Most people assume that the vehicles they drive, cleaning products they use, or toys their children play with are safe. However, defective products harm thousands of Wisconsin residents each year.
A consumer product could be defective due to errors in design, production, or marketing. If you suffer an injury from a faulty product, call an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. to discuss whether you may be entitled to compensation. A Kenosha defective products lawyer could determine if you have a viable claim and outline your options for recovery.
Classifications of Product Defects
Wisconsin Statutes §895.047 distinguishes between different types of product defects. A knowledgeable legal advisor could further explain which classification may be applicable for a particular product liability case in Kenosha.
A design defect is when a flaw is inherent in the design of the product itself. In cases involving these kinds of defects, using an alternative design could have minimized or reduced the product’s risks. Failure to do so renders the product not reasonably safe.
A product that departs from its intended design is considered to be defectively manufactured, even if all possible care was exercised during the manufacturing process.
Inadequate Warnings or Instructions
If a product does not contain warnings or instructions that alert the consumer of its risks, it may be considered defective. Proper warnings and instructions are intended to reduce or eliminate a product’s foreseeable risks of harm.
What is Strict Liability for Product Defects?
The legal theory of strict liability holds a person or business responsible for the injuries they cause others, even if they were not negligent. Under Wisconsin’s Omnibus Tort Reform Act, a manufacturer may be strictly liable for damages caused by a defective product.
If an injured party and their attorney can prove that a product is defective, they must show the following to hold the manufacturer or seller strictly liable:
- The product was defective when it left the seller’s control
- The defect made the product unreasonably dangerous
- The product reached the injured party in the same condition it was sold in
- The defect caused the party’s injuries or property damage
A lawyer who focuses on defective product cases could assess the manufacturer’s liability and help determine if the injured Kenosha resident has a claim.
Recalls of Defective Products
The federal government established several agencies to investigate reports of defective products. If products are deemed unsafe, the following agencies can order recalls.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
This agency oversees motor vehicles and vehicle accessories. The NHTSA could order a recall if a car, car seat, or tire creates an unreasonable risk or fails to meet minimum safety guidelines.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Agriculture (DOA)
These two agencies regulate most of the products consumers put into their bodies. The FDA regulates items like drugs and medical devices, while the DOA concentrates on food and drink products.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
The CPSC monitors the safety of products not overseen by other government agencies, including toys, cribs, chemicals, and power tools. CPSC aims to protect the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of these products.
At the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., our experienced attorneys regularly monitor the recalls of these agencies and could take legal action on behalf of an injured consumer.
How Long do I Have to Bring a Defective Products Claim?
A party injured by a defective product in Wisconsin has fifteen years from the date the product was purchased to file a claim, unless the manufacturer offered a longer warranty. If the victim was not immediately aware of their injury, the deadline could be extended. Because a court could dismiss a lawsuit if it was filed late, consult a nearby attorney as soon as possible after an injury caused by a defective product.
Consult a Kenosha Defective Products Attorney Today
Defective products can cause severe injuries or even death. Unfortunately, proving that a product was faulty and caused harm to the user could be challenging without the skill and experience of a well-practiced attorney.
If you suffer an injury from a poorly designed or incorrectly manufactured product, or if you were not sufficiently warned about its risks, a Kenosha defective products lawyer could help. Call today to discuss a strategy for your case with a member of our team.