Product Liability | Lawyers & Attorneys
Everyday individuals use consumer products. Unfortunately, sometimes these products are unsafe and cause injuries. If an individual suffers injuries and damages because of their use of a product, it may be possible to seek compensation. This kind of lawsuit is called a products liability claim. Product liability claims seek to hold a manufacturer or seller liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer. All sellers of the product who are in the distribution chain bear responsibility for a product defect that causes injury. The chain of distribution is typically made up of the manufacturer, the retailer, and any number of suppliers, wholesalers, and distributors.
Frequently Asked Questions About Product Liability
Our personal injury lawyers provide answers to some important questions below.
If you were injured by a dangerous or defective product, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you experience.
When ready, you should contact a lawyer that handles product liability claims. The personal injury lawyer will want to investigate the matter immediately, before any evidence is lost. If possible, preserve the product involved and any accompanying paperwork or receipts as these items could be key evidence. Documenting the product’s condition, the situation, and your injuries with photographs is also helpful. You should also follow up regularly with your medical providers and continue to share any difficulties or pain you are having so all your injuries and the permanent effects of those injuries are well documented.
The statute of limitations in New York for claims relating to defective products is three (3) years from the date of injury. It is best to contact a products liability attorney as soon as possible, when evidence is still available, and when the incident is fresh in your mind and the minds of any witnesses.
A product can be defective in three different ways.
- Defective Design- A defective design occurs when the manufacturer designs a product that is unreasonably dangerous to the consumer.
- Defective Manufacturing- A manufacturing defect occurs when an error in the manufacturing process creates an unreasonably dangerous condition in the product. All products should go through an inspection process so that manufacturing defects can be detected before a product is distributed to the consumer market.
- Failure to Warn- A failure to warn occurs when the manufacturer fails to warn a consumer about a product’s dangers or fails to instruct the consumer how to properly use the product.
Generally, there are four basic elements. The evidence that will be needed to prove each element will depend on the circumstances of the case. First, a plaintiff, or injured person, must prove that he or she has been injured and suffered damages. The plaintiff must also prove that the product involved was defective either in its design or manufacturing or lacked a proper warning or instructions. The plaintiff must also prove that the defect was the specific cause of the injuries and damages. Lastly, the plaintiff must prove that he or she was using the product in the way it was intended to be used.
While evidence of subsequent remedial measures cannot be used as evidence to show a manufacturer’s negligence, safety modifications made by the manufacturer can be used to show other things such as ownership or control of the product’s design.
Damages are commonly divided into two different categories, economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can be thought of as past or future out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of medical care, lost wages, lost earning capacity, or even funeral expenses if the product defect results in the death of an individual. Non-economic damages include past and future pain and suffering and the loss of service and society to your significant other.
Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
- If injured, when ready, contact a personal injury lawyer to determine if a claim can be pursued on your behalf
- Meet with a lawyer to discuss the incident
- Bring medical records or other relevant documents including an accident report if available
- Your lawyer will help you understand the process of a personal injury case
- Follow the doctors’ advice
- Go to all medical appointments
- Report all symptoms to doctors
- Take photos of injuries
- Tell lawyer anytime a new doctor is seen
- Determine how and why the injury occurred
- Speak with witnesses
- Obtain any investigative reports
- Obtain scene, vehicle and product photos, as applicable
- Obtain medical records and bills
- Consider all possible claims and theories of liability against any potential defendant
- Consult with experts
- Communicate and negotiate with the insurance company
- Obtain a settlement or pursue a lawsuit
- File a summons and complaint prior to the statute of limitations
- Serve the legal documents on the defendants
- Prepare and exchange evidence with the other lawyers in the case
- Conduct depositions of all relevant parties (also called EBTs)
- Defense medical examination conducted
- File motions (written applications) to the court if necessary
- Participate in arbitration or mediation if appropriate
- Determine liens if any
- Settle the case or proceed to trial
- You have the right to a trial by jury or by the judge who will act as both judge and jury
- At a trial, the injured person must prove it was more likely than not that the defendant was negligent and caused injuries
- The judge or jury will listen to all the evidence presented and the arguments by the lawyers, apply the facts to the law, and render a decision
Recent Verdicts & Settlements
Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle which went off the road and rolled over, causing him to suffer significant permanent injuries, including skull fracture; fractured mandible requiring surgical placement of plates and screws; facial fractures and lacerations; sternal fracture; spinal fractures; lacerations to spleen, liver and lung; multiple rib and toe fractures; tinnitus and hearing loss; post-traumatic stress disorder; facial scarring and numbness.
Federal Employers Liability Act/FELA
Plaintiff suffered a significant back injury while working for CSX.
Plaintiff, a roofing contractor, suffered a fractured skull, cervical spine fracture and fractured ribs after falling from a roof. The injuries left him with chronic pain and fatigue, limited tolerance for walking, lifting, or carrying and limitations in his hearing and vision.
Plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of negligent monitoring of prescription medication.
Plaintiff was injured when a fork from a forklift truck fell on top of his left leg, severely fracturing the tibia and fibula, requiring numerous surgeries and resulting in a permanent, partial loss of use of his leg.
Plaintiff suffered two dislocated shoulders and a dislocated elbow after he was struck by a vehicle, which negligently swerved onto the shoulder and into the bike lane.
Plaintiff was assaulted outside of a bar in Saratoga and as a result suffered a traumatic brain injury, a fractured skull, brain swelling and brain bleeding, facial contusions and bleeding, as well as lacerations and bruises on his body. He also suffered from short and long term memory deficits and other cognitive deficits.
Plaintiff, a 49-year-old man, was discharged from the hospital with critically low levels of potassium, which precipitated a fatal arrhythmia at home and subsequently caused his death. His family brought a claim against the hospital for medical negligence and wrongful death.
Plaintiff was an ironworker who was injured when he fell from a ladder, suffering fractures to both elbows resulting in permanent loss of strength and loss of range of motion in both arms. His impairment limited the number and types of employment opportunities and limited his future earning potential.
The infant plaintiff fell from a tractor being operated by a farm employee and was run over by the tractor. The 10-year-old boy suffered a femur fracture requiring surgery, multiple facial fractures requiring surgery, foot and toe fractures and loss of consciousness.
Nursing Home Negligence
An 87-year-old man was discharged from a local hospital on the afternoon of his death and returned to his assisted living facility. His health began to deteriorate throughout that evening; a nurse was told to check on him but never did. Facility staff found him unconscious on the floor in his room later that evening; paramedics were unable to revive him. It was claimed that the facility failed to obtain appropriate medical advice, assistance and treatment.
* Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.
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