Buying a product gives you the right to expect certain things about it. One of the key expectations is that the product won’t actually cause you any harm. When it comes to consumer products, that shouldn’t be too much to ask. Unfortunately, it often is.
The Georgia product liability lawyers at Shrable Law Firm have come across numerous cases of design and manufacturing defects and can thus never underestimate corporate negligence.
You are always entitled to justice and compensation whenever a defective product causes you harm. Safe and effective products are after all the foundation of a properly functioning economy while dangerous and defective products can ruin that confidence.
Are you a resident of Georgia that wishes to seek the assistance of a trusted injury lawyer in Georgia about a defective product that harmed you? Contact the Shrable Law Firm today at (229) 518-9209 for your free consultation.
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What’s Product Liability Law?
When you buy a product, you are legally entitled to expect the product not to cause you to harm if you use it the right way. Product liability law focuses on a mixture of both state and federal regulations that are designed to protect consumers from dangerous products on the market.
The laws give those that sustain injuries the right to receive compensation from the party or parties responsible for the design, manufacture, marketing, or selling of the product that’s considered dangerous.
If the product was used reasonably but it still caused an injury, you could have a legal right to file a claim. To determine whether or not you have a valid claim, get in touch with one of our Georgia product liability attorneys to discuss the legal options available to you.
What Are Some Examples of Defective Products?
The possibility of defectiveness or causing injury is always present no matter what kind of consumer product that you buy. However, in our experience, some products come up more than others. With such products, there are certain reasons why defects in their design or manufacture make them more dangerous than others.
Our product liability attorneys have helped clients that may have dealt with:
- Defective vehicle parts
- Defective toys
- Defective medical drugs and devices
The above list is far from exhaustive. So, please ensure that you get in touch with our Georgia product liability attorneys if you have been harmed or hurt by a product that’s not on the list above.
What Are the Different Kinds of Product Defects?
A manufacturing defect is when an error is made during the manufacturing of a product thus making it flawed. The product causing the injury is therefore different from the rest of the products in the same market. Examples of manufacturing defects include:
- A vehicle built with substandard parts
- A lamp with a frayed cord
- A tainted batch of cookies
- A cracked coffee pot that leaks hot liquid.
A design defect is when there’s a flaw in the way a product was conceived and manufactured. If a product has a defect in its design, all the products in that line will be defective too and not just one product. Here are examples of design defects:
- A laptop that shocks users when they open it
- A lawnmower’s blade that detaches if it spins too fast
- A model of an SUV that easily flips over since it is top-heavy
Failure to Warn
A failure to warn is different from a defective product. In most instances, a product should have a warning on it if there are dangers that aren’t obvious to the user or where the user is required to use extra care when using it. If there’s no warning where one ought to mean that there’s a failure to warn. Failure to warn examples include:
- A medication that fails to warn of potentially dangerous interactions with other medications
- An adhesive that creates major chemical burns if it comes into contact with human skin
- Knobs on a stove that become too hot to touch once it hits a particular temperature
How to Prove Liability in a Products Liability Case
When liability exists for defective products in Georgia it is on the basis of strict liability. It means that the plaintiff is only required to prove:
- The plaintiff’s injury was proximately caused by the product’s defective condition
- The product was defective once it left the manufacturer’s control
- The product’s manufacturer is the defendant
A determination of fault isn’t necessary when it comes to this claim as it is in other tort claims. The reason for this is that the plaintiff in liability cases is required to show that tort happened and that it was the defendant’s responsibility; that’s it.
What Steps Should You Take After a Defective Product Causes You Injury?
Products can be defective for a variety of reasons. The product’s design is sometimes a problem. Simply put, the product was negligently and dangerously designed. Problems might also exist in how the product was manufactured.
The cause can affect liability. Liability, however, can actually cause and does not erase the pain felt inside after being injured by a product that’s defective. Still, it is important to stay calm and protect your rights after an injury.
Never dispose of the product, and, whenever possible, keep the product. It cannot be stressed enough that you retain possession of the actual product. We have product liability lawyers that can get experts to examine the product, determine whether it is defective, as well as where the defect originated.
When you meet with our product liability lawyers for your free consultation, make sure that you gather all relevant documents that you have regarding the purchase or acquisition of the product and bring them with you to the consultation.
You need to speak to us as soon as possible after the injury. If you do that, it will become easier for us to look into the injury and make the best possible case on your behalf.
How is Fault Determined in a Georgia Product Liability Case?
