Product Liability Attorneys in Washington, DC
WE HELP VICTIMS OF DEFECTIVE & DANGEROUS PRODUCTS
Every year, individuals buy and use products that are expected to be safe when used in the manner intended. Most products used in our daily lives function as expected. However, there are instances where you or a loved one can be injured by a defective, dangerous, or faulty product. You may be eligible to recover compensation for damages and injuries sustained in a product liability accident.
Our attorneys at Fay Law Group have worked for more than 50 years representing victims who have been harmed while using defective or dangerous products in serious accidents. Our product liability attorneys have held manufacturers and other parties liable under the law for any harm they have caused and to ensure they provide reliable products that are safe for consumer use.
We work diligently to establish your claim, help you to gather necessary evidence, and prepare you for settlement or trial based on the circumstances of your claim. By utilizing the many resources we have available to our firm, and keeping state laws in mind, we can work closely with you to fight aggressively against liable parties. For help with your product liability claim, please do not hesitate to reach out to us today at (202) 589-1300 for the help you deserve.
What is Product Liability?
Product liability laws have been instituted to determine who is liable for defective and dangerous products. Under these laws, a product should meet the ordinary expectations of consumers when used in the manner intended. If it is found that a product is not working as it is expected to work and is instead harmful to consumers due to defects or dangers, then it must be recalled and become unavailable for consumer purchase or use. State laws typically dictate product liability claims and hold parties responsible for the harm that they have caused.
When a consumer decides to file a claim based on injuries received from a defective product, they will have to prove that the defect caused the injuries sustained. There are various types of product liability claims that you may be entitled to receive compensation based on the issues that are present in your claim. Here are the types of defects that can lead to these claims:
- Manufacturing Defects: Manufacturing defects are some of the most common claims that take place involving products in the U.S. These defects occur when there are problems with the way that a product was made. These defects commonly arise from errors that take place on the assembly line. For instance, perhaps a batch of brakes on the assembly line was being produced with a piece missing. This would cause only that batch of brakes to be defective, while the other batches from that assembly line work in the manner expected.
- Design Defects: In design defect cases, an entire line of products could be dangerous due to the fact that the manufacturing was done correctly but the design itself was inherently dangerous in nature. Sometimes, when designers are looking over the blueprints and specifications that go into determining if a certain product is ready for manufacture, they might miss key aspects. Perhaps there were foreseeable risks that were missed, such as a product that was targeted to a young child, yet it has parts that can cause them to choke on the small parts. Proving that a design was not safe involves being able to show how a similar product could be made safer at the same cost. Presenting proof will require an expert to testify on your behalf if you or a loved one were harmed.
- Failure to Warn: Marketing defects are commonly referred to as “failure to warn” cases and are brought when a company does not provide adequate instructions on how to use a product. The manufacturer may not advise that there are certain risks associated with the use of the product, even though the company itself is aware of the risks. Pharmaceutical companies are known for failing to warn by not providing an appropriate breakdown of the side effects that could be experienced from using one of their medications. You must be able to show, as a victim, that you suffered injuries from using a product due to the fact that there were risks associated with the product that was not disclosed to you.
- Breach of Warranty: Perhaps a product came with a warranty but the product did not live up to the warranty, and you have suffered injuries as a result of the breach.
It will need to be proven that one of the parties involved has acted negligently and owes you compensation for the losses that you have sustained. There are three areas of product liability that needs to be proven, in order to successfully proceed with your case. These are:
Strict Liability: You, as the plaintiff, are not expected to show that the manufacturer acted in a negligent fashion. Instead, you must be able to prove that the product was being used in a way it was intended and caused your injuries due to its defects.
Negligence: It must be proven that the manufacturer owed a reasonable duty of care to the victim. The manufacturer or other related parties must have breached their duty to the victim and that the breach of this duty led to your injuries.
Warranty: Under express warranty, you must be able to show that the manufacturer represented that their product is safe for use when it is used in its intended fashion. Under implied warranty cases, you must show that the manufacturer somehow implied that their product is safe when used correctly.
The first step is a free consultation. Give us a call at (202) 589-1300 to get started!
Types of Product Liability Cases We Handle
Our lawyers have experience successfully recovering money damages for people injured in defective product cases involving:
- Home appliance defects
- Furnace and boiler defects
- Seat belt and air bag failure
- Toys, cribs, and other children’s products
- Defective industrial equipment
- Injuries from electrical shock, electrocution
- Power tool injuries, table saw accidents
- Defective drugs and medical devices
What if You Weren’t Using the Product Correctly?
The courts have ruled that manufacturers are responsible for the safe design and manufacture of products if the consumer is using the product in a reasonably safe manner, for its intended purpose. Even if you were not following exact manufacturer’s instructions, but were acting responsibly, you may still pursue compensation for your financial damages.
