Product Liability FAQs
Every day people are injured by various products from defective automobiles and children’s products to medical equipment and pharmaceutical products. If you or a loved have been injured by a defective product, contact the Illinois product liability lawyers at Kupets & DeCaro, P.C. for a free case evaluation.
Below are some FAQ’s related to Illinois Product Liability matters.
Q. What does product liability mean?
A. Products such as foods, medicines, consumer goods and other items are products that companies are expected to mass manufacture with customer safety in mind.
Companies are responsible for product defects and compensation to consumers who suffer an injury, property damage or loss of life as a result of their product(s). Kupets & DeCaro P.C. has experienced and compassionate attorneys who are committed to getting the compensation for damages that you are entitled to.
Q. Is an attorney needed to file a product defect claim?
A. An experienced product liability lawyer offers you the best chance at succeeding when you file a claim with a company. These cases are highly technical. Product liability claims require extensively trained professionals who can analyze the specifics of your case.
Q. Why are expert witnesses needed to prove product liability?
A. Expert witnesses are imperative for bringing credibility to a product liability claim. If you have suffered an injury as a result of a faulty product, attorneys who specialize in the area of product liability know exactly what type of experts are needed, what protocol is involved, etc. For example, if you were trying to prove that the lead paint connected with toys from China caused injury to your child, your product liability attorney would bring in an expert witness on lead poisoning.
Q. How can I prove that the product is defective?
A. Extensive research and the expertise of scientists, engineers, and others are crucial in the evaluation of a product’s safety. Patenting, design, and manufacturing are just a few of the areas that require investigation as well as knowledge of the industry and governmental standards.
Q. Can an appliance or product be too old to bring a product liability case to court?
A. The appliance or product’s age is generally not an issue, though trying to pursue a product liability case for a product that is still in use after its generally recognized lifespan has expired would be futile. The time frame when you file for the product defect claim is the matter of utmost importance. The claim must be filed within two years from the time the injury or accident occurred.
Q. My new lawn mower backfired and injured my leg. Who is responsible?
A. This type of injury happens frequently and is a common product defect claim. If you are able to prove there is a product defect, the manufacturer is responsible to pay for any injuries or damages that occurred as a result of the product defect.
A successful product liability claim requires the skills of an experienced product liability attorney. The Chicago product liability attorneys at Kupets and DeCaro can thoroughly assess your specific circumstances and guide you through the appropriate steps to take for legal action.
Q. The product that injured me was mislabeled, and I suffered an injury. Is this a valid case?
A. Product labeling that is insufficient, instructions that are vague, and failure to include warnings are all marketing defects and subject to lawsuit. Negligence and misrepresentation of product use are also considered marketing defects and liable for a claim. Seeking experienced legal counsel if you suspect that you have a product liability claim is your best bet for securing your legal rights.
Q. What types of product defects are usually found?
A. Generally there are three types of product defects found when evaluating a claim. These include 1) design defects-a flaw in the design of the product i.e. a handle that continually loosens on a pan; 2) manufacturing defects-negligence in manufacturing such as a worker who failed to properly assemble a product; and 3) marketing defects-a flaw in the wording on the label or in the instructions.
Experienced legal counsel maintains access to the expertise of scientists, engineers, and other professionals. Using these resources a product liability attorney will determine your best course of action and will calculate what damages you are entitled to.
Q. Is there such a thing as federal product defect law?
A. Although there are federal guidelines that companies must adhere to, there is no body of law known as “federal product defect law.” State laws are the basis for product defect claims. These include negligence, breach of warranty, and strict liability claims. In turn, states do model their commercial statutes on the Uniform Commercial Code, a federal code for law that evaluates how warranties can affect product liability.
Q. What is meant by “strict liability?”
A. When a manufacturer is deemed ultimately responsible in a product liability case even though they may have taken every measure necessary to guard against an accident or injury, it is called strict liability. For instance, say you have been injured by a steamer appliance and the proper manufacturer quality control was in place, you may still have a case as the company is still responsible under strict liability.
Q. My kitchen appliance was defective and injured me. My injuries are minimal, so I’m not sure if I want to sue the manufacturer. Is there any reason I should still consider bringing a claim?
A. There are many safety reasons that make it important to file a claim. Although your experience was mild, the next consumer who encounters the same defect may have a more serious injury.
It is the right of the consumer to expect to purchase and use an appliance without the risk of injury. The manufacturer is responsible for any product defects, and your small injury may be only one of many that may have been suffered from the same defect.
If you decide to file a claim, your decision could impact the future manufacturing design of the product by forcing the company to improve on the design and prevent any more injuries. An attorney who has extensive experience in product liability claims will be able to advise you of what your legal rights are so you can make an informed decision.
DISCLAIMER: All answers to the hypothetical questions contained herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be construed as legal advice. Kupets & DeCaro P.C. shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein.