Last month, a man in Dandridge was severely injured when the car he was working under slipped off the jack holding it up and crushed him. The 27-year-old was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center by helicopter. The paramedics who responded to the scene said the victim was initially unconscious, but was later alert and talking, yet unable to move. The victim survived, but will require extensive surgeries and may have life-altering injuries.
HOW CAN I STAY SAFE WHEN USING A CAR JACK?
There are steps that can be taken in order to safely attempt to jack up a vehicle. Firstly, make sure the vehicle is parked on level ground that is not on a highway of any sort. If you are on any type of inclined surface, coast the vehicle to the bottom of it before jacking the car up. Make sure the wheels are blocked to keep the vehicle from rolling. Always make sure the vehicle is parked and the emergency break is on. Consult the owner’s manual of your car to ensure you know where to properly place the jack. Wiggle the vehicle a bit before you proceed to get underneath the car. This tells you if the wheels are blocked properly.
However, these steps will not help you if the car jack fails because it is a defective product.
DEFECTIVE CAR JACKS ARE PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS
According to Forbes, more than 10,000 people become seriously injured each year when using a car jack or similar type of hoist. A study by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis showed that 40 percent of car jack failures occur while the jack is being used to fully lift the body off the ground, while only 19 percent of car jack failures occurred when the car was only partially being lifted for tire changes. Unfortunately, 18 percent of these failings were linked to pressure loss in the jack, which means the jack could no longer support the vehicle. More often than not, injuries include amputations, disfigurement and crushing of internal organs.
When we use devices or machinery to help us stay safe, we certainly expect these devices to work. When these devices fail, causing serious injury or death, the device manufacturer or business that sells the device may be held liable for damages.
“When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” Psalm 34:17