What to do if you’re hurt by a dangerous product

By William J. Price

A machine at work. A curling iron at home. A defective seat belt in your car.

dangerous productEach of these items – and many others you use on a daily basis – has the potential to hurt you or your loved ones. If you’ve been seriously injured by a dangerous product, you may be able to hold the manufacturer or supplier accountable.

What are the types of product liability claims?

Product liability refers to when an injury victim holds the manufacturer or supplier responsible for placing a dangerous product on the market. Three of the most common claims victims pursue against companies that create or sell dangerous products are:

  1. Defect in the manufacturing process: Your lawyer will have to show the product deviated from the design specifications or formula, or is different from an identical unit. This deviation must have caused your injury.
  2. Failure to properly design the product: If the foreseeable risks associated with the design exceeded the benefits when the product left the manufacturer, then the manufacturer is liable.
  3. Failure to properly warn consumers of hazards: If the manufacturer knew or should have known about the risk of injury and failed to provide a warning on the product, then the manufacturer is responsible. The manufacturer is also liable if they failed to provide necessary post-marketing warnings or instructions to avoid injuries if risks were discovered after the product was in the hands of consumers.

What to do if you’re injured by a product

If you or a loved one is injured by a dangerous product, there are several steps you need to take immediately to preserve your claim:

  1. Save the product, the packaging, the instructions and all of the parts. During the investigative phase of the case, experts will need to examine the product and determine how and why the product caused your injury.
  2. Keep the receipt. Without a valid receipt, suppliers will often try to argue that you never purchased the product from their store. The receipt proves the supplier placed the dangerous product on the market.
  3. Call a lawyer. Product liability claims require experts and can have many pitfalls. The sooner you begin working with a lawyer, the less likely there will be mistakes and the sooner they can begin researching and determining the correct parties and claims to be presented. Consult an experienced lawyer immediately if you think you may have a case.
  4. Don’t wait. Time is crucial in product liability cases. The statute of limitations gives consumers two years after their injury to file a complaint, and the statute of repose eliminates all product claims if suit is not filed within 10 years after the product reaches its first purchaser.

Failing to take these measures jeopardizes your case by leaving you with no reliable way to determine how or why the product failed to operate safely.

If you were seriously injured by a dangerous or defective product, the experienced product liability lawyers at Elk & Elk can help you hold the manufacturer or supplier accountable.

Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case review.

About Elk & Elk Attorney William J. Price

William J. Price focuses his practice on personal injury litigation for people who have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, defective products, negligence in construction sites, and trucking and auto accidents. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, AVVO, and is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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