Every day we buy products with the expectation that they will work correctly, and for the most part, they do. When a product doesn’t work as intended, it can cause serious injuries, some with long-term impacts.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a defective product, know that you have legal rights. You can make a claim against the product manufacturer to get the compensation you deserve. The process of filing a claim against a manufacturer can be difficult, which is why it’s important to speak with a defective product attorney in Suffolk County.
Since 1957, the attorneys at Carner & DeVita have helped victims who’ve been wrongfully injured by defective products. Call us at 631-380-4417 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
How are manufacturers held liable for a defective product?
Manufacturers are required to test their products to ensure they’re safe for consumers. When a manufacturer fails to ensure that their product is safe for consumers – even when used exactly as designed – they’re liable for damages under strict liability laws.
These laws dictate that you can sue the manufacturer without proving that they were negligent. However, negligence in the design, manufacturing, or sale of the defective product can strengthen your case.
In addition to strict liability suits, you can also sue for breach of contract. This could include an actual written contract included with the product, or it could include an unspoken agreement (“implied warranty”) that the product will work as expected.
Examples of product defects that can cause harm
The following is a quick look at some of the specific types of product defects that can cause severe injuries or deaths.
A “manufacturing defect” is an issue that occurs after a product is designed but before it’s distributed. The product’s design might have been safe, but something went wrong during the manufacturing process and you suffered harm as a result. A manufacturing defect can occur in an entire line or batch of products or even in one product and the rest of the batch was fine.
Take a batch of prescription medicine, for example. The batch may have been designed properly, but during the manufacturing process, hundreds of bottles could be contaminated if the equipment wasn’t properly sanitized.
If the screws used to put together a toy are too small, that toy could burst open during operation and cause a serious injury. It’s possible that only one toy received small screws, or even that only one screw was too small, but that toy was nonetheless manufactured improperly.
A design defect is arguably worse because regardless of what occurs during manufacturing, the product is going to be dangerous. If a company knows that its design is faulty, it has an obligation to find and implement ways to increase the safety of the product. If it fails to make the necessary modifications, it could be held liable for any injuries that result.
For example, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were notorious for rolling over when they were first introduced to the market, so vehicle manufacturers changed the way they were designed, significantly reducing rollover accidents in the process.
Failure to warn
Finally, manufacturers can be sued if they don’t warn about the risks and/or side effects of using a product. For instance, if a toy has small parts, but there’s no warning from the manufacturer about a choking hazard, you may be able to sue if your child gets injured.
To determine whether a manufacturer has sold a product that would be deemed legally defective, an engineer or other expert may need to examine the item. For that reason, it’s imperative that you keep the suspect product, or fully document its condition with accurate photos.
Of course, these are general guidelines. New York has specific laws regarding liability for defective products. A defective product attorney in Suffolk County at Carner & DeVita can review the details of your case with you and determine the best course of action to take. Call 631-380-4417 today for a free consultation.
Types of defective product lawsuits
Most often, defective product lawsuits are handled in state court, but sometimes they must be brought in federal court. This is most commonly seen when a large number of people are injured by the same product, which gives rise to class action lawsuits or multidistrict litigation (MDLs) may be filed.
A class action lawsuit is filed when a large group of people all suffer similar injuries and it becomes impractical to file individual suits for every injured party, especially if they live in different states. When the class action lawsuit is filed, evidence and other aspects of the litigation are consolidated to make a much stronger case.
If there aren’t widespread injuries related to the product that injured you, you still have the right to pursue an individual personal injury lawsuit. With proper evidence, manufacturers may be eager to settle your case quickly out of court.
Before you accept any kind of settlement, consult with a defective product attorney in Suffolk County. They will evaluate any offer you receive and determine whether it’s the best path forward. In some cases, they may recommend going to court instead of accepting the settlement.
If your case is taken to court, your attorney will try to gather a lot of evidence to make sure you get full compensation. This may include witness statements, medical records, expert testimony, and the defective product itself. As such, it’s important to make sure you keep track of every document you can.
- Any written warranty
- Packaging the product came in
- Medical documentation of treatment received for injury
- Photos of the defective product
- And more
Your Suffolk County defective products lawyer will provide more information about this process and the best legal path forward.
How long do I have to file a defective product lawsuit in New York?
In New York you have three years from the date you were injured or became aware that you were harmed by the product to file a defective product lawsuit–this is called the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations is very important because if you don’t take legal action before it expires, you won’t be able to file the lawsuit and won’t have any recourse.
Although you have three years to file, it’s in your best interests to file a lawsuit much earlier than that, because it will take your attorney time to properly investigate your claim and determine who’s liable for your injury.
How can a defective product lawyer help me?
You’ve likely incurred a lot of financial losses due to your injuries such as medical expenses, the money you’ve lost due to being unable to work, the emotional distress you’ve experienced, and more. These and other losses are known as damages. When you file a lawsuit, you’ll be doing so in an attempt to recover those damages.
In order to have the best chance of success, you’re going to need the help of an attorney who has a great deal of experience in these kinds of cases–the lawyers with Carner & DeVita have that experience.
Your lawyer can also counter the insurance company’s arguments that you’re not as injured as you claim or that your injury was your fault. Your attorney from Carner & DeVita can give you the personal attention you need throughout the entire case and will work to obtain a fair settlement on your behalf that will include the financial losses you’ve sustained so far, but also others you might accumulate in the future.
Speak to a defective product attorney in Suffolk County today
At Carner & DeVita, our team of highly experienced Suffolk County personal injury lawyers are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. We’ve helped victims find justice for their injuries for more than 50 years.
Whether you’re offered a settlement, need to take your case to court, or are included in a class action lawsuit, having an experienced attorney by your side can be invaluable. Call the Suffolk County personal injury lawyers at Carner & DeVita today at 631-380-4417 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.