Whatever your situation, we are here to guide you through the process of learning and protecting your rights. Our Springfield personal injury lawyers will thoroughly investigate your circumstances and gather evidence regarding the link between the dangerous product and your injuries. If we believe you have a valid product liability case, then we will represent you in filing a lawsuit in Springfield, Illinois and pursuing full and fair compensation for your injuries.
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What Is Product Liability?
Product liability is the area of law that may hold the designers, manufacturers, assemblers, and/or retailers of a product liable for injuries caused by defects in that product. If you were injured while using a product because that product was poorly designed, manufactured with flaws, or lacked appropriate warnings, then you should speak with a product liability lawyer. When there is evidence that the product was defective and this defect was responsible for causing you harm, then you may have the right to file a product liability lawsuit and pursue compensation for your physical, psychological, and financial injuries.
Illinois’ product liability law is based on statutes as well as derived from previous court cases regarding defective and dangerous products. Because product liability laws are complex and nuanced, it is essential that you work with an experienced attorney when you believe a dangerous product is responsible for your current condition and you are interested in seeking compensation. Our Springfield product liability lawyers will carefully review your circumstances, determine the type of defect, and advise you on the strongest legal theory to base your claim on, such as negligence or strict liability.
What Does Product Liability Cover?
Product liability claims can relate to any type of product, from the food you purchase at a grocery store to the car you drive. However, while any type of product can be defective and dangerous, products are typically defective in one of three ways:
- Design Defects: When a product is defectively designed, the intended product is not as safe as it could and should be. Because the product is inherently dangerous or risky, it is likely to cause consumers harm when used as intended.
- Manufacturing Defects: A manufacturing defect means the final product does not match the intended design. Some flaw within the manufacturing process created a defect in the product, which can cause the product to be dangerous to use as intended. A common manufacturing defect is lack of sterilization for medical products.
- Warning/Marketing Defects: Certain types of products are inherently risky even when designed and manufactured for maximum safety. Power tools and machinery are common examples. To ensure product users handle the product as safely as possible and use it as intended, the product should come with the proper warnings and instructions. Products that lack necessary warnings and instructions may be considered defective.
If you are injured by a dangerous product, and you believe a design, manufacturing, or warning defect is responsible, call a defective product lawyer for help.
Types of Product Liability
There are different legal theories you can use to prove a manufacturer, retailer, or other party is liable for your injuries when suing for a defective product. These different legal theories each require you to prove different elements. You may not be able to prove one theory of liability, but you may be able to establish another. This is why it is essential to speak with a Springfield product liability lawyer and defective product attorney. An experienced lawyer will investigate your circumstances and advise you of the strongest basis for a product liability claim.
Product liability cases may be based on:
- Product Liability Negligence: Under a theory of negligence, you are claiming that the defendant, which owed you a duty of care, did something wrong and caused your injuries. The elements you must prove include a) the defendant, whether it is the manufacturer, retailer, or another party, owed you a duty of care; b) the defendant breached that duty of care; c) that breach of care directly led to your injuries and your injuries were foreseeable, and d) you suffered injuries for which you can be compensated for.
- Strict Product Liability: Under a strict liability claim, you are not arguing the defendant did something wrong. You allege that under the law, they are automatically responsible for injuries caused by their defective product. The elements of a strict product liability claim are a) your injury resulted from a condition of the product that was manufactured or sold by the defendant; b) that condition was an unreasonably dangerous one; and c) that condition existed at the time the product left the manufacturer’s control.
- Product Liability Breach of Warranty: When a business advertises and sells a product, it makes certain explicit and implicit claims. An explicit warranty may be one stated in a contract or through other oral or written representations. An implicit warranty may be one required by law, such as the implied warranty of merchantability. You must establish that a) there was an implied or express warranty; b) the defendant breached that warranty; c) the breach of warranty led to your injuries, and d) you suffered compensable injuries.
Right now, you likely do not know how the law holds the manufacturer or seller responsible. You may simply be confident that a product caused you harm and someone should be held responsible. We agree and recommend you contact our Springfield product liability lawyers to discuss how the law treats manufacturers and sellers when defective products cause consumers harm.
