A Western PA defective products lawyer may be able to help you receive compensation if you suffered injuries caused by a product that was defectively manufactured or designed, fails to contain proper warnings or labels, or which is otherwise harmful. While compensation cannot undo the injuries you suffered, damages may cover the costs from medical bills and time lost from work, as well as account for effects such as pain and suffering.
Companies who produce and market defective products should bear responsibility for harm caused by their merchandise. When you work with a personal injury lawyer familiar with product liability claims, your attorney could handle legal issues and allow you to focus on recovery.
Time Limits for Filing a Claim May Vary
In situations where someone wants to seek compensation for harm caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another, the state statute of limitations restricts the amount of time a person has to file a claim. This limit is two years for the majority of cases. Claims must be filed within two years of the date of injury, or they will be permanently barred.
The Basis for Defective Product Liability
Products go through many phases before reaching a consumer, and problems at any of these phases may cause defects in the product. Product liability cases are often divided into three types: design, manufacturing, and directions or warning.
Defects in Design
In many situations, a product harms consumers because it was poorly designed. Courts use different standards to determine whether someone may be held liable for an unsafe product design. A judge or jury may consider whether a product is more dangerous than would be expected by a reasonable consumer. For instance, a consumer would expect a kitchen knife to be sharp, but not a toy plastic knife marketed for toddlers.
Another factor a court may consider is the likelihood of the harm caused by the product when compared with the burden of action needed to prevent the harm. For instance, it might be expected that a company work to ensure that a clasp holds the blades closed on grass trimmers when someone carries them, but a company might not be expected to engineer the clasp so that it holds the blade closed when someone throws the trimmer at the wall.
A properly designed product can still cause serious injuries if it is manufactured poorly. For instance, the safety guard on a grass trimmer might not have been properly built in the factory to specifications, such as a missing screw that causes it to fall apart. Often, if a Western PA defective products lawyer can demonstrate that a product was defective and that the defect leads to an injury, it will not be necessary to show that the manufacturer knew of the defect to recover compensation.
Poor Instructions or Lack of Warnings
In many situations, products cause injuries because they fail to carry proper warnings or instructions. Manufacturers must warn consumers about certain hazards such as toxic components or choking hazards. When they fail to fulfill their duty in a reasonable manner, they may be held liable for the resulting harm.
Talk to a Western PA Defective Products Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered injuries caused by a defect in a product, it may be beneficial to make an appointment to review your situation with an experienced Western PA defective products lawyer. You may be entitled to recover compensation for time off work, medical bills, and pain and suffering. To learn more, call for a free consultation.