock hazard. Defective cookware will often shatter, break, or malfunction in the middle of use, posing as safety hazards for unsuspecting consumers.
  • Range tip-overs– Victims of range tip-over accidents are typically children under 10 years old, or elderly adults. You should make sure that your stove range is properly secured in an upright position. However, because of the appliance’s inherent design, it can sometimes topple over when too much weight gets placed on an open oven door.
  • Cuts and lacerations– Improper knife use is a common source of injury in the kitchen. You should always keep your knives sharpened and safely stored in a block. In addition, electric tools such as food processors and blenders can cause lacerations when they are mishandled. Be careful to never directly reach into a slicer, or attempt to clean blades with bare hands.
  • Gas leaks– Gas leaks from the stove or oven can turn deadly if you’re not cautious. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, you should have a working alarm installed on every floor of your house. It is also important turn off all kitchen appliances immediately after use.

Liability for Kitchen Appliance Accidents

Kitchen appliance manufacturers may be deemed liable for certain injuries from defective or inherently unsafe products. Many questions can come into play when determining liability, such as:

  • Does the product have an inherent design flaw that could cause foreseeable harm to users?
  • Was the manufacturer aware of potential safety risks associated with their product?
  • Did the product come with sufficient instructions and safeguards to prevent unintended use?
  • Filing a product liability claim can be complicated in some situations, but an experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to guide you through the process. If you have been injured in a kitchen appliance accident in Illinois, contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable Illinois product liability lawyer. Our skilled legal team is dedicated to fighting for the maximum compensation for your injuries.