Pressure cookers, especially the "Instant Pot," have been a hot-ticket gift item for a couple of years now. Some people love them. But pressure cookers can be somewhat delicate pieces of equipment -- and they can be dangerous.

Experts in the culinary field have offered a warning that anyone with a pressure cooker should heed, "Read the directions." Before you start using a pressure cooker of any kind, you need to know a few things:

  • In order to function, the pot produces steam that could exceed 300 degrees -- which is more than enough to cause serious or fatal burns.
  • Knowing how to properly handle the pot's valve and what signs to look for if trouble starts to develop are essential.
  • It's wise to keep everyone who isn't cooking away from the pressure cooker so that they don't get in your way when you're handling the pot. This includes children and pets.

Even then, however, you may not be assured that everything will operate properly. There are numerous reports of people being injured very badly even though they followed all the directions. In some cases, the pressure cookers themselves may be defective.

One woman suffered serious burns when a steam valve on her cooker didn't operate properly. Another woman had her cooker's whistle fly off and lodge in her skull.

If you suffer a serious injury while experimenting with your pressure cooker despite following all of the instructions, you may have a valid claim for damages through product liability laws. Such laws but the financial burden for injuries caused by defective products on the manufacturer, distributor or seller. An experienced attorney can help you understand you legal options.

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