A product liability lawyer represents clients injured or harmed by a defective product or, conversely, those companies or individuals accused of selling a defective product that harmed a consumer or consumers. That said, in general, as product liability is an area of personal injury law intended to protect consumers, product liability lawyers’ primary focus is advising or representing those injured by a defective product on any claim or a cause of action against the responsible party.
Responsible parties in product liability claims can be any parties in the chain that brought the product to market. Product liability can hold designers, manufacturers, wholesalers, businesses, and retail store owners liable, i.e., responsible, for any defective product they produced, distributed, or sold that caused or harmed the consumer.
Product liability is considered a form of negligence associated with strict liability, which means responsible parties can be held liable regardless of their intent or knowledge.
Defects in design and manufacturing are the most common cause of product liability claims. Marketing defects and failure to warn—when a product has inadequate or nonexistent warning labels or instructions—are other defects that can serve as the basis for product liability claims. Breach of warranty—when the product doesn’t work as advertised—is another product liability claim.
How Can a Product Liability Lawyer Help You With a Claim?
Numerous situations can result in a product liability claim. That said, consumer product liability claims are most commonly associated with defective design and manufacturing or processing issues related to specific consumer goods and services. Five of the more common situations where defective products could lead you to visit a product liability lawyer are connected with these types of products:
Defective Autos or Auto Parts
Defective or poorly designed autos and parts are very common and can have catastrophic consequences. Auto part defects can affect any part of the vehicle, even the vehicle itself. Faulty airbags can lead to facial and chest injuries, such as fractures to the skull, ribs, and wrist bones. A malfunctioning airbag sensor can cause the airbag to deploy prematurely or even a fraction of a second late. Poorly designed, top-heavy SUVs have led to many rollover accidents when drivers take a curve. Defects in throttle systems, gas pedals, or floor mats can result in unexpected acceleration of vehicles without the driver touching the accelerator, causing serious accidents.
Medical devices can be damaged during manufacturing processes or shipping. Devices could have a faulty or damaged part or have a hidden defect. When the device fails to perform as intended, patients suffer. One example of poor design was pelvic mesh implants that disintegrated and caused damage to internal organs; another was hip replacement parts that shattered.
Food and Beverage Liability Claims
Food product packaging issues and food product defects can happen anytime and result in a product liability claim lawsuit against a food manufacturer, food processing or bottling plant, grocery store, restaurant, café, pub, fast-food joint, catering business, and more. Spoiled food or expired ingredients can cause food poisoning that results in serious illness. Foreign objects and foreign substance contamination in food can cause choking, food poisoning, and severe illness. Objects reportedly found in food include gravel, metal, glass, wood, plastic, insects, and hair. A national chain is the subject of one lawsuit after a family purchased and began to eat seafood containing live bugs.
Defective Recreational Equipment
Though most injuries that occur during recreational activities are accidental, defective recreational equipment can cause or contribute to serious accidents and injuries. Recreational equipment and parts manufacturers can be held responsible for selling or failing to recall a defective product. Poorly designed weight machines, treadmills, scooters, skateboards, boats, kayaks, canoes, trampolines, climbing and hiking gear, scuba and snorkeling gear, vehicle storage racks, and bicycles or bicycle parts are subject to product liability claims.
Bicycle equipment failure is all too common. Defective wheels, forks, and frames, especially those made of carbon, are the most common bicycle parts that fail and cause cyclists to lose control of their bicycle, resulting in serious injuries such as arm and wrist fractures or collarbone.
Adverse reactions to prescription drugs and medicines are often at the center of product liability lawsuits. Drugs can be improperly manufactured and tainted during processing, or the pharmaceutical company could fail to properly warn of dangerous side effects that can cause serious health issues or complications, or the pharmaceutical company, doctor, or pharmacist can fail to provide accurate instructions or adequate warnings about properly taking the medication. In any of these instances, consumers suffering seriously damaging side effects from a prescription drug can seek a product liability claim.
Let Us Fight For You
If you were injured or suffered losses from a defective product, and that product caused your injury while you were using it as intended when the injury occurred, contact the law offices of Hardy Wolf & Downing for free consultation. We pride ourselves in helping those who have been hurt by faulty, poorly designed, or hazardous products and will fight to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for the harm brought to you. We’re here to help. Contact us today to discuss your case.