Buying a product at the store or online should not mean taking a risk regarding your health and safety. That is why there are strict laws designed to protect consumers from defective products.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a faulty or defective product, you can hold the manufacturer liable and receive compensation. Norris Injury Lawyers are your local Birmingham, Alabama, product liability lawyers and we will fight for you! You didn’t deserve to be injured or sickened by a defective product, and we intend to protect your rights.
Our family-owned personal injury law firm has been going after negligent companies for over 40 years. To learn how we put your needs first, call us today at (800) 477-7510 for a free consultation. There is no fee unless we win.
What Causes Product Defects and Where Do They Come From?
The federal guidelines for classifying product defects are outlined in two categories: manufacturing defects and design defects. If you are going to file a lawsuit after an injury, you must understand how the supply chain works.
Was it caused by the manufacturer, the distributor, or the seller? There are several points to consider when determining who should be held liable for damages.
Most products sold today are made in assembly lines and put together by both humans and robots. Accidents happen all the time. For one thing, contaminants and debris can find their way into food. In such a case, you would need to prove that the dangerous or defective product originated here with the manufacturer.
The product liability may not have started at the assembly line. It might have begun from its initial design process. An object may have the appearance of being safe on paper, but its defects are not known until later on once it is in the customer’s hands. For example, children’s toys may have pieces that break off and become a major choking hazard.
To prove a design defect, you must ask these questions:
- Was the design found to be dangerous before it made it to production?
- Was there a better design possible that made economic sense?
- Was it possible to have prior knowledge that the design could fail and cause injury?
If you can answer yes to these questions, you may have grounds to file a defective product injury claim.
Failure to warn
Designing and manufacturing products that can endanger a person’s health is not necessarily the problem. There are many household items we buy every day that can harm us in one way or another. This is especially true if these are used inappropriately.
Ultimately, the question is whether you were adequately warned of a product’s potential danger. If not, then the manufacturer and/or designer can be held responsible for violating product liability laws.
The American National Standards Institute is one of many national organizations in charge of creating product regulations. The ANSI is also tasked with creating the necessary labels and signs that are placed on potentially harmful products.
These labels are designed to:
- Inform consumers of known hazards
- Let consumers know the severity of the risks present
- Inform consumers of the potential health effects of the hazard
- Advise consumers on how to treat or avoid certain risks
Warning label issues
Federal and state laws dictate how a warning label should appear on a product. Of course, the label needs to be positioned in a highly visible way as well as color-coded.
Each of the colors reveals the severity of the hazard as designed by ANSI:
- Yellow is caution and it warns of a modest danger
- Orange is a warning of a potential hazard that can cause serious injury or death
- Red indicates the danger of an impending and likely severe injury or death
Both the color and the keyword must be revealed on a white background on the label in a way that is easy to see. There must also be a graphic. The graphic can be an image of someone drinking the product with a red slash through it.
You should also see a written warning of the danger along with safety instructions. For example, you may be instructed to contact the Poison Control Center or dial 9-1-1.
Product Liability Lawsuit Types
There are three types of product liability cases that can be filed if you are looking for compensation for your injuries.
Most of the time, product liability cases are sought to prove strict liability for what happened. To file a defective product liability lawsuit, you as the injured party must prove that the defect exists and that you were harmed because of it.
This would place the blame at the feet of the manufacturer for creating faulty products. You cannot make a strict liability claim if you bought the defective products secondhand.
Product liability lawsuits must show evidence that the manufacturer was careless in their design of the product.
The first step is proving there was a duty to care in the first place. The manufacturer must have owed this to the product user in some way.
The second step would be proving the violation of the manufacturer’s duty, that they ultimately created an unsafe product despite knowing the risks.
The third step involves showing that the injuries and damages were indeed caused by the action or inaction of the manufacturer.
There are plenty of shortcuts a company can make to remain profitable. Sadly, those shortcuts cause injury, sickness, and death.
For instance, negligence can happen:
- When failing to identify every potential use of a product (both safe and harmful)
- When releasing the product too quickly
- During the planning phase
- When failing to properly maintain equipment
- When failing to test or inspect machines and/or products well enough
If it is found that the manufacturer was negligent, you have every right to hire a product liability lawyer and file for damages.
Breach of warranty
When you buy a product, you may not think a warranty exists between you and the seller or manufacturer unless you buy one. However, two types of warranties exist:
- The express warranty: If the creator of the product says it is safe to use, then you expect it to be safe. That is an express warranty.
- The implied warranty: This means it would be safe to assume that the manufacturer knew that the product was not harmful and it is reliable.
A liability lawyer would be able to identify the warranty that was breached with your defective product in the event of a serious injury or illness.
What Damages Can Product Liability Attorneys Recover in a Lawsuit?
Did you suffer a personal injury in Birmingham, AL, due to the negligence of others? If so, you can reach out to the product liability attorneys at Norris Injury Lawyers. We can help you recover damages.
Defective products hurt consumers all the time, even causing death. The costs can add up quickly.
Product liability lawsuits can be filed to help cover:
- Current and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- The loss of a loved one
- Emotional distress
- Current and future medical costs
Manufacturers that make and sell products have powerful lawyers. They are ready to fight against any claim made against their company. That shouldn’t scare you away from getting the compensation you deserve.
Get Help Before Time Runs Out
If you have been injured or made sick by their defective products, you need to get help sooner rather than later. Don’t let yourself run out of time with the statute of limitations.
Contemplating the task of filing a legal claim against a large company may give you pause, but don’t worry. Don’t let a big company intimidate you. Instead, leave the paperwork and footwork to us. Norris Injury Lawyers has extensive experience facing off against the big guys, so we can help you make a successful case.
What’s more, you will not owe us a dime unless we win. That’s our No Fee Guarantee®.
Our Birmingham, AL, team of family-owned lawyers is available 24/7 for a free consultation. We can be reached online and over the phone at (800) 477-7510 anytime you need us.