In Georgia, there are 2 methods used to determine fault:
You are not required to prove that the person or manufacturer is at fault in a strict liability case. You are only required to prove who the manufacturer is, that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer and hit the consumers and that the injury was caused by the defective product.
Things can quickly get complicated when dealing with negligence. When it comes to negligence cases, you are required to show that the distributor or manufacturer failed to fulfill the duty of creating a product that would not cause public harm.
Do I Have a Valid Product Liability Case?
Several factors have to be determined when deciding whether you are entitled to compensation for injuries that a product caused. You will have to determine whether the product is defective when it was purchased; you will also have to determine whether you were using it in a reasonable way, and you will also have to determine whether the defect caused your injuries.
A substantial investigation will be required in some cases to prove that a defect led to a particular injury Keep in mind that each case is unique. If you believe that a dangerous product injured you, always consult an experienced product liability attorney within the shortest time possible.
Shrable Law Firm has skilled attorneys that can handle defective product claims against some of the largest companies in the world. Our professional and experienced staff have the resources needed to investigate your claim thoroughly and give you the advice you deserve.
How Do Defective Products Reach Consumers?
If a product is poorly designed or manufactured, it won’t be a surprise when such a product causes injury. Remember that not all companies will have your best interests at heart when releasing a product into the market.
Large corporations sometimes cut corners on designs, materials, and safety testing to maximize profits. The makers of such products don’t take the money or time to ensure the safety of their products, which makes them dangerous products sold to consumers. You are therefore entitled to compensation if a defective product causes you harm.
The amount of compensation you will receive will depend on several factors. For instance, we have to determine:
- The extent of the injuries
- Whether the injuries will prevent you from working
- The negligence of the parties responsible for the defective product
All these and much more have to be determined before we are able to estimate the value of the claim.
Product liability claims sometimes involve punitive damages. You could be entitled to such damages if the product’s manufacturer demonstrates willful misconduct, wantonness, malice, fraud, oppression, or conscious indifference to the danger the product creates.
What Kind of Damages Are Typically Awarded in Product Liability Cases?
It is up to the court to determine how much damages to awards and the liability laws vary from state to state. In Georgia, however, the modified comparative negligence rule applies. The rule mandates that it is up to the court to determine to what extent each party was at fault for the incident. If the court, for instance, determines that you were 20 percent at fault for the damage, if you are awarded damages, your award will be reduced by 20 percent.
A specific type of negligence rule, which is the most commonly used approach, is modified comparative negligence. It is a rule that states if you are 50 percent at fault or higher, you cannot be entitled to any compensation. The manufacturer or person that you have filed against must be over 50 percent responsible for you to have a chance at compensation.
The damages also have to be present for claims to be valid in Georgia. You cannot, however, be allowed to file a claim if there wasn’t any damage to you on your property. While some states have put limits on the amount of money you can receive in damages, Georgia doesn’t have a cap. When it comes to punitive damages, however, Georgia takes 75 percent awarded in product liability cases.
Is It Possible to Recover Damages If I Actually Contributed to the Accident?
For instance, if there are instructions provided on a tool advising you to wear eye protection when operating it, but you fail to wear eye protection, is it still possible to be compensated for damage to your eyes?
If the tool was defective and this caused shrapnel to fly into your eyes then the tool’s manufacturers are responsible. However, your failure to wear eye protection as warned could have contributed to the injury that you sustained. Your claim may thus be reduced in value due to your being comparatively negligent.
If you are found to be 10 percent responsible for the accident, the value of the claim will drop by 10 percent. Simply put, you could still be entitled to compensation even if you were partly responsible for the injury.
Who Pays Me Compensation If I’m Able to Prove that the Product is Defective?
Product liability claims compensation can come from the product designer, the product manufacturer, the seller, or the wholesaler. The fact is, most of these parties usually carry insurance, which means that such claims will be paid by one or more insurance providers. What’s the key? It is determining that each party that’s negligent to increase your chances of receiving full and fair compensation.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Georgia for Product Liability Lawsuits?
You are only allowed to file claims for product liability damages only within a particular period of time, which varies from one state to the next. The state of Georgia has 2 separate timelines for cases of various types. In personal injury cases, you have 2 years after the date of your injury to file. For injury to personal property, however, you have 4 years after the date of the injury to file.
Contact Our Product Liability Lawyers in Georgia for a Free Consultation!
Are you a resident of Georgia? Have you been hurt by a defective product? Our lawyers would like to hear from you. Please contact the Shrable Law Firm today at (229) 518-9209 for your free consultation.