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If you are injured from a product while using it as intended, you may have a product liability lawsuit. Under state law, people may recover for injuries that are the result of improper design, manufacture, or warning. A personal injury lawyer can help you through this process.

Product liability laws have two goals. The first goal is to help the injured party through financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, future loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. The second goal is to influence manufacturers and distributors to improve the safety of their products and prevent further incidents. An Aurora defective products lawyer helps you secure monetary compensation and seek justice for the manufacturer’s carelessness.

Strict Liability for Defective Products

Generally, defective product cases are strict liability. To prevail in a lawsuit, you do not have to show that the manufacturer was negligent. It is enough to demonstrate that the product had a defect, which led to an injury.

However, evidence of negligence can help build a product liability case. To establish liability, you and your lawyer must demonstrate that there was a defect that made the product unreasonably hazardous, the defect existed before the product reached consumers, and that it caused injury.

Determining whether a product is unreasonably hazardous is fact-specific. Some products are dangerous even when people use them properly, so manufacturers should include information on the safest way to use them. Failure to warn users about inherent dangers or provide instructions for proper use can be considered defects, as well. An Aurora lawyer could analyze a product liability case to determine if it was unreasonably dangerous.

Theories of Product Liability

All product liability cases start with the premise that the product is dangerous to use for its intended purpose. The theories of liability explain why the product is dangerous, with the three types being improper design, improper manufacture, and improper warning.

Improper Design or Manufacture Defect

Improper design alleges that the product’s design has a dangerous flaw. Even when appropriately manufactured and used according to the directions, the product is unreasonably dangerous. Research and development should reveal these hazards, but sometimes do not.

A manufacturing error means the design is sound but one or multiple products in a batch had some kind of error or oversight that made them dangerous for anyone who uses or consumes them. Food contamination is one example of a manufacturing defect.

Improper Warning

The third theory is improper warning. Some products are safe when used properly but have potential dangers, like a hair dryer containing warning labels telling people not to use them in water. That is because, while they are safe to use under normal conditions, using them when you are in water can lead to electrocution. Failure to warn people of potential dangers can be a defect.

Punitive Damages for Product Liability Harm

Many people wonder if punitive damages are available in a defective product suit. They are — but they require a higher standard of proof than regular damages, like economic and non-economic damages. The evidence must be clear and convincing.

Furthermore, even though you would receive the damages, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer. The theory is that financial punishment will discourage them from taking similar actions in the future, so it protects consumers.

For a court to consider punitive damages, the defendant’s behavior needs to have been egregious. Keep in mind that product liability cases are a strict liability, which means you do not have to demonstrate negligence. For punitive damages, the manufacturers or distributors must be negligent, and their behavior must be the type that the courts want to discourage, such as failing to warn consumers about a known defect. An Aurora attorney could discuss whether you might be eligible for punitive damages in your product liability claim.

Consult an Aurora Lawyer About a Defective Products Case

The best way to determine if you have a defective product case is to consult with the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. We will review the circumstances of your accident to determine if the product manufacturer might be held accountable. Schedule a consultation with our Aurora defective products lawyer today.

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