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Product Liability Lawyer New York City

Every year, thousands of people receive injuries or die as a result of unsafe consumer products. The people and corporations responsible for the design, manufacture, and distribution of these unsafe products should be held responsible. Depending on the type of injury, there are different types of product liability claims that a personal injury attorney can file on your behalf.

An experienced New York product liability lawyer from Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can help you through this process and determine the best course of action. Contact us today to request a free consultation.

Common Defective Products

People do not typically expect the products they use to be unsafe. Unfortunately, it happens all too often in New York. The most common products that appear in product liability claims include:

Doctors prescribe drugs every day in New York and typically, patients do not research the drugs they are given. Some of the drugs that have commonly appeared in product liability claims in recent years include Zantac, Actos, Zoloft, Prozac, and more.

Food products go through a long process before they reach the hands of consumers. Farmers and manufacturers produce the food, different companies distribute the food, and in many cases, other companies then prepare the food. When proper food handling practices are not put in place, food can become cross-contaminated or spoiled. Due to the fact that one type of product can be distributed to thousands or millions, many people can become sick.

Vehicles are a product that can cause the worst injuries when they are defective, even wrongful death. General Motors, for instance, is a company that has been in the news repeatedly for defective vehicle parts, with the most noteworthy defect involving vehicle ignitions that shut off the engine while the car was in motion.

Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their toys and other children’s products are safe. Some of the most common product liability claims involving children’s products include choking hazards or products that exposed children to toxic substances, such as lead.

The equipment used on construction sites is already dangerous. When equipment is defective, it has the potential to not only harm the construction workers using it, but also innocent bystanders.

Any time individuals are hurt by these defective products, or any other, they should speak to a knowledgeable NYC product liability lawyer who can help with their case.

Damages Available in Product Liability Claims

When filing a product liability claim, you are seeking damages for your losses. The most common damages in these claims are as follows:

  • Medical costs
  • Permanent total or partial disability
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Property damages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

While these are the most common types of damages in product liability cases, every case is unique. A product liability lawyer at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. will review your case, outline all of your losses, and fairly evaluate your claim, so you recover the full amount of damages you deserve.

Types of Product Liability Cases

There are several types of product liability cases you should be aware of, including negligence, breach of warranty, and defects. Here’s what you need to know:

A common type of product liability requires you to prove that the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer was negligent in selling you an unsafe product. In order to prove negligence, you or your New York product liability attorney must demonstrate the following:

  • There was a duty owed to deliver a safe product
  • The responsible party failed in this duty
  • The failure resulted in your injury
  • That damages resulted because of the injury

In strict liability cases, you do not have the extra proof of showing negligence. Because of the nature of the product itself, the manufacturer should know that injury might result due to its use. Holding manufacturers strictly liable is meant to ensure safer products. You still need to prove that the product caused an injury that resulted in some sort of loss or damages.

With breach of warranty claims, you must prove that the manufacturer or any other entity in the supply chain broke a written or implied warranty of safety.

There are three basic types of defects that lead to unsafe products:

  • Design defects: A product that has a defective design will likely cause harm regardless of what happens during the manufacturing process. For example, if a chair is designed with only three legs instead of four, making it easier to tip over, that is a design defect that could hurt consumers.
  • Manufacturer defects: Unlike design defects, manufacturing defects involve a mistake made during the manufacturing process. Using the example above, the design of a chair may include four legs. However, if one of those legs is not produced during the manufacturing process, the claim will be based on a manufacturing defect.
  • Insufficient instructions or warning: Certain products, such as chainsaws, are inherently dangerous. Manufacturers are responsible for recognizing this and warning consumers of the danger. When a warning is not present with dangerous products, manufacturers can be held liable for failing to warn.

It is often difficult for accident victims to determine what type of defect caused their injuries, particularly when the defect occurred during the design or manufacturing phase. This is one way a product liability lawyer is of a great help with these types of claims. Our attorneys are very experienced with these claims and will understand what to look for when determining the type of defect the product contained.

Evidence in Product Liability Claims

Like any other personal injury claim, those involving defective products rely on evidence to prove your claim. The single most important piece of evidence in a defective product claim is the product itself. It is crucial that you do not tamper with the product or change it in any way. For example, if you were injured in a car accident due to defective brakes, it is important that you do not get the brakes repaired before a decision is made in your case.

Other important evidence includes any documents that prove you sustained injuries as a result of using the defective product. Photographs are very useful, as they can indicate the severity of your injuries soon after the accident. Medical reports and charts can also prove the extent of your injuries and the fact that it was the defective product that caused your injury.

Time Limit for Filing a Product Liability Claim

Product liability claims have a statute of limitations placed on them. The statute of limitations is a legal term that indicates how much time you have to file your claim. The time limit starts from the day of the accident and ends at the time you file your claim—not when a settlement has been agreed to or when a final decision has been made by a judge.

In New York, the statute of limitations on product liability claims is three years from the date of the accident. In some cases, an exception may be made if you did not discover your injuries until a later date. For example, if a defective piece of construction equipment hit you in the head and caused a concussion, you may not discover the injury until days or weeks later. Concussions often do not show symptoms until some time has passed since the accident. In this case, the clock on the statute of limitations will start ticking on the day you discovered the injury.

Get Legal Help Today

Many people wait to contact a product liability lawyer, because they think the three-year statute of limitations is a long time. It is important to understand that three years is not a lot of time. Prior to filing a claim, a lawyer will conduct an investigation to determine how the accident happened, establish liability, and collect evidence to prove your claim. All of this takes time, so it is essential to speak to an attorney as soon as possible so the claims process can begin immediately, and so you do not lose out on the compensation you deserve.

If you have been injured or a loved one has died because of a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced team at Silberstein, Awad, & Miklos, P.C., are available to help you with your case and are ready to fight for your rights. Contact our knowledgeable New York product liability lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.