Most manufacturers care about customer safety and try hard to make sure their products won’t injure you due to a malfunction or shoddy construction. However, accidents can happen for many reasons, not the least of which is negligence. If you’ve been injured, and you think the manufacture is to blame, the first thing that comes to mind is to call a lawyer.
Are There Lawyers Who Specialize in Product Liability?
Any practicing lawyer can offer legal advice on range of matters. However, just as you probably wouldn’t want dermatologist performing your brain surgery, you’re better off going with an attorney who focuses on personal injury law. There is a niche of legal practice for attorneys who handle defective product cases. That means it’s in their interest – and yours – for them to keep up on current laws and regulations in all industries covered under these laws as well as state, local, and federal guidelines and consumer protection law. Product liability falls into three categories:
Strict liability: This is used when there is a defect in the design or some other feature of a product, and that defect was the direct cause of injury or death.
Negligence: Negligence is claimed if a product was defective, and the manufacturer or a retailer marketed and sold it with full knowledge of such defect. This can also apply to bad design or failure to exercise care at some point in the manufacturing process, such as maintaining equipment, testing, or proper inspections.
Breach of warranty: Breach of warranty relate to warnings, either direct or implied, that using a product in a certain manner might cause harm or failure to inform of proper use.
Under What Conditions is a Manufacturer Liable for My Injury?
Each year, millions of people are injured, disabled, or killed by defective products. The law specifies that a product that is sold to the public must free free from dangerous defects and safe for its intended use. That means that a company is not liable if you use their product in a way that might harm yourself or other.
Product defects are divided into three categories:
– Design defects
– Manufacturing defects
– Marketing defects related to improper labeling, unclear instructions, or failure to provide clearly labeled warnings
One of the most common defenses manufactures employ is that the product was misused by the person filing the case. There are times when that is a legitimate claim. However, the law is on the consumer’s side in these cases. Manufacturers must not only provide clearly labeled directions for proper use, they must also state what might constitute misuse and the possible consequences.
Class Action Lawsuits
These are lawsuits brought by an attorney or law firm representing an entire class of victims or potential victims. Class action cases usual involve a product that causes widespread damage in the general population. For example, if a certain model of car has faulty safety equipment that causes injuries, or has the potential to injuries, to drivers or passengers. Such cases are usually advertised widely to find clients, and registered owners of that make or model may be contacted directly.
The decision to enter into such a case as a plaintiff should be discussed with an attorney. Becoming part of a class actions may involve giving up some of your rights as an individual. Should you develop related problems that aren’t covered under the terms of the class action, you may have no legal recourse.
What Should You Do If You or a Family Member is Injured By a Defective Product?
Product liability laws were put in place to protect consumers from shoddy merchandise and provide financial compensation for injury, disability, or death due to defective or dangerous products. If you or a loved one has suffered injury or loss, here are the steps you should take:
– Get medical treatment
– Obtain documentation and/or photographic evidence
– Contact a product liability lawyer
In order to prove your case, you and your lawyer will have to show:
– The product was defective in some way
– An injury resulted
– The injury can be connected to the defective product
– There was due care or caution in using the product as directed
An injury that disrupts your life can be frustrating and scary. When you need assistance to gt back on your feet and complete your recovery, finding a local attorney who specializes in product liability is your best hope of recovering damages. You can locate someone who will protect your rights by performing a web search, getting personal recommendations from from clients and through professional associations.
Contact us today to arrange a consultation (954) 473-1500