Here at Mike Agruss Law, we are proud to serve the citizens of Naperville, IL in personal injury cases, including when you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, and our product liability lawyers are fully committed to protecting your rights and ensuring that the other party is held legally accountable when negligence occurs. We will fight until the very end to ensure that you receive full financial compensation for all injuries and losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and you won’t owe us a dime for our services. Contact our Naperville product liability attorneys today for a free consultation.
Unfortunately, accidents within our homes happen all the time, sometimes due to simple carelessness or clumsiness and other times due to the negligence of others. When another party is at-fault for an accident, even in someone’s home, the victim may be able to recover for their injuries and losses with proper legal representation.
Product liability is defined as “the legal responsibility of a manufacturer, producer, retailer, distributor, or vendor of a product to compensate an injured victim” when a product directly causes harm or personal injury. There is a wide range of entities which may be involved in these claims, including the aforementioned as well as assemblers, suppliers, wholesalers, and commercial lessors.
Public policy states that consumers should not need to worry that a product they use is dangerous due to improper manufacturing, defective design, or inadequate warning labels, and when an individual is injured by such a product, companies which manufacture or sell it may be held liable for his/her injuries. In addition to compensating victims, product liability claims also help protect consumers at large by raising awareness of the dangers of particular products.
Product Liability Examples
Consumer products which were defectively designed, manufactured, or marketed are among the most common causes of in-home accidents and resulting injuries. Some examples of common defective products include:
Under the principles of product liability, injured victims of defective products may be eligible for compensation, but will also have time limits to file a claim, so it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible following the accident. A company may also be held legally liable if it fails to initiate a recall for a defective product as requested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Injuries can also occur due to defects in the design or construction of a home or its surrounding area. These include:
Holes in flooring
Unreasonable fire hazards
Faulty electrical wiring
Three Forms of Product Liability
Product liability claims can be divided into three general forms:
These claims allege that a defect existed in the manufacture of the vehicle, which can include problems like poor workmanship or defective materials.
While manufacturing defects typically affect products only in limited quantities, design defects may affect every single product made from a particular design. Design defects make a product or vehicle inherently dangerous to use in any incarnation rather than affecting a specific number of individual products.
These may also be referred to as “failure to warn” cases, and often arise when a product poses a non-obvious danger which could have been, but was not, mitigated by an adequate warning.
If a product has remained within typical distribution channels despite a product liability claim against it, this supports the notion that the product hasn’t been altered in the time since; this is beneficial for plaintiffs of these claims. Proving that a defect existed after the product left the defendant’s control may be done in a variety of ways depending on the theory under which the claim is pursued:
Proving product liability actions based on this theory requires proving the same elements for intentional tort of battery.
Four elements must be proven for negligence-based claims: a duty owed; that the defendant supplied the defective product in question; that the product could not have been altered after leaving control of the defendant; and physical injury, property damage, and/or wrongful death occurred as a result.
Strict tort liability
In addition to the four elements to be proven under negligence, a strict liability claim also requires causation, under which the plaintiff’s use of the product must have been foreseeable in some way.
Implied warranty of merchantability/fitness
Two factors must be established under this theory: that goods within the commerce chain are generally of good quality and fit for regular use; and that a seller knows, or has reason to know, of the particular purposes of various products and that buyers often rely on the judgment and skills of sellers when selecting goods.
Theories of representation are generally based on allegedly-false statements made to consumers which often fall into one of two categories. The first is “express warranty,” which consists of statements of fact/promises made by sellers which were part of the bargaining process (the product, for example, did not live up to the warranty, and the damage and causation existed despite it). The second is “misrepresentation of fact,” which requires proof that a seller misrepresented material fact regarding the quality or use of particular goods, and that the statement was meant to induce the buyer’s reliance in the transaction. This reliance on the misrepresented fact/s must be proven in addition to the causation and damage asserted in a product liability lawsuit.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today!
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based personal injury law firm representing personal injury victims nationwide, and helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people and not the powerful, we will file your claim and take care of the insurance adjusters, future medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, our personal injury lawyers are not paid attorney fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.