When you use a product, you expect it to be safe for its intended purpose, and if there are any potential dangers, you expect them to be clearly outlined. As a consumer, this is your right, and manufacturers should take appropriate measures to keep you safe from harm.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury from a defective product or inadequate warnings, then the manufacturer could be liable for all the resulting damages. However, going up against large corporations is never easy, and you should speak to an experienced product liability lawyer as soon as possible.
At Holman Schiavone, LLC, our Missouri product liability lawyers are prepared to represent clients in even the most complex cases, such as those involving a manufacturing defect, medical devices, children’s toys, asbestos materials, and more.
We will investigate your claims, gather evidence, negotiate on your behalf, and will always be prepared to fight for your rights in front of a Judge if necessary. From start to finish, we will be your fiercest advocates.
Have you suffered a serious personal injury caused by a defective product? Contact us today online or by telephone at 816-320-6108 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced product liability attorneys.
Product Liability Lawsuits
We represent plaintiffs in lawsuits against manufacturers of unsafe consumer products. The scope of our product liability practice includes:
In addition to providing compensation for your injuries, lost income and pain and suffering, a successful product liability claim can help to get unsafe products off the market and protect other consumers. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you obtain financial compensation for your personal injury, as well as holding product manufacturers accountable.
Common Product Liability Claims
Regardless of the product that caused your injury, you should speak with a Missouri product liability lawyer to determine whether you could have a valid claim for compensation. Some of the most common product liability claims we see include:
- Medical Devices – Medical devices such as port catheters, hip replacements, pacemakers, and prosthetic limbs can cause catastrophic injuries if they are defective or dangerous.
- Medications – Unlabeled side effects or contamination in medications can have disastrous effects. This can be especially traumatic for people who have been taking medications for a long time without knowing the harm they have done to them.
- Auto Parts – When a vehicle part, such as an airbag or a wheel, is defective, it can lead to a road traffic accident and could result in a number of victims who may be owed compensation.
- Children’s Toys – Parents do everything possible to keep their children safe, and so when a child is injured by a toy, it is incredibly frustrating. It is essential that defective toys are quickly recalled.
- Home Tools – Home tools such as lawnmowers, drills, saws, and electric equipment can cause severe and life-threatening injuries when they are defective or dangerous. It is essential that these forms of equipment come with proper instructions and warnings.
What is Product Liability Law?
Product liability is a type of personal injury law where a person is injured due to a faulty product or inadequate warnings. Manufacturers may be found liable for damages incurred by their consumers if they are injured by a defective product.
When the court is deciding whether a product is defective, they will consider two standards.
- Consumer Expectation Standard – This standard takes into account the nature of the product and its intended use and asks if the danger was unknowable and unacceptable.
- The Risk Utility Standard – This standard considers whether the risk of harm outweighs the benefits. It also takes into account any warnings about foreseeable harm, any instructions provided with the product, whether there are safer alternatives to the product, and the expectations of the product from its marketing.
Under product liability law, anyone injured by a product, whether a consumer or bystander, may be owed compensation if they are injured by a defective product. Even if the danger was unforeseeable and the manufacturer took measures to ensure the product’s safety, victims may still be able to claim compensation.
Types of Product Liability
The majority of personal injury claims are founded on negligence. However, product liability tends to work a little differently. Most product liability claims are based on strict liability or breach of warranty, although negligence may also be used in some cases.
Your Missouri product liability attorney will review your case and determine which avenue to compensation gives you the best chance of success.
Breach of Warranty
There are two types of warranty, express and implied.
- Express Warranty – An express warranty is a promise made by the manufacturer, either in writing or verbally, that the product will fulfill a particular purpose for a set amount of time. It could be regarding the quality, use, or suitability of the product and may be found in the instructions or marketing. For example, if a glue promises to be suitable to bond plastic and someone uses it on the bumper of their car, and it fails and causes injury, then they could be owed compensation based on breach of express warranty.
- Implied Warranty – Implied warranty states that the consumer should be able to use a product for the intended purpose without it posing an unreasonable risk of harm.
