Injuries Due to Products

A. Personal Injuries from Dangerous or Defective Products

If you have been injured when using a product that was in a defective or dangerous condition when you purchased it, you may be able to recover damages from the manufacturer or seller in a products-liability-based Personal Injury suit. Product liability law is founded on a principle that a manufacturer or other provider of goods is responsible for ensuring that they are providing safe products for the consumer. The obligation on the product manufacturer is to anticipate the foreseeable use of their products and to design a product that would be safe for that use. If the product manufacturer and/or distributor of a product sells a defective product which is unreasonably dangerous to a foreseeable user, the manufacturer and/or distributor is obligated to pay for damages caused by their defective and unreasonably dangerous product. Injured persons should consult a competent Personal Injury lawyer who can investigate the facts and determine whether they may have a claim against a product manufacturer or seller.

The “Product Liability” law governs the liability of the manufacturer (or other provider) for products that injure anyone that uses them in the manner they were intended to be used. This includes both manufacturers and dealers, as they are in the best position to ensure the safety of their products. In order to determine whether the manufacturer or dealer is responsible for an injury, it is best to consult a knowledgeable, experienced Personal Injury lawyer. A qualified Personal Injury lawyer can advise a client whether or not to pursue a claim against a product provider and develop the legal basis for obtaining compensation for damages caused by a defective and unreasonably dangerous product.

B. The Plaintiff’s Burden in a Product Liability Lawsuit

Simply claiming that a product was defective in design or production is not sufficient to recover damages in a product liability action. The plaintiff has the burden of proving that the product was defective and that the defective nature of the product made the product unreasonably dangerous to a user. The plaintiff must prove that the product was used in a manner that was foreseeable to the manufacturer or that the manufacturer should have anticipated that the product could be misused by a user. If it should have been anticipated that the product could be misused, the manufacturer and/or distributor should instruct foreseeable users how the product could be misused and issue a warning to foreseeable users not to misuse the product. The plaintiff must also establish that the defective nature of the product made the product unreasonably dangerous to users. It is also the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove the product was the legal cause of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. Product liability cases are often technical and complicated and may be difficult to prove. Proof of a product liability claim often requires expert testimony from design engineers that the product was defectively designed and created an unreasonably dangerous hazard to a user.

Injuries Due to Slips/Falls

A. Description

Injuries that occur on someone else’s property may be the legal responsibility of the owners or occupiers of the property. Depending on the rules and principles of the jurisdiction where the injury occurred, liability for damages can include lost wages and medical bills, as well as compensation for pain and suffering. A competent Personal Injury lawyer who has knowledge of the Premises Liability laws will able to determine if an injury sustained in a slip and fall on someone else’s property is the responsibility of the owner of the property. Common causes of slips and falls include improperly designed steps, spilled liquids, and the desire to properly treat ice and snow removal. Slip and fall cases often involve expert testimony from architects and/or engineers about building code violations and the requirement that a business owner exercise reasonable care to make their public premises as safe as it reasonably could have been made. Personal Injury attorneys with premises liability experience are best qualified to advise you on your rights.

B. Liability Principles

A landowner may need to warn users of certain dangerous areas, particularly if the danger is hidden and not obvious to a user of the property. Business owners and owners of buildings open to members of the public may have an obligation to make their property as safe as it reasonably could be made.

The condition of the property and activities of the owners and maintain their property and the conduct of the user of a property are all relevant in determining whether compensation is required to be paid for injuries sustained by a user in a slip and fall case. The user of the property has the burden of showing that the landowner was negligent in failing to properly maintain the property and that the user was exercising reasonable care to avoid the danger and exercise reasonable care for her own safety.

C. Slip and Fall Cases

When someone slips on a foreign substance or falls to a dangerous condition on the property and sustains an injury, they may have a slip and fall Personal Injury case. Common causes of these injuries are icy sidewalks or a slip and fall on food items that fall to the floor in a grocery store. Owners of the property may or may not be liable for the damages due to these injuries due to a variety of unique factual situations. Even though they have a duty to maintain the property and exercise reasonable care to protect their consumers and other visitors, the user of the property is also held to a standard of reasonable care to keep a proper lookout and observe and avoid dangerous conditions on the property.

The owners or possessors of the property may also try to avoid liability by showing that the dangerous condition had not existed for sufficient enough time to permit a reasonable opportunity for the owner or possessor of the property to remove the danger before the injury occurred. This time frame may vary in each individual case, and it is the injured party that has to establish that the owner or possessor of the property had a reasonable period of time in which to find out about the danger and to place a warning about it or fix the problem.