Holding Manufacturers Liable for Defective Product Injuries
Consumers purchase products and parts with the expectation that the goods will operate safely and correctly when put into proper use. When a defective product unexpectedly malfunctions, such as by breaking or exploding, it can inflict significant injuries on the consumer. In cases where the product manufacturer or someone else in the chain of distribution was negligent in their duties, and a consumer sustained an injury as a result, then the injured consumer may file a claim or lawsuit against the negligent manufacturer or distributor.
The compassionate Lawrenceville personal injury lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm understand the severe injuries that can result when products do not work the way they are supposed to work. Our legal team can investigate the product that malfunctioned in your case and determine if you have a compensable product liability claim. If so, we will vigorously advocate for your legal interests and work to pursue monetary compensation on your behalf, based upon your injuries.
What Happens When Products Fail to Operate as Intended?
Many products are commonly defective and malfunction, leading to injuries.
Some common products that cause accidents include:
- Motor vehicles
- Household appliances
- Games and toys
- Infant products
- Tools and power tools
- Work equipment and heavy machinery
When products fail to operate in the way intended, consumers can suffer severe and sometimes permanent physical injuries and suffering.
Common examples of defective products and related injuries include:
- Sections of ladders or scaffolding that break or are defective, causing them to fail when a person is standing on them and resulting in the user falling to the ground
- Appliances or cleaning devices that overheat, causing the user to suffer a burn injury
- Furniture that has defective parts, causing a person who sits on the furniture to fall to the floor
- Defective parts on a motor vehicle that malfunction and cause the operator to lose control or otherwise become involved in a serious accident.
- Defective baby equipment, such as strollers and highchairs, injuring an infant or toddler
- Medication that does not have the proper warning labels about possible side effects associated with consuming it, sickening a patient as a result
When products do not work correctly, malfunction, fall apart, or explode, the consumer who uses the product can suffer one or more serious injuries. Common injuries resulting from defective or malfunctioning products include eye injuries, back and spinal cord injuries, traumatic head injuries, cuts and abrasions (which can lead to unsightly scarring), and bone fractures, among others.
If you have suffered one of these injuries—or some other type of injury—because of a product defect, the experienced Lawrenceville product liability attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm may assist you. Our legal team will help you identify the source of the product defect and determine if you might be eligible to file a claim or lawsuit against the product manufacturer, designer, or distributor.
Types of Product Defects
Different types of defects may lead a product to malfunction or fail to operate correctly. If the injured consumer can demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence (proving that it was more likely than not), that the product defects caused the injury or injuries to happen, then the injured consumer may be in a position to pursue and recover fair and just monetary compensation for their injuries.
Some general categories of product defects include:
- Manufacturing defects – A manufacturing defect occurs when there is a problem in the manufacturing process that causes the product to malfunction in some way. For example, the product may not have been manufactured in a reasonably safe manner or may not have utilized quality materials that are standard for that type of product. If a defect in the manufacturing process caused the product to malfunction in some way, resulting in one or more injuries to the product consumer, the consumer may have a viable legal claim to assert against the product manufacturer.
- Design defects – A design defect occurs when there is a defect in the design process. For example, there may have been a safer alternative design available, but the manufacturer or designer chose a less safe design because it was cheaper to produce. If an injured consumer can prove that the product’s dangers outweighed the costs associated with developing a reasonable alternative design for the product in question, then the injured consumer may prevail on a defective product design claim.
- Warning defects – A warning defect exists when there are possible dangers associated with the intended use of a product about which the product manufacturer failed to warn. A warning defect may also exist if a warning is present but located in an area on the product where a reasonable consumer would be more likely to miss it. For example, a product warning defect may exist if a medication does not warn of its potentially harmful side effects, resulting in a consumer unexpectedly experiencing one or more of those side effects.
If a product you believe to be defective caused an injury to you or someone your care about, the experienced Lawrenceville product liability attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury to determine if you may file a claim for fair and just monetary compensation against the product manufacturer, or someone else who is in the chain of product distribution.
Proving Lawrenceville Product Liability Cases
Product manufacturers, designers, and distributors have a duty to act with reasonable care when developing new products. In cases where the injured consumer can prove that the manufacturer failed to take reasonable care when manufacturing or designing a product, or failed to attach a warning to the product, the consumer may be eligible to file a product liability claim and pursue monetary compensation in the form of damages.