Strict liability places focus on the product rather than the intentions of the manufacturer. Even if the manufacturer did not act negligently, if the product can be shown to be unreasonably dangerous, then the manufacturer can still be held liable for the resulting injuries.
The manufacturer may have tested their product and was unaware of any potential dangers. However, under strict liability, they could be liable.
Product liability claims can also sometimes be based on negligence, meaning the manufacturer acted unreasonably. For example, if they failed to properly test their product, were aware of dangers, and failed to inform consumers properly, then they may have behaved negligently.
In order to prove negligence, your Missouri product liability lawyer will need to show that:
- You Were Owed a Duty of Care – All manufacturers owe a duty of care to consumers of their products.
- The Duty of Care Was Breach – The manufacturer breaches their duty of care by acting in an unreasonable manner, such as failing to warn of a known danger.
- The Breach Caused Your Injuries – The breach must have directly caused your injuries.
- Your Injuries Led to Damages – Finally, your injuries must have led to damages such as medical expenses.
What Damages Are Available in a Missouri Product Liability Claim?
Compensatory damages are any losses that you have incurred due to your injuries, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Your product liability lawyer will gather evidence to investigate how much your damages are worth and will use this figure to fight for a fair settlement, one that is truly representative of your suffering.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, then you should be compensated for all of your related medical expenses, including hospital bills, medication costs, physical therapy, transport to and from appointments, and more.
If your injuries are ongoing or even life-long, then you should also be compensated for the cost of future expenses. In order to evidence what the cost of your future treatment will be, your attorney may draw upon expert testimony.
If your injuries have left you unable to work, then your lost earnings should also be compensated for. Once again, if these costs are likely to continue, then you should also be compensated for the loss of earning potential.
If a defective product damages your property, then you should be compensated for any related expenses. For example, if a faulty kitchen appliance caused a fire, then you should be compensated for the cost of replacing all your damaged property.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is the legal term used to describe the emotional suffering that has resulted from your injuries. Physical pain or life-limiting injuries can have a significant impact on a victim’s mental health, and it is important that this is compensated for.
Pain and suffering damages tend to be contentious and so it is important that you have the help of an experienced attorney who can fight for a settlement that is representative of your suffering.
Wrongful Death of a Loved One
If you have lost a family member due to a defective product, then you may be able to claim compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Although this cannot possibly heal your grief, it can relieve the financial hardship associated with losing a loved one, such as the loss of income to a family household and lingering medical bills.
At Holman Schiavone, LLC, we will take over your case so that you can focus on what’s important at this difficult time. We understand the care and dedication these cases require and will fight for the compensation you deserve.
What to do After Suffering Injuries From Dangerous Products
When you suffer an injury from a defective product, deciding what to do next can feel overwhelming. When you contact a product liability attorney, they can advise you on your next steps based on the specific details of your case. However, there are some key steps that all victims can take to help protect both their health and their right to compensation.
Call Emergency Services if Necessary
Depending on the nature of the accident, you may need to call emergency services to the scene. For example, if your car fails and causes an accident, then you will need to call the police to the scene. Another example could be if a kitchen appliance causes a fire, you will need to call the fire department. If anyone is seriously injured, then you may also need to call paramedics to the scene.
Emergency services will deal with the immediate danger, and they will also file a report which will be used by your attorney to provide evidence of what occurred.
Seek Medical Assistance
After suffering an injury, your first priority should always be your health. Remember, adrenaline can mask the extent of your injuries, and it is essential you are seen by a medical professional who can assess your health and manage your injuries. You may need to call an ambulance to the scene, but if not, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Not only will quick medical attention help to protect your health, but your medical record will also serve as an integral piece of evidence in your claim.
File a Report
There are some scenarios where you may need to file an official report. For example, if your injury occurred in the workplace, then you may need to file an incident report. Or if you were in a car accident, then you may need to speak with your insurance company.
Any report you make may be used as evidence in your claim. Therefore, it is essential that you do not admit fault in any way. Our advice is to remain vague about what occurred and speak to an attorney quickly so that they can take over negotiations and protect your right to compensation.
