How to Find a Product Liability Lawyer Near Me
Have you been a victim of product injury? If so, we understand how complex product liability litigation can be. You may require the help of an experienced product liability lawyer – someone who understands the law, knows how to navigate the court system, and is committed to fighting for your rights.
Product liability cases are becoming increasingly common, with thousands of people seeking compensation for harm caused by faulty products.
According to CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), there were an estimated 30 million emergency department-treated injuries associated with consumer products in the United States in 2019
If you’ve been injured due to a defective product, it is essential to find an experienced product liability lawyer to help you seek justice and compensation. But where do you begin?
Finding the right attorney for your case can be overwhelming. With so many lawyers, how do you know which is best suited for your needs? Keep reading the blog to learn how to find the best product liability lawyer near you.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to the legal responsibility of manufacturers, distributors, and sellers to ensure that their products are safe for consumers to use. If a product causes harm to a consumer, the manufacturer may be held liable for any resulting damages or injuries.
In other words, if you purchase an item that turns out to be a dangerous or defective product, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation for any harm or injury it has caused you. This can include physical injuries, emotional distress, medical bills, or other financial losses.
Product liability cases can be complex and involve many factors, such as the type of defective product, the nature of the injury, and the case’s specifics. However, the basic principle is simple: if a product has caused harm to you, you may have a right to consult with product liability attorneys, file a legal claim and seek compensation.
Types of Product Liability Claims
When guarding your rights against personal injury due to a dangerous or defective product caused by the manufacturer’s negligence, you must understand your available legal options. Learning the different types of product liability claims will allow you to stay informed and empowered enough to take action when needed.
Manufacturing Defect Claims
Manufacturing defect claims in product liability lawsuits occur when a product is not manufactured according to its intended design, making it inherently dangerous or defective.
For example, let’s say you receive a medical device implant to help manage chronic pain. However, due to a manufacturing error, the device malfunctions and causes severe harm to your health. In this scenario, you would have a valid manufacturing defect claim against the manufacturer. They failed to produce a product that met the intended design specifications and caused harm.
Now, imagine a scenario where a toaster is supposed to automatically turn off after a set amount of time to prevent fires. Still, due to a manufacturing error, the timer fails to shut off the toaster, leading to a fire and damage to your kitchen. This, too, would be a manufacturing defect claim, as the product was not manufactured according to its intended design.
Manufacturing defect claims can be complex and challenging, but they are crucial for holding manufacturers accountable for their products.
Design Defect Claims
Design defect claims in product liability lawsuits occur when a product is inherently dangerous or defective because of its design, even if it is manufactured correctly. These claims hold the manufacturer responsible for designing an unsafe product for consumers.
Think about it this way: you purchase a ladder with a design flaw that makes it unstable and prone to tipping over. Despite being manufactured correctly, the ladder falls apart when you use it, causing you to suffer serious injuries.
In such cases of defective products injury, you would have a valid design defect claim against the manufacturer. They are responsible for designing a ladder that is hazardous and causes damage to you as a result.
Failure to Warn Claims
Suppose that you purchase a lawnmower with sharp blades. Although it may be manufactured and designed correctly, if the manufacturer fails to include proper warning labels or instructions on how to operate the lawnmower safely, it may result in personal injury to consumers.
In this scenario, you would have a valid failure to warn claim against the manufacturer. They failed to warn you of the potential dangers associated with the product and caused harm as a result.
Another example is raising chemical hair straightener lawsuits under product liability claims. In these cases, manufacturers had failed to adequately warn consumers that using their products may lead women to develop uterine cancer.
Tips for Finding the Best Product Liability Lawyers
Below are some tips to help you find an experienced product liability lawyer:
Start with referrals: Ask friends, family, and colleagues for referrals to defective product lawyers who have handled product liability cases. This can be an excellent way to understand a lawyer’s experience and reputation.
Research online: Use resources like lawyer directories and legal websites to search for product liability lawyers in your area. Be sure to read reviews and check the lawyer’s experience to ensure they are a good fit for your case.
Check credentials: We recommend finding a lawyer who is licensed to practice in your state and has experience handling defective product liability cases. You may also want to check if they have any special certifications or recognition in product liability law.
Consider their communication skills: A good product liability lawyer will be able to communicate effectively with you, explain the legal process, and keep you informed throughout the case. Find yourself a lawyer who is responsive and easy to talk to.
Ask about their experience: Look for a defective product lawyer with experience handling cases similar to yours and a proven track record of success. For example, if you’re facing a serious injury due to defective medical devices, you should look for a lawyer with experience in that field. Ask them about their approach to product liability cases and how they plan to handle your case.