Commonly Defective Products
At Staver Accident Injury Laws, P.C., our experienced dangerous product lawyers often handle claims arising from:
- Typical Household Items Defects
- Contaminated Food and Beverages
- Equipment Defects
- Machine Defects
- Dangerous Pharmaceutical Drugs
- Dangerous Medical Devices
- Defective Vehicles and Parts
- Dangerous Children’s Toys and Products
- Dangerous Swimming Pools
What Damages Can I Recover in a Product Liability Case?
If you or a loved one were harmed due to a defective product, and you choose to file a product liability case in Illinois, then you should speak with a defective product attorney about the injuries and losses you may pursue compensation for. You may have the right to seek compensation for several kinds of damages, depending on your circumstances.
- Monetary Damages: One portion of compensatory damages are your costs and economic losses. Our experienced attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers P.C. will fight for you to receive compensation for your past, current, and future medical expenses, lost wages, and when appropriate, your reduced earning capacity. These damages can be calculated based on your bills and records, though if you are seeking compensation for future expenses or losses, we may work with one or more economic experts.
- Non-Economic Damages: Not all of your injuries are financial in nature. You may be entitled to compensation for non-economic harm, such as your pain and suffering, emotional distress, a disfigurement or disability, and the loss of normal life or enjoyment of life. The value of these damages cannot be based off a bill or pay stub. Our attorneys will determine the most appropriate method of calculating your non-economic damages, which may be the use of a per diem amount of it may be a multiplier of your economic damages.
When you pursue compensation for a defective product, you will file a product liability lawsuit. However, the goal may not be to argue your case at trial. Instead, your product liability attorney may pursue a settlement from the business’s product liability insurance. Manufacturers, retailers, and other businesses will have insurance coverage that may be cover injuries associated with defective products. In this case, our negotiation skills and experience are essential to pursuing a full and fair settlement.
Product Liability Defenses
There are many reasons why a manufacturer or retailer of a product might not be liable for your injuries or at least claim they are not responsible. Common defenses manufacturers and retailers use to avoid liability include:
- Misuse: If there is evidence you used the product in a way it was not intended to be used and this created the danger that led to your injuries, then a manufacturer may defeat a product liability claim.
- Contributory Negligence: Even if you did not misuse the product, the manufacturer may argue that you were also negligent, and your own negligence contributed to your injuries. In Illinois, a comparative negligence claim may not defeat your allegations. However, it can impact whether you receive compensation, and if so, how much. If you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, then you are barred from receiving compensation. If you are less than half at fault, you may recover compensation, but it will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
- Assumption of Risk: A manufacturer may establish that you assumed the risk associated with using a certain product. There may be evidence you signed a waiver or acknowledged a waiver when you purchased a ticket to utilize a certain product, such as a ticket to a theme park or sporting event.
- Product Recalls: If the product that led to your injuries was recalled, but you did not address the recall, the manufacture can claim it is not responsible for your injuries. They may argue you should have known about the recall based on information they provided to consumers, public announcements, and/or from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which publishes product recall information.
If you believe you have a product liability claim, but you are concerned about how a manufacturer or seller may try to defend itself, call our Springfield product liability lawyers right away. We have seen businesses conduct all sorts of a maneuvers to avoid liability and we will be aggressive in anticipating and overcoming these defenses.
Product Liability Statute of Limitations
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we are often asked “how long do I have to file a defective product lawsuit?” For a lawsuit based on personal injuries, you have two years from the date of your injury or the date in which you discovered or reasonably should have discovered the legal claim. However, if you discovered that your injury was connected to a defective product more than two years after the incident, then you need to speak with an attorney about the statute of repose. Under Illinois law, you must bring a lawsuit within:
- 12 years from the date the defective product was sold, leased, or delivered by the seller.
- 10 years from the date the defective product was first sold, leased, or delivered to its initial user, consumer, or non-seller.
- 10 years from the date the product was modified, if you claim your injury was the result of the modification.
Contact Our Product Liability Law Firm
If you were injured while using a product, and you believe the product was dangerous, do not hesitate to call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to discuss filing a defective product lawsuit. We will thoroughly examine your circumstances and advise you of your options. If we believe you have a valid product liability claim, we will represent you in litigation and pursue a settlement through the defendant’s insurance. Our goal will be to obtain you the best possible settlement or court ruling for your circumstances.
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If you’ve been hurt, it can be hard to know where to start. We begin every case with a free, no-risk evaluation. We’ll discuss your situation, answer your questions, and determine what comes next. Act now and get the recovery you deserve.
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