Manufacturers in the United States have a legal duty of care to their consumers. They are required by law to put reasonably safe products on the market and to warn consumers of any known dangers of using their products. When manufacturers fail to uphold their duties, and defective products make it into consumers’ hands, the results can be devastating.
Consumers who have sustained injuries as a result of defective or dangerous products are afforded the right to file a claim or lawsuit against the appropriate party for the harm caused. If you or your loved one recently suffered this type of injury, you are welcome to contact our personal injury team at Willis & Toews, PLLC for help.
Types of Defective Products
Agencies that oversee safe manufacturing practices and product recalls in the U.S. include the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When a product is defective in its design or in its manufacturing, these agencies stipulate that the product either never should make it to the shelves or, if it’s already on the market, it should be pulled from the shelves as soon as the defect is known.
Some of the types of products that often cause injury to people each year are listed below.
● Medications and medical devices
● Toys and baby items, such as swings, cribs and car seats
● Electrical equipment
● Food products
● Tires and other auto components
● Bicycles and scooters
● Building materials
● Elevator and escalator parts
● Cleaning products
● Protective gear, such as helmets
● Fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
● Exercise equipment
Negligence in Defective Product Claims
Negligence is at the heart of all defective product claims. Some party must have acted in a careless or negligent manner in order to be considered liable for victims’ damages. It’s not only manufacturers that are responsible; anyone along the supply chain may be named as a defendant in these cases. It may be an engineer, factory, wholesaler, installer, transport company or retail store.
Negligence in product liability claims usually fall under one of the following categories.
● Defective design
● Errors or contamination in the manufacturing process
● Inadequate instructions or warnings
Regardless of the nature of the defect, the first thing victims will want to do is consult a defective product attorney to review their case. An attorney will be able to research the incident, determine the at-fault party and begin collecting evidence to support the claim.
Types of Compensable Damages
Victims generally can recover two types of damages in product liability claims.
● Economic damages – All financial losses related to your injury are compensable. This includes items such as medical expenses, loss of wages, future treatments, the cost of hiring help, disability and travel expenses related to your injury.
● Non-economic damages – Intangible losses associated with injuries also can be included in your claim. These include things such as pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.
In some cases, a judge may award a third category of damages called punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded as a means to punish the defendant for wrongdoing and discourage the behavior from happening again.
Your lawyer will be able to help create a comprehensive list of your damages and estimate the value of your claim.
Injured by a defective product? Willis & Toews can help.
If you sustained serious injuries due to a dangerous or defective product, our injury team at Willis & Toews, PLLC, can help. We can assist clients with all their personal injury legal matters in both Washington and Oregon and have 20 years of combined experience helping victims recover large settlements from irresponsible manufacturers. Contact our office today at 509-529-0908 for a free, no-obligation consultation.