Lexington Product Liability Lawyer
When you purchase a product, you expect it to work safely. The label should disclose any possible dangers that could occur if you use it. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are supposed to follow set standards that make their products safe. This isn’t always the case, however. If you’ve been harmed by a product used as intended, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the guilty party with the help of a Lexington, KY product liability lawyer.
Sometimes corporations cut corners to get their products on the market faster. They may use cheaper, unsafe materials or not do the appropriate amount of research to see how the product could affect others. This is an example of negligence. In this particular example, a corporation’s negligence endangers those who use the product. This is an area of law we call product liability.
A product that causes health risks needs to leave the market immediately, but what about those who have already been hurt? Potential injuries could lead to medical bills and the inability to work. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you might be able to get compensation by filing a product liability lawsuit. The Law Office of Todd W. Burris in Lexington believes that people shouldn’t have to pay for manufacturing or retail mistakes. We want to help you stand up to these companies and get you the compensation you need to recover.
Common Types of Product Liability Cases
As a consumer, you expect your purchases will work an intended. When they do not and you are injured, you may have grounds to file a product liability claim. The following products are most commonly subjected to those claims:
- Medical Devices. Medical technology gives many individuals the opportunity to live a high quality of life. Unfortunately, companies that develop medical devices used by doctors and patients sometimes cut corners. When this happens, a piece of medical equipment could fail during a serious operation, or a person’s implanted medical device could cause complications and need to be removed.
- Pharmaceutical Drugs. Medications are supposed to alleviate health issues. Unfortunately, they sometimes exacerbate issues or create new ones. Sometimes, drugs on the market have not undergone sufficient testing. Other times, drugs that patients have taken for years are discovered to cause serious side effects.
- Motor Vehicles. With regular maintenance and care, our vehicles get us where we need to go. When a defective auto part causes our brakes to fail or the steering mechanism to malfunction, an accident can happen. If safety features, like airbags and seatbelts, fail in the event of a crash, the injuries are likely to be serious.
- Children’s Toys. Toys made with easily swallowed parts or potentially dangerous paints can put an unsuspecting child in the hospital. Toy manufacturers produce defective products when they are cutting corners to save money.
- Toxic Chemicals. There may be a situation where the products we are using are releasing dangerous chemicals that could cause serious neurological or respiratory conditions.
- Industrial Equipment. Individuals who work with heavy machinery are at risk if the equipment isn’t manufactured properly.
- Household Appliances. While household appliances, like irons and microwaves, are supposed to make our lives easier, dangerous appliances can cause serious injuries like burns and electrocution.
- Contaminated Food. The food you buy is considered a product. When it is poorly made or contaminated, serious injuries can occur. In some cases, a recalled food product could cause a wrongful
Elements of a Defective Product
The products listed above and others that are found to be dangerous are usually defective for one or more of the following three reasons.
- Defective Design. All design defects should be detected during the testing process. When proper testing does not happen, an entire line of products could be hazardous to consumers. To determine if a design defect caused your injury, it needs to be determined if the product was dangerous before production, if it was plausible to anticipate the design could harm users, and whether the manufacturer could have used a superior design.
- Manufacturing Defects. This type of defect occurs when a properly designed product is subjected to an error during the manufacturing process. Missing or broken parts and contaminants are examples that could make a product dangerous. While many companies have quality control teams to weed out defective products, the step could be skipped to save money.
- Failure to Provide Warnings or Instructions. Every product released to market should include adequate instructions for proper use and maintenance. Warning signs for illnesses, side effects, or injuries should also be reported. If you’ve purchased a product you were injured by and warnings or instructions were not provided, the negligent party can be held responsible.
Common Safety Hazards of Defective Products
Defective products can cause a lot of damage. Four common types of hazards to watch out for are:
- Fire. Heavy machinery and vehicles are supposed to be made safe to operate by individuals who have the knowledge to use them. When a component of the product causes a fire, the consumer can be seriously injured. Burn injuries are often painful and expensive to treat.
- Chemical. Cleaning products are supposed to be safe to use, assuming they are used correctly. When products are incorrectly made and the ingredients are imbalanced, the purchaser could suffer severe reactions.
- Electrical. If an appliance or children’s toy is wired incorrectly, it could shock the user.
- Mechanical. When a vehicle fails because of a mechanical issue, there’s a chance the driver could lose control of their car and end up in an accident.
These hazards can cause short-term and long-term personal injuries and possible damage to your home or other personal property. When people find these issues they report them, so the product is reviewed and either taken off the market or fixed so it’s safe to use and the label presents all safety information. The government organization in charge of the reports is the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). They work to protect people from dangerous consumer products that result in injury or death.
How CPSC Determines Hazardous Products
As the CPSC aims to reduce the number of hazardous products, they set standards for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to follow.
Should someone from those groups find something wrong with the product, they are legally obligated to report it to the CPSC.
This includes if:
- The product is defective and poses an injury risk to consumers.
- The product has an unreasonable risk of severe injury or death.
- The product doesn’t follow all the CPSC safety standards.
- There’s an incident where a child chokes on a part of a toy or game. If the incident results in injury or death, stops the child’s breathing, or requires medical treatment, it must be reported.
If someone thinks there’s an issue with a product, they have 24 hours to make the report. The CSPS recommends that when you’re in doubt about a product, report it.
People who work for manufacturers, distributors, or retailers might worry about getting in trouble and potentially losing their job over reporting an unsafe product. But the CPSC has a whistleblower rule that protects those who come forward. Their employer cannot fire them because the employee gave information about a possibly defective product.
Determining Who to Hold Accountable for a Dangerous Product
An injured consumer may be able to seek compensation from one or more liable parties, depending on the specifics of the case. Any party involved in the chain of production and distribution may be held accountable. Those parties include:
- Manufacturer. A manufacturer can be a single individual or a multinational company. Depending on the size of the product, the manufacturer of the product and the manufacturer of the defective part can be looked into.
- Retailer. When a retailer attempts to sell a product, they are informing consumers that the item is safe and suitable for use. Depending on how the product was sold, the retailer can be held accountable – even though they were not the one to produce the item.
- Distributor. The distributor is the party between the manufacturer and the retailer. They can be held accountable if products were damaged while in their care prior to reaching the retailer.
How You Can Benefit from Hiring an Experienced Attorney
While a defective product can cause a lot of damage, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. The Law Office of Todd W. Burris will help you fight for your rights so you can focus on recovery and hold the right people accountable for your injury.
When companies have to take responsibility for the consequences of a defective product, they might change their behavior to make sure this never happens again. Speaking out and informing them of how their product harmed you could stop others from being hurt. For more information about your legal rights and options, contact us today.