When a consumer purchases a product, there is an assumption that it is safe and will perform as directed. While manufacturers have a duty to provide the public with safe products, mistakes happen, and people get injured as a result. In cases where a defective product causes an injury, a product liability lawyer in Chicago can help victims recover damages by filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Victims who have incurred serious injuries related to defective product can help ensure proper care and fair compensation by:
- Saving the Defective Product: The product that caused harm is evidence that may be crucial to a lawsuit. Store the defective product and all the accessories and manuals that came with it in a safe place.
- Keeping Records: Notating any information about the product and keeping the receipt can be important to the processing of a product liability lawsuit. Taking photos of the product, the injuries sustained, and the scene of the accident if applicable can also be of assistance to the litigation process.
- Contacting an Experience Personal Injury Attorney: A qualified product liability lawyer in Chicago will help guide victims and their families through the stressful and complicated process of recovering damages from injuries caused by a product defect.
The law firm of Cooney & Conway has decades of success in representing personal injury victims in product defect cases. Call toll free at 800-322-5573 to speak with a knowledgeable representative about your case today. You can also fill out the free case evaluation contact information form located on this page and a qualified legal professional will promptly respond to your inquiry.
Types of Product Liability Claims
There are three basic types of products liability claims – manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to provide warnings or instructions. One, two, or all three of them may be involved in a single product liability lawsuit.
1. Manufacturing Defects: The most common and obvious type of product liability claim is when a defectively manufactured product causes injury as a result of the flaw in how the product was made. Manufacturing defects are most commonly caused by poor-quality materials and carelessness in putting the product together, or shoddy workmanship. Examples of manufacturing defects include:
- Apparel: Common product liability lawsuits relating to defects in apparel include issues relating to:
- Fire resistance
- Irritating fabric
- Improper construction
- Foreign objects hidden in clothing
- Footwear with poor traction
- Chemicals: In cases of injuries caused by defective household chemicals, evidence must prove the manufacturer or vendor had prior knowledge of the products’ side effects, or at least should have been aware of risks involved in the use of the product.
- Cosmetics: Injuries from cosmetic products can range from easily treatable allergic reactions, infections, or rashes, to chronic and serious health issues such as cancer or blindness.
- Firearms: Thousands of people are injured or killed in gun accidents every year. Firearms can be considered defective if the gun misfires, explodes, improperly recoils, or otherwise causes harm or injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can file a claim against a gun manufacturer, distributor, or other responsible party for defects including:
- Barrel or chamber failures and explosions
- Design flaws
- Faulty firearm accessories
- Firearm safety mechanism failure
- Overly-sensitive triggers
- Food and Agricultural Products: Contamination causing food poisoning or other illnesses could result in a product liability claim. If sanitary standards or pesticide restrictions are violated, it can be claimed that the defendant acted negligently, and compensatory and punitive damages can be sought.
- Machinery and Tools: Whether operating on the job or at home, defective or malfunctioning equipment can result in serious injuries or wrongful death. Defects can occur in any phase of the design, manufacturing, and marketing process and can include:
- Inadequate safety devices
- Machinery placed in an improper location putting workers at risk of injury
- Machine assembly or installation mistakes
- Inferior quality or incorrect materials
- Faulty wiring
- Lack of proper safety warnings or instructions
- Medical Products and Devices: A manufacturer can be held liable for damages a medical product causes if the patient can prove the manufacturer failed to warn doctors and patients of any dangers associated with the device. Common procedures in which defects can result in complications, injuries, and wrongful death include:
- Hernia mesh
- Hip implants
- Insulin pumps
- Knee replacements
- Pacemakers and defibrillators
- Pain pumps
- Surgical robotics
- Transvaginal mesh
- Automotive: While many vehicular accidents are caused by driver negligence, defects and mechanical failures can also play major roles in causing motor vehicle accidents. Among the common defects that can cause wrecks leading to serious personal injury or wrongful death include:
- Airbag failure
- Cruise control malfunction
- Defective axel, wheel, or steering components
- Defective brakes
- Defective fuel systems
- Defective ignition module
- Defective seatbelts
- Defective tires
- Floor mats affecting foot pedals
- Motor vehicle recalls
- Overall vehicle designs
- SUV and van rollover propensity
- Transmission malfunction
- Pharmaceutical Products: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the fabrication, promotion, and sale of pharmaceutical products. Drug manufacturers are responsible to alert doctors and consumers of all side effects. The common forms of pharmaceutical product defects include:
- Defectively manufactured pharmaceutical drugs
- Pharmaceutical drugs with dangerous side effects
- Improperly labeled pharmaceutical drugs
- Recreational Products: From toys and bicycles to roller exercise and fitness equipment, manufacturers and vendors have the responsibility to make sure their products are safe and to warn the public regarding any possible risks.
2. Design Flaws: A defect in a product’s design can make the product inherently dangerous or useless, even if made with the best-quality materials and manufacturing processes. A design defect exists if:
- The product is unreasonably dangerous as designed; or
- The product is not safe for its intended and reasonably foreseeable uses.
3. Failure to warn: The core of all products liability law is that products must be reasonably safe for their intended purpose. However, millions of consumers are injured or killed every year after the products that they are using failed to provide warnings of the dangers that are associated with the products. For a product liability lawyer to successfully litigate a failure to warn claim, the case must prove that:
- The manufacturer sold the product in the normal course of its business
- The defective product was unreasonably dangerous when used in a reasonable manner
- The manufacturer did not provide adequate warning of possible dangers
- The defective product was used in appropriately and as directed
- The consumer was hurt or damaged as a direct result of the properly used product
Contact Cooney & Conway Product Liability Lawyer in Chicago Today
When manufacturers produce unsafe products, fails to honor a defective product warranty, or fails to alert consumes of potential dangers of using the product, they can be held responsible for personal injuries or wrongful deaths caused by its products.
If you or a loved one has had an encounter with a product that caused an injury or death, a personal injury attorney at Cooney & Conway can help to recover damages resulting from a product’s defect. Contact us through the contact information form located on this page or call toll free at 800-322-5573 to set up a free consultation with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.