Consumers often have a subconscious belief that products purchased from popular stores and online retailers are safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Whether the problem is due to defective design, manufacturing, labeling or storage, consumer goods of all types can suffer from dangerous and potentially fatal hidden flaws.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured by a dangerous, defective product, financial compensation may be available. To discuss bringing a personal injury claim for your defective product injury with an experienced Philadelphia product liability attorney, call the Wieand Law Firm for a free and confidential legal consultation at (215) 666-7777. We handle product liability claims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
What is Product Liability Law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey?
Pennsylvania and New Jersey have consumer protection laws that protect our communities from defective products. The term “product liability” refers to the liability of product manufacturers, sellers, and/or designers for injuries or death resulting from the use of their products. This includes:
- Consumer products that are meant for household use.
- Industrial products, such as industrial saws and meat cutters, which are meant for use by businesses and contractors.
Generally speaking, injured workers are precluded from suing their employers for workplace accidents, being covered instead by workers’ compensation. However, if the workplace injury was caused by a third party, such as the manufacturer of a defective forklift or other industrial product, the injured employee may have a case.
Almost all businesses and manufacturers that produce and sell products carry liability insurance to cover product liability claims that result in injury to a consumer.
Types of Product Liability Claims Our Personal Injury Law Firm Handles
Common products that may cause a catastrophic injury or wrongful death often include toys, baby cribs, ladders, and some cosmetic products. Even recreational playground equipment and sports equipment pose a risk if defective. In recent years, notable product recalls have included automobiles, peanut butter, and many children’s toys.
With millions of products sold every single day, it is impossible to supply a complete list of every possible product defect that may occur. However, some examples of defective product claims that are subject to present litigation or are being investigated include:
- Automotive Parts and Systems
- Brake Systems
- Floor Mats
- Ignition Switches
- Baby and Children’s Products
- Cosmetic Products
- Baby Powder (Talcum Powder)
- Hair Products
- Skin Cream
- Dangerous Medications and Prescription Drugs
- Mirena Contraception
- Proton Pump Inhibitors
- Testosterone Gel/Cream
- Yaz/Yasmin Birth Control
- Furniture and Upholstery
- Collapsing Chairs
- Flammable Upholstery
- Home Appliances and Electronics
- Air Conditioners
- Heating Blankets
- Lithium-Ion Batteries
- Space Heaters
- Washing Machines
- Industrial Equipment
- Kitchen Appliances
- Deep Fryers
- Pressure Cookers
- Stoves and Broilers
- Toasters and Toaster Ovens
- Medical Devices
- Hip Implants
- Knee Implants
- Surgical Screws
- Transvaginal Mesh
- Tools and Hardware
- Faulty Wiring
- Nail Guns
- Power Drills
- Step Stools
- 16-Passenger Vans
- Riding Lawnmowers
If you’ve been injured by these or other defective products you have the right to seek legal representation. Call a Pennsylvania or New Jersey product liability attorney at the Wieand Law Firm to discuss your case in a free consultation.
Compensation for Injuries and Wrongful Death Caused by Dangerous Products
If you were injured by a dangerous product compensation may be available for a wide range of losses, expenses, and various personal hardships, known as “damages.” For instance, compensatory damages compensate the victim for his or her losses. Depending on the circumstances, punitive damages – which can be awarded in cases involving malice or recklessness – may also be available.
The details of each person’s situation must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, speaking generally, injury victims may recover compensation for:
- Diminished Earning Capacity (Disability)
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Income
- Loss of Services
- Medical Bills
- Pain and Suffering
- Permanent Scarring and Disfigurement
Steps to Take After You Have Been Injured by a Defective Product
If you are ever injured by a household or industrial product, the first priority is to seek medical care. Your next step should be contacting a product liability lawyer for immediate legal assistance.
Before you contact a lawyer, try to answer the following questions. Knowing this information will help your attorney evaluate and investigate your injury claim with greater efficiency.
- What was the date of the accident? This is important information for any type of product liability case, be it a defective medical device, pharmaceutical drug, or power tool. The reason an attorney will want to know the date of the accident is because the date is vital to determining whether there is enough time left on the statute of limitations to adequately investigate the case.In all cases you should act quickly to preserve your rights. If the statute of limitations is close to expiring (running out of time) there may not be time to thoroughly investigate your case. For this reason, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after being injured by a hazardous product or device.
- Did you Preserve the Product? In many cases, it is critical to preserve the defective product in its present form and condition. The product is often key evidence which experts will inspect to prove your case. In addition to preserving the product itself, you should also try to preserve the packaging and receipts.
- What specific product caused the injury? Before contacting an attorney, try to determine the specific product, as well as the manufacturer of the product. Try to determine the make, model, and identifying numbers or other information which will help identify the product. This information will allow your attorney to begin an investigation as to whether the item is defective.For an up-to-date list of specific products that have been recalled, including their brand names, the nature of the defect, and other information, you can also refer to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which publishes current information about hazardous products on its website. Simply click the “Recalls” button at the top of the page, then select the information you are interested in reading about.
- Where was the item purchased? In some cases, the law allows injury victims to file product liability lawsuits against sellers or retailers of a defective product. These defendants may have an impact on your case’s jurisdiction or venue (where the case is heard), which may influence an attorney’s decision to take the case. Further, whether the product was purchased from a retail store or second-hand at a yard sale is important information that your attorney will want to know about.
- What is your injury? This may sound obvious, but a defective product lawyer will want to know what your injury is, who you were treated by, when you were treated, with what, for how long, and what future treatment is anticipated. This information is important for your attorney to know before negotiating a settlement.
Contact an Experienced Philadelphia Product Liability Attorney for Help
When a company sells a dangerous consumer or commercial product – and in some cases, even works to conceal the hazard from the public – it should be held responsible for the harm and suffering it causes for innocent consumers and workers. The Wieand Law Firm is committed to pursuing justice for members of our community who have been injured by defective products in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
When Disaster Happens. The Wieand Law Firm is here to help. Call us today at (215) 666-7777.
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