The more evidence you have to support your claim, the better. Here are some things you can do to help protect the evidence in your case:
- Keep the product in the same condition it is in after causing you harm. If you still have the packaging, documents that came with it, or receipts, then this could also be valuable, and you should keep them safe.
- If anyone witnessed the accident occurring, then you should ask them for their name and number so that your attorney can contact them.
- If the accident caused visible damage to anything, then you should take photos of anything that could be relevant such as property damage, broken glass, and physical injuries.
- If your injuries allow, then keep a diary of your injuries and the effect that they are having on your life. For example, perhaps you go for a run every Saturday but are not able to; this should be documented. You should also keep track of all expenses related to your injuries, such as childcare while you are at appointments or adjustments to your home.
Secure Legal Representation
To maximize your chances of just and fair compensation, you should contact a Missouri product liability lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner, the better, as they will get to work quickly to protect evidence and investigate your claims.
At Holman Schiavone, LLC, we are uniquely prepared to handle product liability claims. We are tested trial lawyers and are unafraid to face large corporations and their legal teams. We represent clients across Kansas and Missouri, including Overland Park and St Louis.
Product Liability Lawyers and What They Can Do For You
Product liability claims tend to be more challenging than other forms of personal injury claims, such as car accidents. An experienced product liability attorney will fight for a fair settlement and will understand how to deal with large corporations and their legal teams so that you are not taken advantage of.
Large product manufacturers will have skilled legal teams whose job it is to limit their liability and save them from paying out large amounts of compensation. However, when you have representation from an experienced product liability law firm, such as Holman Schiavone, LLC, you level the playing field.
One thing that makes us stand out from the crowd is that we are always prepared to take a case to court, no matter the size of the corporation. We have a reputation for being fierce courtroom attorneys, which means that the liable party is more likely to offer a fair settlement rather than risk losing more in a court case.
Although we are fierce advocates in the courtroom, we also truly care about our clients. We take a highly personalized approach which allows us to understand the suffering our clients have been through so that we can fight for a settlement that compensates them for their emotional suffering and future losses.
Our Missouri product liability lawyers will investigate your claim, gather as much evidence as possible, liaise with experts, and negotiate on your behalf.
How Can a Product Be Defective or Dangerous?
A dangerous or defective product is any product that causes an injury when used for its intended purpose. Generally, there are three ways that a product can be defective or dangerous, marketing error, manufacturing error, or design failure.
A product should come with proper instructions and information. If the information provided is incorrect or insufficient, and this leads to the consumer’s injuries, then they may be owed compensation. Consumers should not be expected to know how to use a product if they are not properly informed. They can also not make an informed decision about whether to use a product if the potential side effects are not properly listed.
For example, if a prescription drug does not list all potential side effects and a consumer suffers side effects that they were not warned about, then they could have a claim for compensation.
Sometimes a product is designed well, but the manufacturers of the product make an error, making it unsafe. For example, perhaps harmful chemicals are used during the production process. If a manufacturing error is the cause of injury, then defects are not usually present in every product, only in particular batches.
It is also possible that the design of the product was inherently dangerous. If this is the case, then your attorney may need to fight for the product to be recalled, so that future harm is prevented.
In most cases involving design defects, strict liability will be used, which means that it won’t be necessary to prove that anyone acted negligently.
Contact Holman Schiavone, LLC Today For a Free Consultation
If you have been injured due to a defective or dangerous product, then it is important to take action quickly. Not only do you deserve compensation for your injuries, but you may also be helping to protect future consumers from suffering in the same way that you have.
Product liability claims are notoriously complex, but at Holman Schiavone, LLC, we are uniquely prepared for the challenges they pose. We will fight for fair compensation and will hold liable parties accountable.
Our experienced attorneys have a long track record of helping victims of defective products secure the compensation they deserve. We offer a free consultation to all victims of personal injury, so do not hesitate to contact us today and find out if you have a valid claim.
Schedule a free initial consultation with a Missouri product liability lawyer call today at 816-320-6108.