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Queens Product Liability Attorney
People use a variety of products every day, but they never expect to be hurt by them. Unfortunately, defective products cause very serious injuries more common than many people think. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure no one will become injured by their products, but sadly, not all companies take this obligation seriously. If you have been injured by a defective product, it is important to know you can claim damages for your medical bills, lost income, and more.
Going up against big manufacturers is never easy. If you have been hurt, our Queens product liability attorneys can help you navigate the claims process and ensure you receive the fair settlement you deserve.
What is Product Liability Law?
Product liability law states that manufacturers and businesses alike must ensure their product is safe and free of any defects that could cause injury. When a product is inherently dangerous, such as a household cleaner that is toxic, manufacturers must warn consumers of the danger. When manufacturers do not meet their legal obligations and you or someone you love becomes hurt as a result, you can file a claim for damages.
Types of Product Liability Claims
Unlike other types of personal injury claims, such as car accident cases, you can file a product liability claim using three different legal theories, including:
- Negligence: If the manufacturer, seller, or other liable party did not use reasonable care when handling the product, they can be found negligent. Negligence can take a number of forms, including a lack of testing, a failure to provide clear instructions for the use of the product, and unreasonably failing to take advances in science and technology into account.
- Strict liability: Manufacturers and vendors can be found strictly liable if the product was not appropriate for its intended use or if it is determined that the risks of using the product outweigh the benefits. When filing a claim based on strict liability, you do not have to prove the manufacturer or vendor was negligent, which can be very beneficial as you navigate the process.
- Breach of warranty: You can hold a manufacturer liable if the product fails to live up to its claim. The claim can be either explicit or implicit. Most products have an implied warranty that when a product is used properly, it will not result in injury.
If you have been hurt by a defective product, a Queens product liability attorney can help you determine which type of claim to file.
Parties in Product Liability Claims
To file a lawsuit, you must have standing, which means you must have suffered an injury or other loss for which you are seeking compensation. In some cases, you can also file a claim on someone else’s behalf. For example, if your child was injured by a defective product, you can file a claim on their behalf. While you may immediately know who the plaintiff in your case is, it is not so easy to determine who the defendant, or liable party, is.
Defendants in a product liability claim consist of anyone who handled the product whose handling resulted in a defect. Potential defendants in product liability claims may include manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and distributors. Determining which party is liable for your injuries is challenging, but a product liability attorney can make it easier.
Commonly Defective Products
While a defect in any product may be enough to cause a serious injury, there are some products that are more commonly defective than others. These include:
- Vehicles and vehicle parts
- Children’s toys
- Power tools
- Construction equipment
- Medication and pharmaceutical drugs
- Medical devices, particularly meshes and IV filters
- JUUL vape pens
- Talcum powder
You can file a claim any time a defective product causes you injury. However, if you are filing a claim over a very common defective product, you may have the option of joining a class action lawsuit or filing your own individual claim. For example, at the end of 2020, a decision was made in a class action lawsuit against General Motors that was in favor of the plaintiffs in the case. The lawsuit revolved around a defective ignition in GM vehicles.
Common Injuries Caused by Defective Products
Defective products cause a number of serious injuries. The most common of these include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Soft tissue injuries
Sadly, not everyone survives an accident caused by a defective product. For example, if the brakes in a vehicle are defective, a driver may not be able to stop and may be killed in a car accident. Any time someone is killed due to a defective product, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party.
You Have a Limited Time to File a Claim
You only have a limited amount of time to file your product liability claim, so it is important to speak to a Queens product liability attorney as soon as possible. The time limit on your claim is known as the statute of limitations. In New York, you have only three years from the day you were injured. If the statute of limitations has expired and you have not filed your claim, you will likely lose the right to claim any damages at all.
It is important to note that while your claim must be filed within three years, your case does not have to be finalized during that time. The statute of limitations only applies to when you file, not when your case is closed.
Get Legal Help Today
If you or someone you love has been hurt by a defective product, our Queens product liability attorneys can help. At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., we know how to go up against the big manufacturers and insurers so you recover the fair settlement you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.