What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured by a Defective Product?
If you or a loved one has suffered harm or injuries due to a product that you purchased, you may be eligible for compensation through a defective product suit. Defective product injuries happen on a fairly regular basis. Incidents involving defective auto parts or tires, children’s toys, dangerous manufacturing equipment, flammable fabrics and dangerous pharmaceutical drugs all receive coverage on a regular basis. If you’ve been injured by a defective product, you’ll need an attorney if you’re looking to recover compensation.
What is Product Liability Law?
In New York State, thousands of injuries are caused each year by dangerous and/or defective products. Typically, these injuries fall under the category of product liability law. Manufacturers or sellers who place a dangerous product in the marketplace can be held liable. All of those within the supply chain can be held responsible for a dangerous product. The manufacturer of the product, the supplier of component parts, the wholesaler, and the retail store that sold the product can all be held responsible for dangerous products.
There are several types of defective products. They can include, but are not limited to the following:
Defective Design: Defective designs are flaws in the design of a product that make it dangerous. Design defects occur when the engineering or design process used by a company to design a product is faulty, resulting in a product that is unnecessarily dangerous. With a design defect, all of the items that come off a company’s assembly line have the same defect.
Improper Manufacture: When a product is manufactured improperly, it is not manufactured as designed. There may be nothing wrong with the overall design of the product; it may have become flawed during assembly. Products that were manufactured improperly are normally much easier to prove, because the manufacturer’s own designs can be used to show that the product is defective.
Marketing Defects: Marketing defects take place when a product is improperly labeled, comes with unclear or incomplete instructions, and/or does not warn consumers about a product’s hidden danger.
If you have been injured by a defective or dangerous product, you may have an easier time recovering compensation for your injuries than those who are injured in other ways. This is because special rules and theories of recovery have been developed in the area of product liability law. A person may recover against a manufacturer or seller based on one or more of the following theories: strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Strict liability is the most common type of claim filed.
In most other types of personal injury law, to hold someone liable for your injuries, you must show that they were negligent, and that their negligence caused your injuries. However, it would be too costly and difficult for a private citizen to show how and where a manufacturer was negligent in manufacturing a particular product. Consumers are not expected to check every product that they purchase or rent to determine whether the product is defective and/or dangerous.
Strict product liability refers to one of the theories under which a plaintiff can proceed when bringing an action based upon an injury caused by a product. In a strict product liability action, a plaintiff can recover damages without actually showing that the manufacturer or seller of a product was negligent. Strict liability operates against a non-manufacturer who sold or rented a product only if it is in the business of regularly selling or renting those particular kinds of products. Strict liability would not apply to a product purchased from a friend, at a garage sale, or from anyone who is not in the business of selling said product.
While you do not have to prove a manufacturer’s culpability, in order to make a strict liability claim you must be able to prove that the product was defective and/or dangerous. You must be able to prove that the product injured you and that you (or someone else) did not substantially alter the condition of the product. Finally, you must prove that you were using the product as it was designed to be used.
If you are injured by a defective product, it is important to gather as much information as soon as possible. Record what happened, get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses, and anything else you feel should be recorded. Recording as much information as possible is incredibly helpful to you and your attorney during the claims process.
Making Justice Work for You Since 1968
As a personal injury law firm, the Manhattan and Long Island injury lawyers at RGLZ Personal Injury Law have always been a strong proponent of product safety and consumer protection against harmful and dangerous products. Over our nearly 5 decades of practice, we’ve represented cases involving injuries or wrongful death caused by defectively designed and manufactured automobiles, unreasonably dangerous manufacturing equipment, unguarded machinery, dangerous farming and yard equipment, unsafe toys and flammable fabrics that cause burn injuries and scarring.
Our firm’s successful resolution of these claims begins with a thorough investigation and pre-trial preparation. We consult many sources of information to learn about the product, and have access to computer databases which reference product standards, recalls and similar lawsuits throughout the United States. We meet with experts to determine if the product could have been designed or manufactured to avoid injury to innocent consumers.
As a standard setting firm with almost 50 years of practice, we have the resources to litigate against major manufacturers and invest the time and money it takes to obtain justice for product liability victims. We have won or settled lawsuits for our clients against companies such as General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Jeep, Union Underwear and Corning, to name just a few.
All of our cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means you pay us nothing unless you receive compensation, and our initial consultations are always free. So contact RGLZ today. We’ll give you an honest and straight forward review of your case, helping you understand your legal options.