Personal Injury Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions About Defective And Dangerous Products
Serving Victims throughout Virginia, Maryland And Washington, D.C.
What must I prove to win a products liability case?
A products liability case can be based either in strict liability or in negligence. Strict liability only applies to manufacturers that routinely sell that particular type of product. To prove strict liability, you must be able to show that:
- The product was defective;
- It injured you; and
- Your injury was a result of that defect
If a seller cannot be held strictly liable, you must also prove that the seller’s behavior was negligent.
How can I prove that a seller’s behavior was negligent?
Negligent behavior can be proven by showing that there was a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a failure to warn. A design defect is a failure by the manufacturer or producer to design the product in a manner that is safe for its intended use. Generally, a design defect can be demonstrated by showing that a particular product could have been designed using a safer alternative method. An example of a design defect is a machine that was designed without a safety device so that the machine injures users when it is being used for its intended purpose.
Manufacturing defects are defects that occur during the manufacturing process, regardless of the product’s design. Although the product may have been designed safely, the manufacturer made a mistake that made the product unsafe. Examples of these defects include a manufacturer using the wrong materials or forgetting a step during the manufacturing process.
A failure to warn of a product’s danger involves the manufacturer’s negligence in failing to provide proper instructions about a product’s use. Even the simplest products may be dangerous if not used properly. Accordingly, manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers of any non-obvious dangers associated with use of their products.
When can a manufacturer be held strictly liable?
Strict liability only applies to manufacturers that routinely sell that particular type of product. To prove strict liability, you must be able to show that the product was defective and that, as a result of that defect, you were injured.
Products are considered “defective” where there was either a manufacturing defect or where the consumer can prove that there was another safer way to design the product.
How long do I have to file my case?
Each state has its own statute of limitations, which is the time you have file suit. The statute of limitations begins to run on the date of the injury. If you have been injured, you should immediately contact a product liability injury attorney to determine how long you have to file suit.
What compensation may I recover?
In a products liability case, you may be able to recover:
- Compensatory damages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damage
Compensatory damages are those used to cover medical bills, lost wages due to an inability to work, and any property damage caused by a defective product.
Pain and suffering damages are those paid to compensate you for the pain endured due to your injury.
Loss of consortium is a special kind of damages intended to compensate for any negative consequences your spouse’s injury has had on your relationship. Generally loss of consortium applies where a spouse was killed or received severe permanent injuries that require the other spouse to care for him or her.
What should I do if I have been injured by a defective product?
If a defective product has injured you, you may be able to bring a products liability suit against the manufacturer or seller for compensation for your disability, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. As promptly as possible after the injury, you should try your best to preserve the product in the same condition it was in when it caused the injury.
You should contact an experienced injury lawyer to assist you in evaluating whether you may have a viable legal claim and in identifying any responsible parties. It is important to seek legal advice promptly because your right to obtain monetary relief may be lost if you wait too long.
If you need assistance in your products liability claim, an experienced Washington, D.C., Maryland or Virginia injury attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P. is available to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.