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Defective Products and Product Liability: Pursuing Compensation for Injuries Caused by Faulty Goods

When you purchase something, you have a right to expect that it will be safe to use for its intended purpose. Manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure the products they make are free from toxins, defects, and other hazards.

In the US, there are many safety standards and guidelines in place to protect consumers. Unfortunately, many businesses ignore these standards and put profits before people. In fact, in 2022, over 12 million people visited the emergency room to receive treatment for injuries resulting from consumer products.

When a product is defective, it often takes a severe injury for the company to discover that a product is unsafe. Suppose a dangerous or defective product harmed you. In that case, you have a right to hold manufacturers accountable for their negligence and to demand compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.

Everyday Consumer Products Can Cause Serious Injuries

You should not have to worry about whether the vehicle you are driving or the toys you areDefective wall socket. buying for your children are safe. That is the manufacturing company’s responsibility. When a company does not take its duty of care seriously, catastrophic injuries can result.

The following are some of the many types of product liability cases that have resulted from manufacturer negligence:

  • Toys
  • Playground equipment
  • Medications
  • Electronics
  • Tools
  • Vehicle components
  • Machinery
  • Medical devices
  • Safety equipment (seat belts, airbags, etc.)
  • Household cleaners and pest control substances
  • Construction equipment

Companies Have a Responsibility to Provide Safe Products

Victims in product liability cases don’t always have to prove that someone else was negligent. Some states, like Massachusetts, follow strict liability laws.

Strict liability means that you do not have to prove a company knew or should have known about the defect and that they were negligent. You can pursue compensation based on the fact that the product defect exists and that you were harmed by it.

There are three main types of product defects: design, manufacturing, and marketing.

Design defects

Design defects are problems with the model of a product itself. These types of defects occur when something is produced according to design specifications but fails to meet a consumer’s expectations of safety.

Suppose, for instance, a person riding in an SUV is injured in a rollover accident. It was discovered the SUV’s design made it prone to rollovers. A product liability lawyer could help the injured party file a lawsuit against the vehicle manufacturer.

Manufacturing defects

A manufacturing defect is a problem with the way a product is made. In this situation, the design of the product is safe, but something happened during the manufacturing process that made it unsafe. Manufacturing defects may affect just one product on the line or an entire shipment.

As an example, a medical device manufacturer uses the wrong size bolt during the assembly of the product. The device malfunctions while being used by a doctor and harms a patient.

Marketing defects

A marketing defect is a problem with how the product is marketed to consumers. This type of defect is also known as a company’s “failure to warn.”

If a product manufacturer knows about a danger associated with the safe use of a product, it has an obligation to inform consumers. This is why you see warning labels on products that you purchase. If a company fails to warn consumers about a known risk, it can be held liable for the harm caused by it.

As an example, suppose a Big Pharma company manufactures a new prescription medication for which research has indicated can cause sudden heart failure. The company ignores the research and markets the medication to consumers as “safe.”

Next Steps After Being Injured by a Defective Product

The steps you take after being harmed by a defective product can mean the difference between recovering full compensation or having to pay for your losses out of pocket.

We recommend taking the following actions after being injured by a defective product:

  • Seek medical attention. After being harmed by a defective product, your primary concern should be receiving medical attention for your injuries. Receiving medical care immediately after the accident means that there will be documentation connecting your injuries to the harmful product.
  • Preserve the defective product. If possible, keep the defective product. It could be used as evidence to strengthen your product liability case. Your lawyer may even consult an expert who will examine the product to determine the exact cause of injury.
  • Gather evidence. Keep any documents relevant to how you purchased or obtained the defective product. This may include receipts, packaging materials, manuals, warranties, or maintenance paperwork.
  • Report the incident. If a defective product harmed you, reporting the issue could help prevent others from being harmed. For example, if a defective vehicle component caused your car accident, you could report the issue to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • Contact a defective product lawyer. One important step to financial recovery is to consult a lawyer. Keep in mind that not all personal injury lawyers handle defective product cases. You want to be sure to contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience in handling product liability cases.

How a Product Liability Attorney Can Help You Recover Compensation

It is unlikely that the manufacturing company is going to admit liability and take responsibility for your injuries voluntarily. The manufacturer may even try to shift the blame onto you, claiming you used the product incorrectly or are lying about your injuries.

If you are blaming a large corporation, you can be sure that it will have insurance companies and lawyers defending it. Your best chance at leveling the playing field is to hire a product liability attorney and have your own legal team on your side.

Consider some of the reasons to hire a lawyer to handle your defective product claim:

  • Identify all liable parties: It’s possible that more than one party may have caused your injuries. Your lawyer can identify who is responsible and help you file a product liability lawsuit against all liable parties.
  • Defend your legal rights: When you have a law firm backing you, your lawyers will stand up to the powerful corporations that try to brush your claim aside, deny you compensation, or push part of the blame your way.
  • Assess the value of your case: On your own, it can be hard to know what your claim is worth, and you do not want to let the manufacturing company or its insurers decide. Product liability lawyers have knowledge and experience assessing the value of these types of claims.
  • Recover compensation: When you have a defective product lawyer on your side, he will work hard to ensure that you recover compensation for your medical bills and other damages. Most product liability claims settle out of court, but skilled lawyers are prepared to take their client’s case to court if needed.

Damages Available to Those Injured by Defective Products

If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of a defective product, the company that designed, sold, or distributed the product could be held accountable for your injuries.

A lawyer can help you file a product liability claim to pursue compensation that will help cover:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages

Tragically, in some extreme cases, a defective product results in the loss of a life. If your loved one was killed by a dangerous product, you can consult a lawyer about pursuing wrongful death damages.

How Long Do You Have to Pursue Compensation for a Defective Product Injury?

You must act quickly to pursue compensation for a defective product injury. As with all personal injury cases, product liability claims are subject to a statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations for defective product lawsuits depends on the law in the state where you live. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the time limit is typically 3 years from the date of injury. However, you may have less time to file depending on the specific circumstances of your case.

You can protect your legal rights and your ability to recover compensation by contacting a lawyer for help as soon as possible after your accident.

Contact an Experienced Product Liability Lawyer Today

If you have been harmed by a defective product, it is essential to know your legal options. Kiley Law Group has successfully secured millions of dollars in compensation for victims of complex product liability cases. Let us put our experience to work for you.

Our law firm takes on all defective product cases on contingency. What this means for you is no upfront costs or fees. We are only paid if we help you receive compensation.

Our experienced and compassionate legal team is ready to help if you are dealing with the aftermath of a dangerous or defective product. Schedule a free consultation today. Call us 24/7 at (978) 965-3228 or complete the contact form here on our website.