Pressure cookers use their titular pressure to help you create fantastic meals on a tight deadline. However, these machines can suffer failures due to poor manufacturing or inappropriate use.
Today’s modern pressure cookers are as likely to explode from overfilling as they are from shoddy manufacturing. This is the case for both stovetop pressure cookers and electric units. With that in mind, you need to use your pressure cooker with care. If you suffer losses in a pressure cooker explosion, Zanes Law can help you take legal action.
What Causes a Pressure Cooker to Explode?
Pressure cookers use a combination of hot steam and significant pressure to keep your food flavorful. However, units that aren’t manufactured appropriately or that are poorly maintained can react poorly when exposed to these conditions. In turn, you may start to cook a meal and find yourself instead dealing with significant property damage.
The most common causes behind today’s pressure cooker explosions include:
Your pressure cooker requires a seal if it’s going to keep that aforementioned pressure in its barrel. If your unit’s seal doesn’t keep steam inside of the unit, then the pressure inside of your cooker can force your food out of the barrel.
These explosions vary in severity based on the degree to which a seal malfunctions. You’ll need to stress-test your pressure cooker’s seal if you want to avoid both a ruined meal and a damaged kitchen counter.
Your pressure cooker relies on its gaskets to safely release steam and pressure throughout the cooking process. If your gaskets aren’t properly installed or haven’t been well-maintained, your unit won’t be able to reduce its pressure safely. In turn, that pressure can build up until your unit explodes.
Your pressure cooker’s vents make it easier for the unit to drive unwanted air out of its bucket. A unit’s vents need to be kept in working order if your pressure cooker is to do its job. If your cooker can’t expel its air, the pressure, air, and food will develop force inside of your unit’s barrel.
The subsequent explosion can permanently damage more than your pressure cooker. You may also see property damage and steam burns, depending on your proximity to the unit and the type of cooker you’ve invested in.
Overfilling Your Unit
There are times when a pressure cooker explosion results from an owner’s lack of familiarity with their unit. For example, if you overfill a pressure cooker, the combination of the pressure and the food can stress your unit past its functional limits.
Stovetop cookers tend to then damage hoods, stovetops, and the surrounding areas. Electric cookers, similarly, can damage your countertop and even your ceiling, depending on the extent to which they’re pushed. With that in mind, keep track of how much foodstuff the barrel of your pressure cooker can contain.
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Can I Prevent My Pressure Cooker From Exploding?
If you’re contending with a poorly-manufactured pressure cooker, there is nothing you can personally do to keep the unit from failing. Pressure cooker manufacturers are required to test their units for functionality, and units that prove faulty out of the box leave you with no fault for your losses.
That said, pressure cooker explosions that occur after some significant use may be preventable. Avoid overfilling your pressure cooker, for example, and you can keep all of the gauges working as they should. Similarly, regular inspections of your pressure cooker’s valves and vents can keep them from clogging.
If you’re not sure how to conduct an inspection of your pressure cooker, you can reference the pressure cooker’s instruction manual. Alternatively, you can reach out to the manufacturer to discuss what kind of care your specific unit requires.
How Do I File a Lawsuit After a Pressure Cooker Explosion?
Pressure cooker accidents caused by poor manufacturing can result in serious injuries and even lifelong disabilities. These explosions also tend to cause significant property damage. So long as you can prove that the explosion occurred due to a failure in product design, though, you can bring your losses before a civil court with a product liability claim.
To pursue a pressure cooker explosion lawsuit, you need to file an applicable complaint with a county clerk. In this complaint, you should elaborate on:
- The circumstances that led to the explosion
- The duty of care that a pressure cooker’s manufacturer owed you
- The ways in which that duty was violated
- The extent of the injuries you endured
- What compensation you would like in exchange for your losses
To initiate either settlement negotiations or a civil trial, you must submit your complaint within Arizona’s product liability statute of limitations.
This statute, A.R.S. § 12-542, allows you to take two years to gather the evidence you need to support your claim. You do not need to take all of this time to act, though – and you shouldn’t. Failure to submit within the deadline sees your right to compensation waived.
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What Damages Can I Request in a Faulty Pressure Cooker Lawsuit?
The damages you can request after a pressure cooker explosion will vary based on the losses you endured. For example, steam burns can see you request damages based on your medical expenses. If you need to replace a damaged countertop, you can cite property damage in your initial complaint.
Our team will also work with you to establish the economic value of non-economic losses. These can include emotional trauma and even wrongful death, if applicable.
Our personal injury lawyers can use an individualized estimate of your possible compensation when entering into either settlement negotiations or a trial with the manufacturer of your pressure cooker. You can also compare independent settlement offers against our calculations if a manufacturer reaches out to you.
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Discuss Your Pressure Cooker Failure With a Product Liability Lawyer
The team with Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can help you contend with the aftermath of a pressure cooker explosion. If you’re dealing with serious personal injuries or property damage, you can call our team for legal guidance. We’ll help you fight for the compensation you need to recover.
If you have questions about our services or about the financial support to which you may be entitled, contact us today.
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