Consumer products in the United States are subject to regulation under federal and state law, but consumers are still often exposed to severe injury or fatality from defective goods.
If you have been harmed by an unreasonably dangerous or defective product, you could receive financial compensation for your injuries. A knowledgeable Alpharetta defective products lawyer could help you assert your legal claim by working to ensure that any liable parties are held accountable.
Types of Defects in Product Liability Claims
In product liability cases, the manufacturer or seller of a product that has caused harm or injury to a consumer may be held liable for damages based on strict liability, negligence, or breach of warranty. To assert a defective products liability claim, the injured party must prove the existence of a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect in the product and demonstrate that the defect was the actual and proximate cause of the injury.
A design defect is an inherent flaw in a product that makes it unreasonably dangerous to use. In product liability cases, the manufacturer of a poorly designed product may be liable for damages based, in part, on the foreseeable risk of harm, the feasibility of alternative product designs, the manufacturer's conduct, and the expectations of a reasonable consumer.
A manufacturing defect stems from the improper manufacturing of a product, which can result in an otherwise safe-to-use product posing a risk of harm to the consumer. A defect in a product's marketing occurs when the manufacturer of an inherently risky or unsafe product fails to provide the consumer with adequate warning or instruction for use. A local attorney could help you determine which type of defect would be the subject of your product liability claim.
Common Defective Products and Injuries
With the vast number of products made available to consumers today, the types of defective product can vary drastically. Some of the more common defective product cases involve the following:
- Children's toys
- Motor vehicles
- Baby items (cribs, strollers, bottles, swings, etc.)
- Medication and medical equipment
- Electrical appliances
- Food products
- Safety devices (smoke detectors, seatbelts, airbags, helmets, etc.)
The severity and type of injury sustained from a faulty product will depend on several factors, such as the nature of the product, its intended purpose, the kind of product defect, and the status of the injured party in terms of age and mental capacity. For example, in defective products cases involving an infant or child, a severe injury or fatality related to choking is most common due to infants' natural tendencies and the miniaturized size of children's toys. A qualified defective product lawyer in the area could help an individual determine if they have a viable products liability claim to recover monetary damages.
What Kinds of Damages Can Plaintiffs Win in Defective Item Cases?
It is possible for the plaintiff’s attorney to request both economic and non-economic damages in a product liability case. Economic damages refer to specific monetary amounts, while non-economic damages concern the mental and emotional aspects of the injury or injuries. Typical economic damages in defective item claims include emergency medical care, ongoing medical care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, lost wages, and disability.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress. If the individual died because of their injuries, their family can claim economic damages such as funeral and burial costs, and future income loss. Non-economic compensation includes loss of companionship.
Who is Liable in Defective Product Cases?
The liable party or parties depends on the reason for the defect. If the product was inherently dangerous and the designers knew about it, they are liable. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers also face liability charges if they were aware of a product’s defect or possible defect, yet went ahead with its creation, distribution, and sale. Sometimes, all parties associated with the defective product are liable if they knew of potential problems but did nothing about them. Legal professionals can bring larger lawsuits against at-fault parties if the entire supply chain was involved and did not recall the product.
What is the Statute of Limitations Regarding Faulty Products?
Since malfunctioning and faulty products are types of personal injury claims, plaintiffs have two years to file legal claims with their attorneys’ help according to Georgia Code § 9-3-33. The statute of limitations applies to negligence and intentional tort, or intentional harm, cases. Plaintiffs who miss the filing deadline generally see their cases dismissed; however, exceptions can be made. For example, if the plaintiff is a minor, the statute of limitations “clock” starts running on their 18th birthday. Plaintiffs declared mentally incompetent at the time of the accident also receive extensions. Their time limits begin when they have recovered their mental fitness.
Consult an Alpharetta Defective Products Attorney
While consumer products' standards and regulations can help mitigate the risk of harm to consumers, they do not fully safeguard them from dangerous and defective products. Whether a product is inherently flawed, erroneously manufactured, or lacks the proper warnings, if any such defects cause injury to a consumer, the product manufacturer may be liable for any resulting losses.
If an unreasonably dangerous or defective consumer product has harmed you or your loved one, you may be eligible to recover damages. Call and request a consultation with an Alpharetta defective products lawyer today.