Product liability laws serve to protect and compensate consumers when they are injured by defective or dangerous products. This area of law encompasses damages caused by food, drugs, and virtually all consumer products. Some potential liability cases have made the news in the past several months such as dangerous toys, highchairs, baby cribs and even plastic drinking glasses used for promotional purposes by a fast food giant.
There are several categories for liability under the umbrella of product liability law. Sometimes a manufacturer or distributor can be held “strictly liable.” This means that negligence does not need be proven to collect damages. If a product is defective and that leads to injury, the injured party may collect damages IF the product was used as it was intended to be used, and not substantially changed from its original condition. “Damages” means financial compensation which is ordered by the court to make-up for your losses and/or suffering caused by someone else’s wrongful act. Losses can include but are not limited to such items as medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of work and in the extreme, loss of life.
An injured party can also collect damages when “negligence” has been demonstrated. If a product was designed or manufactured negligently, or if a company failed to give proper warnings or instructions for use, when a user is injured, a case for liability may be made.
In addition, a manufacturer implies a “warranty” for fitness of use and freedom from defect when an item is sold. If the item proves to be defective, or is unfit for the purpose intended, an injured user can file a product liability case.
To obtain a successful outcome, you as the Plaintiff must prove that the defect in the product existed when the product left the manufacturer’s control. A manufacturer can also be liable if it fails to adequately warn consumers that the product is inclined or predisposed to being dangerous. Manufacturer disclaimers such as “any injury is the responsibility of the consumer” are not enforceable and will likely be stricken by the Court. Another entity to be put under scrutiny is the distributor of the product. If the distributor contributed to the defect, and this can by proven, it could be liable as well.
If you or someone you know or love has been injured by a dangerous or unsafe product or a hazardous material, the Cedar Rapids Product Liability attorneys at VanDerGinst Law can help. You should be aware that in every product liability case, it is essential that the product be preserved and that all paperwork showing the origin of the product be made available. Receipts showing purchase, any repair records, etc., can be vital to building a successful case.
Contact one of our Cedar Rapids Product Liability Attorneys via the contact form on the right or by calling us toll free at 866-843-7367. The initial consultation is FREE of charge. And, if we decide to represent you, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means we only get paid for our services if we recover money for you. It is in your best interest to contact us right away as there may be a statute of limitations regarding your case, i.e., the law may limit the amount of time in which a product liability case can be filed.