Hurt By A Dangerous Or Defective Product?
Let Our Washington, D.C., Maryland And Virginia Injury Attorneys Help!
Dangerous products can be frightening, especially when you hear stories about people involved in fatal car accidents due to dangerous car parts or children badly injured by defective toys. If a defective product has injured you or a loved one, the manufacturer or seller may be held liable for these injuries. This is true whether the product is a motor vehicle, machine, tool, building material, household appliance, personal care product, toy, medication, medical device, food or beverage. Information provided by a Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland injury lawyer can help you understand the process of filing a products liability claim.
Products Liability Claims Based on Negligence
Products liability may be based on negligence and often results from 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 method. An example of a design defect is a machine that was designed without a safety device. Such a machine may injure 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.
Products Liability Claims Based on Strict Liability Theory
Unlike negligence claims, which focus on the behavior of the seller, strict liability claims focus on the product itself. Under strict liability, the seller may be held legally responsible for resulting injuries if the product is defective, even if the seller used all possible care in the preparation and sale of the product. Strict products liability applies primarily to manufacturing defects in which an individual was using a product in a manner that was foreseeable by the manufacturer. In some instances, strict products liability theory may also apply to design defects.
Strict liability only applies in cases in which:
- The seller of the product was a “merchant” (one engaged in the business of selling goods of that particular kind)
- The product was in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to users or consumers
- There was no alteration of the product
- The product was being used for a foreseeable use
Products are considered “defective” where there was either a manufacturing defect or where the consumer can prove that there was a design defect because there was a safer, economical and practical alternative method of designing the product.
If You Have Been Injured by a Defective Product
If you have been injured by a defective product, 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 a Washington, D.C., Virginia or Maryland injury attorney 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, contact an experienced Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia injury attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P. is available to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.