One of the most common reasons many people switch to electronic cigarettes is the assumption that they are generally safer and less detrimental to your health than traditional cigarettes. But the truth is, electronic cigarettes are not 100 percent safe. Besides the possibility of contracting lung diseases, vaping also puts you at risk of fire when certain components of electronic cigarettes explode.
For this reason, it is essential to know what to do if injured by an electronic cigarette. This information comes in handy, especially if you vape regularly or know someone who does. But before we discuss what to do after such an injury, let's first examine some of the most common causes of e-cig injuries.
Vaping-Related Lung Diseases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admits that there's an outbreak of lung injuries caused by e-cigarettes and other vaping products. According to statistics from the government agency, at least 68 had lost their lives as of February 18, 2020, due to complications caused by vaping. Although the numbers have significantly reduced to increased public awareness of the dangers of vaping, one death or injury is one too many.
Burn Injuries Caused by Exploding E-cigs and Other Vape Products
Electronic cigarettes contain lithium-ion batteries. When the user presses a particular button, it fires the heating component in the e-cig, creating the vapor the user inhales. Some electronic cigarettes do not require an activation button; they activate themselves automatically when the user vapes.
Regardless of the mode of activation, most of these devices depend on batteries to heat the vapor. But some of these batteries are unsafe. They can easily catch fire and explode, harming the user.
The most unfortunate thing is that you do not have to be actively vaping to suffer injuries caused by an exploding e-cig. These devices could explode in your pocket, handbag, car, or anywhere else.
And when they explode, the results can be devastating. The victims of these explosions might suffer severe burns or even lose their lives in extreme cases. When that happens, someone must be held responsible.
E-cigs don't just explode for no reason. But that's not something most people know. Some may even blame themselves for the explosion, and burns suffered, not knowing that such injuries could have been avoided in the first place.
When an electronic cigarette explodes, it could be due to one of the following factors - or even more:
A flaw in the e-cig design is all it takes to cause an explosion, injuring the user. The worst thing about defective designs is that other similar products from the same manufacturer might have the same defects but are still in circulation in the market.
Defective production is quite different from a defective design. The former refers to a situation where only some of the products are defective. In that case, the product manufacturer might be required to stop further production until the defective condition is identified and corrected.
When a manufacturer or marketer advertises an e-cig or any other vaping product as safe, many consumers might buy it because they trust the manufacturer's or marketer's words. So when the product fails to work as advertised, this could be enough grounds to hold the other party responsible for the failure. The same applies if the product is dangerous to some extent, but the manufacturer or marketer fails to warn the consumer about the dangerous aspect of using the electronic cigarette.
Common Types of Injuries Caused by Defective E-Cigs
Defective e-cigs can cause a wide range of injuries. Some common examples include:
- Facial damage due to fires
- Chemical burns
- Fractured teeth
- Broken bones
- Skin loss
- Jaw damage
- Smoke inhalation
- Cuts and lacerations
- Traumatic brain injury
- Loss of vision
And so much more.
Here's what to do if you or your loved one has been injured by a defective electronic cigarette:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Protecting your health is the primary reason for seeking immediate medical attention after such injuries. When you visit a doctor right away, they will examine your injuries and provide the necessary treatment. This step is critical - the longer you go before treatment, the worse the condition may become.
From the legal perspective, failure to seek immediate medical attention could raise serious questions about your injuries. The other party could argue that you were not injured in the first place. They could even claim that you suffered those injuries elsewhere and you're trying to obtain compensation fraudulently.
On the contrary, your doctor will document your injuries when you seek immediate medical attention. Insurance companies won't easily dispute your claim when you have this kind of documentation.
Document the Incident
Take pictures of the defective electronic cigarette if possible. Also, document the bodily injuries and property damage sustained due to the dangerous condition.
Gather witness statements if possible, including their names and contact information.
Contact a Product Liability Attorney
When you get injured by a defective product, in this case, an electronic cigarette, a product liability attorney is the best individual to handle such a case.
To put things into perspective, a seasoned product liability attorney from Morgan & Morgan can:
- Help investigate the claim to determine whether you have a case against the other party
- Identify the party responsible for your injuries (several parties could share liability for your injuries, such as the product manufacturer and marketer)
- Gather crucial evidence to build a strong case against the liable party
- Evaluate the damages suffered due to the injury
- Establish the amount of compensation you may be entitled to based on your injuries and the amount of evidence available
- Identify the best legal pathway to pursue compensation for your injuries
- File a claim with the liable party
- Negotiate a reasonable settlement with the liable party
- File a lawsuit on your behalf if the liable party refuses to settle out of court
- Prepare you for the court proceedings
- File an appeal on your behalf if the jury rules against you
Injured by an E-Cig? We Can Help
When you or your loved one gets injured due to a defective e-cig, the product liability attorney you choose to work with will significantly influence the outcome of your case. For this reason, it's always advisable to work with the best lawyers in the industry, and that's where the attorneys at Morgan & Morgan come in. All you have to do is fill out our confidential free online case evaluation form, and one of our legal representatives will get in touch with you to discuss your case.