Get a sense of their values: A lawyer who shares your values and is committed to fighting for the rights of consumers will provide the best representation. Make sure your defective products lawyer is passionate about helping people and is firmly committed to justice.
Look for a contingency fee arrangement: Many defective product liability lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. It means that they only get paid if they successfully win your case. This can be a good way to ensure you have the best representation without incurring upfront costs.
Strict Liability vs Product Liability
Strict liability and product liability are concepts often used interchangeably in product liability cases. However, they are not the same thing. Understanding the difference between the two can help you better navigate the legal process.
- Strict liability: A legal principle that holds a person or entity responsible for harm caused by their actions, regardless of fault. This means that a person can be held strictly liable for damages even if they did not intend to cause harm or were not negligent.
- Product liability: It is the legal responsibility of manufacturers and other entities, such as wholesalers or retailers in the chain of commerce, for the safety of their products. This includes the commitment to design, manufacture, and distribute safe products and provide adequate warnings and instructions for consumer use.
In practice, product liability cases often involve strict liability principles. For example, a manufacturer may be held strictly liable for harm caused by a defect in one of their products, even if they did not intend to cause harm or were not negligent.
Examples of Product Liability Lawsuits
Product liability claim does not apply only to physical products but also to services. A product liability claim is filed against any business that provides a product or service that causes harm to a consumer. This can include companies that offer medical services, financial services, or even services related to information technology.
Below is a list of a few defective product liability lawsuit cases in 2022.
Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder
Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder has been a subject of controversy and legal action for several decades. The product, made from talc, a naturally occurring mineral, was marketed as a skin powder to absorb moisture and prevent skin irritation. However, studies have shown a link between using talcum powder in the genital area and women’s increased risk of ovarian cancer.
In recent years, numerous women have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, claiming that the company failed to adequately warn consumers about the potential health risks associated with talcum powder.
In February 2022, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $2.1 billion in damages to 22 women who claimed that the company’s talcum powder products caused them to develop ovarian cancer. The verdict marked one of the largest payouts in a product liability case in U.S. history.
Takata Airbag Recall
The Takata airbag recall is one of history’s largest and most complex automotive recalls. It involves millions of vehicles equipped with potentially defective products, i.e., the airbags initially manufactured by the Japanese company.
The airbags, designed to deploy in the event of a crash to protect drivers and passengers, were found to have a defect that could cause them to explode and send metal shrapnel flying through the vehicle.
The recall was initiated in 2014 and has affected nearly 100 million vehicles worldwide, including cars manufactured by major automakers such as Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Ford. This defect has been linked to at least 27 deaths and hundreds of injuries, making it a significant public safety concern.
Results Of Takata Airbag Recall
As a result of these defective product lawsuits, several significant automakers agreed to pay a $553 million settlement to compensate drivers injured by the exploding Takata airbags.
This settlement, which was reached after years of negotiations, is meant to provide financial relief to those hurt by the defective airbags and help cover medical bills, lost wages, mental suffering, and other financial damages.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
In June 2022, Samsung agreed to pay a $1 billion settlement to settle claims brought by consumers who experienced fires and explosions with the company’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The devices were recalled in 2016 due to a defective battery, which caused the devices to overheat and catch fire.
RoundUp Weed Killer
In August 2022, a California court made a significant ruling in a product liability case against Monsanto, now owned by Bayer. The court ordered the company to pay $20.5 million to a man who claimed that Monsanto’s RoundUp weed killer had caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer.
This verdict marked the fourth consecutive loss for Monsanto in a RoundUp product liability case. The company has faced a growing number of lawsuits from individuals who claim that the active ingredient in RoundUp, glyphosate, caused them to develop cancer after repeated exposure to the herbicide.
Despite the growing evidence linking glyphosate to cancer, Monsanto has maintained that the product is safe and that the science behind the claims is flawed. However, the series of losses in product liability cases has led to increased scrutiny of the company and its products and has raised concerns about the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides.
Why You Should Hire a Specialized Product Liability Attorney
There are many reasons why you must consider hiring a specialized product liability attorney if a defective product has injured you:
- Expertise: Defective product lawsuits can be complex and require a thorough understanding of the relevant laws and regulations. Specialized product liability attorneys have the experience and knowledge to navigate these complex legal issues and build a strong case on your behalf.
- Resources: Specialized defective product lawyers have the resources to invest in a thorough investigation of the facts of your case. They can access medical experts, product experts, and other specialists to build a strong case and hold the responsible parties accountable.
- Knowledge of the industry: An attorney specializing in product liability cases deeply understands the industry and the players involved. This knowledge is invaluable in negotiating a fair settlement or litigating a lawsuit in court.
