When you buy products, you expect them to be safe. When you have medical treatments, you assume the equipment, procedures and materials will function correctly. Most of the time, these things won’t cause harm if used properly; however, defects can occur, and you can sustain injuries or other damages.
What can you do if a defective product harms you? What if a dangerous product causes a loved one to lose their life? An experienced product liability lawyer can hold the responsible parties liable and help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Does a Product Liability Lawyer Do?
There are many kinds of possible product defects, accidents with resulting injuries, different types of product liability claims and multiple potentially liable parties. A dangerous product can harm consumers, but proving that your injury is a direct result of using that item is challenging.
You must have evidence to hold the responsible party liable for defective products. To find the proof, you need to conduct a thorough investigation and know what kinds of evidence to look for. Most people don’t have the resources or knowledge required to perform an investigation, build a solid claim, or negotiate with liable insurance companies for maximum compensation.
The competent attorneys at Cellino Law understand the laws surrounding product liability. We also have the investigative resources and negotiating skills to obtain a favorable outcome for your claim.
What Is Product Liability?
The party responsible for every step of a manufacturing process must endeavor to produce safe and reliable parts, components and products. By law, they can’t knowingly sell hazardous items. Your product liability lawyer will determine when responsible parties discovered defects when building your claim.
Sometimes, manufacturers or others along the supply chain aren’t aware that their products are defective when sold. If customer usage causes harm or further testing reveals that products are unsafe at a later date, the seller or manufacturer must release consumer warnings or recalls so others aren’t harmed.
Product liability can hold everyone in the supply chain liable if a product harms someone. Potentially liable parties include:
- Components makers and suppliers
- Wholesalers, distributors and retailers
More than one party is liable in some cases. Your attorney will hold each of them accountable.
Liability means that someone is responsible; in a product liability claim, the liable party is financially responsible for the harm the defective product causes.
What Kinds of Defects Are There?
Defective products have some kind of flaw that causes them to function incorrectly. If the defects cause harm, a product liability lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your damages. The main kinds of defects are:
- Design: The creative concept or design leading to a completed product has inherent flaws. The product may function, but design flaws can make them unreasonably hazardous.
- Manufacturing: Companies producing parts or components may supply faulty goods to assembling manufacturers. Assembly manufacturers might make errors while building products.
- Marketing: Product labels or accompanying documents must provide instructions for proper use and warnings of potential dangers.
Most defective product claims are strict liability cases. You don’t necessarily need to prove that suppliers and manufacturers were negligent to hold them liable, but you do require evidence that the product caused you harm.
Some defective products may have multiple types of defects. Medications are a prime example. During our investigation, your product liability lawyer from Cellino Law will determine which defects exist in your case and seek compensation for every kind of harm you experience.
People rely on over-the-counter and prescription medications to address health issues. Most remedies have side effects and some have adverse interactions when taken with others.
Design defects may happen if developers don’t complete sufficient testing or rush to get FDA approval without addressing every potential issue with dosage, side effects, contraindications and adverse interactions.
Manufacturing defects can happen if the medication doesn’t meet the design specifications by omitting, adding or changing ingredients. Unsanitary conditions or contaminants can taint production batches.
Manufacturers must disclose all information about side effects and contraindications. They should not make false claims about what the drugs can do. If manufacturers don’t meet these requirements and a medication harms you, you may have a marketing flaw claim.
What Are Examples of Defective Products?
For a valid defective product claim, you must show that you used the item appropriately. For example, patients who take more than the recommended dosage of a pain reliever don’t have a valid claim because they didn’t follow directions. Drivers who don’t apply brakes quickly enough to avoid a collision can’t claim that faulty brakes caused the wreck.
A competent product liability lawyer knows how to determine if your claim is valid.
With design defects, you can expect all the products to have inherent dangers even though the manufacturing process meets specifications.
Some hip replacement devices and medical mesh are examples of medical materials with design flaws. Once used in patients, these devices can cause harm that requires additional medical treatments or surgeries. Your product liability attorney may combine your claim with others in a mass tort case if multiple people experience the same issues.
Even a minor design flaw can cause car accidents. Common vehicle design flaws include:
- Timing system belts or bearings that can cause engine failure
- Transmission control failure
- Poorly designed brake systems
Any of these issues can cause vehicles to crash, which may result in injuries or fatalities. While not liking where the audio system controls are is irritating and might be a design flaw in your opinion, it likely won’t cause a wreck and is therefore not eligible for a defective product claim.
The manufacturing process leaves room for errors. For instance, assemblers may leave partially tightened screws on only a few products. These products might cause accidental harm, but the correctly assembled products are safe. Your product liability lawyer will investigate the manufacturing process.
Automobiles and Commercial Trucks
Vehicles are complex pieces of machinery and require the utmost care during the manufacturing process. A loose wire or improperly installed brake rotor can cause injury accidents.
Children’s toys that aren’t assembled correctly may break or come apart. Small pieces can pose choking risks, and sharp pieces may cut children.
Won’t Liable Insurance Companies Pay Willingly?
Suppliers, manufacturers and other parties in the supply chain typically have liability insurance, and their policies should cover valid claims. However, many insurance companies don’t want to pay more than they must. These insurers may deny your claim or offer unreasonably low settlement amounts.
To defend against product liability claims, the liable parties and their insurance companies may claim that:
- You didn’t use the product correctly.
- You knew that the product was inherently dangerous.
- You modified the product before using it.
- You didn’t file your claim before the applicable statute of limitations expired. In New York, you have three years from the date of your injury or the date you discover it to file most product liability claims.
You don’t have to accept initial settlement offers, and you can appeal a claim’s denial. When you hire a product liability lawyer, your chances of a favorable outcome increase. People typically receive significantly more compensation with legal representation.
What Damages Are Available?
Product liability claimants in Manhattan, NY, can seek compensation for their damages. When you hire Cellino Law, your attorney will assess your case to determine what types of damages you qualify for and how much your case is worth.
Those harmed by defective products typically incur related expenses. Economic damages reimburse you for:
- Medical treatments
- Lost wages due to time away from work
- Property damage
- Replacement services
Your product liability lawyer will need copies of your bills and receipts to prove these expenses and ensure that you receive full compensation.
Some injuries aren’t necessarily visible, but they can drastically impact your life. Non-economic damages compensate for things like:
- Anxiety, depression and PTSD
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
Liable insurance companies often claim that victims don’t have these conditions or that the conditions don’t result from defective products. Your legal team from Cellino Law will help you prove the adverse impacts to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
In rare cases, you may receive punitive damages. The guilty party must act in specific ways for your case to qualify. Ask your attorney if you are eligible.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Eligible survivors can pursue a wrongful death claim if a defective product directly results in a loved one’s death. The damage categories are the same, but specific expenses and awards may differ. Cellino Law can handle these cases as well.
Why Choose Cellino Law as Your Product Liability Lawyer?
For over 60 years, Cellino Law has helped injured New Yorkers find justice. Our experience, competence and extensive knowledge of applicable laws make us the right choice for handling your product liability claim.
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