Consumers expect that the products they buy are safe to use. Sadly, unsafe products frequently enter the stream of commerce and cause injuries to many people. In these scenarios, there may be legal options for holding the company accountable and getting appropriate compensation.
Product liability, an area of personal injury law, allows injured consumers to seek damages from the manufacturer or any other party involved in introducing an unsafe item to the marketplace. If you or a loved one was hurt by a dangerous good, contact an Arlington Heights defective products lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., our skilled attorneys could assess your case and advise on the best way of seeking redress for your losses.
Establishing a Product Defect
Product liability law requires an injured person (plaintiff) to prove that the item that injured them was defective. If the plaintiff and their attorney can demonstrate that the product was unsafe, the defendant—who could be the manufacturer, distributor, or even the seller of the product—could be liable to pay the plaintiff damages. There are three ways to prove that a product was defective: design, manufacturing, and labeling defects.
A design defect is when a product is inherently dangerous even if used correctly. If a plaintiff can show that a different design would make the product less hazardous, and if the alternative design is practical to use and manufacture, the plaintiff could succeed in proving a design defect.
If the product is usually safe for anticipated use but a specific unit of the product does not conform to the standard, a plaintiff could allege a manufacturing defect. Problems on a production line, issues with component parts, or flaws in the packaging process could lead to a manufacturing defect.
Labeling Defect/Failure to Warn
Many products present some risks to the user without necessarily being defective. However, 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/2-2106 says manufacturers must warn consumers about the risks of a product and also must offer clear instructions about proper use and necessary safety precautions. A failure to label a product with instructions and warnings could support a claim for defective labeling.
Strict Liability Applies to Defective Products
Any person or company who had a role in bringing a defective product to market could be strictly liable for injuries the product caused. If a defendant is strictly liable, the plaintiff need not prove the defendant was negligent.
However, a plaintiff and their legal counsel must establish certain facts to hold a defendant strictly liable for injuries a defective product caused.
- Plaintiff’s injury must be a direct result of the defect.
- The defect rendered the product unreasonably dangerous.
- The defect was present when the product left the defendant’s control.
A knowledgeable defective products attorney at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. could further explain the concept of strict liability.
Defenses to Strict Liability Claims in Arlington Heights
It is crucial to work with a skilled attorney when pursuing a claim against a manufacturer or distributor. Defendants in defective product cases often use various defenses to limit their liability or eliminate it entirely.
For example, a defendant could allege that a plaintiff’s injury resulted from their misuse of the product. This defense could succeed if the plaintiff used the product in a way that they knew might cause an injury. Companies often spend significant resources on their defense to shift blame onto a plaintiff as a means of limiting their liability.
However, our lawyers have experience within the insurance industry to handle these types of cases and understand the tactics the defense might use. One of our local attorneys could work to weaken and contest the defense’s case in a product liability claim.
Call an Arlington Heights Defective Products Attorney Today
Many products liability cases involve one injured consumer against a giant corporation with teams of lawyers. To successfully hold a company accountable for their failures, you need rigorous legal representation from a knowledgeable attorney.
An Arlington Heights products liability lawyer could fight for your right to fair and appropriate compensation for your injuries. To get a strong ally by your side, call and schedule a case review with the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today.