- Strong Negotiating Skills: Product liability cases often involve complex negotiations with manufacturers, distributors, and insurance companies. An experienced product liability attorney has the skills and experience to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf without needing a lengthy and costly trial.
- Protecting Your Rights: Product liability cases can be emotional and stressful, and it is essential to have an advocate fighting for your rights. Specialized defective products lawyers will protect your rights, help you understand the legal process, and guide you through every step of the case.
What Is the Difference Between Negligence and Product Liability?
Negligence refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation, resulting in harm to another party. In a product negligence case, the plaintiff must prove that:
- The manufacturer had a duty to act in a certain way
- The defendant failed to fulfill that duty
- The defendant’s failure was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s harm
Product liability, on the other hand, refers to the legal responsibility of a manufacturer or seller for any harm caused by a product they have produced or sold. Such claims can be based on several different theories, including:
- Strict liability
- Breach of warranty
In a product liability case, the focus is on the product itself and the harm it caused rather than on the actions or inactions of the defendant.
How Long Is the Product Liability Claim Statute of Limitations?
The time limit for filing claims against defective products is called the statute of limitations and varies by jurisdiction. On average, it falls between one to six years from either the date of injury or when the injury was discovered.
In some states, the statute starts from the date of injury, while others use the date of discovery. If a state uses the date of injury, the time limit begins from the day the injury occurred, even if it was not discovered until later. If the state uses the date of discovery, the time limit starts from the day the injury was discovered or should have been.
In New York, products liability statute of limitations for a liability claim is three years from the date of injury. This means that a plaintiff must bring a product liability suit within three years of the date the injury occurred, or the claim will be barred.
How Do You Prove a Manufacturing Defect?
To prove a manufacturing defect in the case of a product liability lawsuit, your liability lawyer must demonstrate that the product in question was not made according to the intended design and that the defect was the direct cause of your (the plaintiff’s) injuries. Your attorney can do this by:
- Examining the product and its design specifications
- Comparing it to industry standards
- Interviewing experts to determine whether the defect was due to a flaw in the design or a mistake during the manufacturing process
- Look at any prior incidents or complaints related to the product
- Search relevant company records and documents
Remember that it is essential to gather evidence of your injuries and the direct relationship between the defect and the injuries to strengthen your case.
Can You File a Class Action Lawsuit for Product Liability?
Yes, filing a class action lawsuit for product liability is possible. A class action is a lawsuit where a large group of individuals collectively sue another party, usually a corporation or business.
In a product liability class action claim, a group of individuals injured by the same product join together to sue the manufacturer or seller of the product. This allows the plaintiffs to pool their resources and present a stronger case against the defendant.
Class action lawsuits are often used in product liability cases when the individual damages suffered by each plaintiff are relatively small. By joining together in a class action, the plaintiffs can more effectively hold the defendant accountable for their actions and seek compensation for their injuries.
However, not all product liability cases are suitable for class action treatment, and the decision to file a class action lawsuit is often based on several factors, such as:
- The number of plaintiffs
- The type of product
- The specific circumstances of each case
Who Can File a Product Liability Lawsuit?
Anyone who has been injured or suffered harm due to a defective product can file a liability claim. This may include the product’s direct user, someone injured while using the product, or even a bystander injured by the product.
In some cases, the claim may be brought on behalf of a deceased person in the case of wrongful death by their surviving family members or personal representative.
A liability claim may also be brought by a business that suffered financial losses due to a defective product, such as when a business has to recall a defective product or replace it with a non-defective version.
Contact Uptown Injury Law – New York Product Liability Attorneys
Searching for a good personal injury lawyer can be intimidating and time-consuming. Here’s why Uptown Injury Law firm can help you connect with liability lawyers in New York City.
Expertise at Your Service: With over 15 years of expertise in personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability cases, our lawyers have a deep understanding of the complex legal and technical issues involved. They use this knowledge to build solid cases for you and achieve the best possible outcome.
Results That Matter: Our lawyers focus on getting you the results you deserve. They work tirelessly to hold manufacturers accountable for the harm they have caused and secure compensation for your injuries and losses.
Personalized Support: We understand that product liability cases can be overwhelming, which is why we provide personalized attention and support. Our lawyers take the time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions so you always feel informed and confident about your case.
Proven Success: Our track record speaks for itself. We have a history of securing substantial settlements and verdicts for our clients, and our lawyers are not afraid to go to trial to protect your rights.
Compassionate Advocacy: Our lawyers are dedicated to advocating for your rights. They understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a product liability injury can take, and they are committed to helping you through every step of the process. You can trust our lawyers to be there for you from start to finish.
If a defective product has injured you, don’t wait any longer. Contact us today at 855-233-8728 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced product liability lawyers. We will fight for your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.