To further elaborate, the injured consumer must show that the product manufacturer’s lack of reasonable care resulted in the product malfunction, which in turn led to the consumer suffering one or more injuries. It is important to note that, to prevail in a product liability claim, the consumer must have been appropriately using the product and for the intended purpose of the product at the time the injury took place.
Per the statute of limitations under Georgia law, an injured consumer only has two years from the date of their injury to file a product liability lawsuit. If the injured consumer does not submit their lawsuit within those two years, they lose the right to file a damages lawsuit regarding that particular accident at any point going forward, almost without exception. The experienced Lawrenceville product liability attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you with filing your claim or lawsuit on time.
Filing a Claim Against a Product Manufacturer
When it comes to pursuing fair and just monetary compensation arising out of a product liability claim, the first step your lawyer takes is filing a legal claim with the company’s insurer. In cases when the same product has injured numerous individuals, the group may come together and file a class action claim or lawsuit.
Injuries that result from product defects can require extensive medical treatment and long periods of missed work time. An injured consumer will need to gather all of the related documentation and submit it to the insurance company as evidence backing the claim. The insurance company may then proceed to make an offer on the case, allowing the settlement negotiations to continue. If the case settles, the claim essentially ends.
In some instances, insurance companies in defective product cases will not offer full and fair compensation to injured consumers. When this takes place, your legal team will file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective product, or someone else who is in the chain of product distribution, such as the designer or the distributor. The litigation process officially begins when your lawyer files a lawsuit in the state court system.
When your legal team serves the company’s corporate designee or resident agent a copy of the lawsuit, the defense will appoint a lawyer for representation. During the discovery phase of the litigation, both sides will exchange written questions and document requests. The parties may also engage in oral discovery, including depositions.
Throughout the discovery process, settlement negotiations may continue. If the parties do not settle the case, the case could either proceed to trial or the parties may agree on some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration. In alternative dispute resolution, a neutral third-party mediator or arbitrator typically meets with the parties and attempts to bring about a meaningful settlement resolution to the case.
Individuals who are injured by defective products often have to go through extensive medical treatment for their injuries. They also may lose work for a significant period of time, resulting in a growing amount of lost wages. As a result of your injury, you may recover monetary compensation for all of your out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, physical therapy bills, as well as related procedure costs, such as for surgeries or injections.
If you missed time from work, it is important to keep track of the number of lost work hours and hold onto any slips from healthcare providers that state that you were authorized to miss work time. You may file a claim for lost wages and receive compensation in the amount of wages that you did not receive.
In addition to these economic costs and expenses, you may also file a claim for non-economic damages arising from your injury or injuries. Specifically, you may file a claim for the inconvenience, pain, suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish you suffered as a result of your injuries. You may also file a claim for loss of spousal companionship and family support that resulted from your injuries. Finally, if a loved one passed away as a result of a defective product, you may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your deceased loved one.
If you sustained one or more injuries due to a defective produt, you should understand all of the legal options that are open and available to you. An experienced Lawrenceville product liability attorney can explain all of your legal options to you in clear, easy-to-understand terms and help you make the best possible decisions throughout your case.
Call a Lawrenceville Product Liability Lawyer About Your Situation Today
Accidents and injuries caused by defective products often occur suddenly and without any advanced warning or notice. Moreover, defective products have the potential to leave consumers injured or maimed, and could even cause their death. It is very unfortunate that, in many defective product cases, the manufacturer, designer, or someone else in the chain of product distribution could have easily prevented the defect from occurring, had they exercised a reasonable amount of care.
Don’t navigate the aftermath of an accident alone. If a product malfunction or defect caused an accident that injured you or someone you love, the experienced team of attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm is ready to assist you. After thoroughly investigating the product and the circumstances surrounding your injury, we may file a claim and, if necessary, litigate the case to a successful conclusion in the Georgia state court system.
Our knowledgeable legal team is not afraid to take your product liability case to court if such a step is the best way forward. You can be sure that we will assist you in exploring your legal options and help you choose the best legal option for your case.
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Brauns Law, P.C.
892 legacy park Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA 30043