Common Types of Product Liability Claims
Every year, product liability claims are brought against manufacturers and other parties for a variety of reasons. Product designers, manufacturers, and other individuals and entities in the chain-of-command have a responsibility to keep consumers safe from harm. When they do not act responsibly, the most common categories of product liability claims that are brought against them are as follows:
Automotive Equipment: Vehicles are involved in crashes every day in the country. With the condition of our roads, it is imperative that vehicles and all of their equipment work as they were intended to work per the manufacturer’s standards. There are many types of product liability claims that are filed every year due to negligence that takes place in the automotive manufacturing process. Brakes are one of the most important parts of a car that keeps those in the vehicle safe but tend to be the number one car part that malfunctions due to poor manufacturing. In order to prove your product liability case, you must be able to prove that the vehicle or its parts were defective in design, manufacture, or warranty.
Pharmaceuticals: Many Americans rely on pharmaceuticals every day to control conditions and diseases that affect their health. Pharmaceutical companies are held to the highest duty of care to keep us safe from harm. In most cases, the drugs and medical equipment available for our use are designed to save our lives. When there is a manufacturing issue, the failure of medication to work as intended could cause serious complications, even lead to death.
If you have been harmed by a pharmaceutical that was intended to help you with a specific condition, you could bring a claim against a manufacturer if they failed to warn about the specific side effects you could experience or the harm that a product has caused others. Pharmaceuticals are expected to go through rigorous testing to comply with standard levels of care. It is inexcusable if a pharmaceutical manufacturer does convey the knowledge that they possess when their product is known for causing harm.
Consumer Products: There are many household products we use on a daily basis that can cause harm, even if used as intended by the manufacturer. There is a higher burden of proof in these cases because it must be proven that the injuries caused were done so when the product was being used in the way it was intended, and not caused by consumer misuse or accidents not related to the manufacturer. For instance, if you were struck over the head by a product that fell from a balcony, the manufacturer would not be liable for the injuries caused. The liability would lie on another party, presumably the owner of the establishment.
However, some products are inherently dangerous and are the center of lawsuits every year. These products include electronics that are known to catch fire, household chemicals which have toxins in them that are not properly labeled, furniture that is known to break and collapse, and other products that knowingly cause harm. In any case, it must be proven that you sustained injuries from a damaged or defective product while you were in the process of using the product as intended by the manufacturer.
Home Machinery: Home machinery is used by many homeowners to help lessen their burdens at home. The machinery could include, but not limited to, lawnmowers, weed whackers, and chainsaws. However, when one of these pieces of equipment is defective, the use of them can lead to sudden injury and even death.
Workplace Equipment: Claims including workplace equipment are not straightforward and can be very complex situations in which to prove liability. If you are harmed by a piece of equipment in the workplace, you would need to prove that your injuries are caused by the use of the defective or damaged equipment and not neglect by an employer. If an employer had a reasonable knowledge of the faulty equipment and did not attempt to correct the error prior to your use, they can also be held liable for your injuries.
Children’s Toys: Babies and children are offered special protections under the law in regards to product liability. They are some of the most vulnerable members of our society and are not expected to understand if a product is free from defects and safe for use. Manufacturers have a heightened level of care when producing toys for babies and children. Due to prior litigation, manufacturers are required to put warning labels on products where a child could easily choke if they were to put the object in their mouths. If a manufacturer neglects to put one of these labels on a product and a child is injured or dies as a result, claims could arise. There is no loss measurable to losing a child, which is what makes these claims extremely difficult to litigate.
Receiving Damages in Your Product Liability Claim
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a product liability accident, you could be entitled to compensation for injuries or damages. Compensatory damages, such as out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, lost wages, future therapies, and surgeries, are elements that could be recovered. Non-compensatory damages could also be recovered. These damages are non-economic losses, such as loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.
Some manufacturers and other liable entities will be forced to pay what is known as punitive damages for the losses and damages you have sustained. These damages are meant to be more of a punishment for a person when they have acted maliciously or recklessly and, as a result, you have sustained injuries. These damages are meant to deter similar actions by them or others in the future. They are rarely awarded in personal injury cases and require special circumstances.
Get Started on Your Case Today
Our Washington, D.C. and Maryland product liability attorneys at Fay Law Group would like to give an honest assessment of your case, once we have evaluated your situation. We do not work for a quick settlement, but instead, work to recover the maximum compensation you deserve. Our attorneys have the knowledge and skill to navigate the complex legal system and aggressively work on your behalf. We will assist you in preparing for any course your case may lead, either settlement or litigation. If you or someone you love has been injured or lost their lives due to injuries sustained in a product liability accident, please contact us at (202) 589-1300.
Get more information that applies to your specific situation by calling a Washington DC product liability lawyer at (202) 589-1300. We help clients in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
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