Defective and dangerous products are responsible for thousands of injuries each year in the United States. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are legally responsible for producing and stocking reasonably safe products for consumers.
If you suffered an injury as the result of a defective or dangerous product, you may be entitled to compensation with the help of a Kansas City lawyer. Learn about your legal options and if you have grounds for a product liability claim during a free consultation with the Kansas City product liability lawyers at Wendt Law Firm P.C.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to the idea that a manufacturer or seller might be legally responsible for putting an injury-causing product into the hands of a consumer. The law requires that a product meets certain expectations of the consumer. When an unexpected defect or inherently dangerous condition leads to injury, a manufacturer or retailer may have violated these expectations.
Product liability law varies from state to state, but these laws usually involve the legal theories of negligence, breach of warranty, and strict liability.
Do You Have a Product Liability or Defective Product Case?
Knowing whether you have a case after a product-related injury may make scheduling a consultation with a Kansas City product liability attorney. You may have the elements of a product liability claim in Kansas City, or anywhere in Missouri, if you can show that an item you bought or used contained a defect and that this defect caused the injuries and damages in question. This is the basic burden of proof an injured consumer will have in a product liability suit in Missouri or Kansas.
It is not necessary to prove a manufacturer’s negligence or fault if strict liability rules apply. The manufacturer will be strictly liable for your damages if the item in question had a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect and caused your injuries. If strict liability laws do not apply to your case, you will need to prove negligence. This may take help from expert key witnesses and Kansas City personal injury attorneys who can tell your story to a judge or jury.
Who Is Responsible?
Anyone involved in the manufacture, distribution, or retail of a defective product might be legally responsible for injuries. Examples of responsible parties include:
The product’s manufacturer
The manufacturer of the component parts
Any third party who assembles the product
What Damages Can Victims Recover?
Filing a product liability lawsuit gives you the opportunity to claim recovery for a variety of damages the defective item caused you or your family member. Kansas City consumers have the right to seek financial reimbursement for past and future losses from the product manufacturer or another at-fault party.
Medical expenses. Seek recovery for the costs of past and future hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, surgeries, rehabilitation, live-in care, and more.
Lost wages. Request compensation for lost income due to missing shifts at work while you heal, as well as any lost capacity, to earn from a permanent disability.
Physical pain and emotional suffering. Recover non-economic damages relating to your accident, including mental anguish and emotional trauma.
Property damage. If the defective product caused any property damage, you may add this to your list of damages sought.
Loss of consortium. The loss of a loved one because of a defective product could yield the right to wrongful death damages. These can include loss of consortium or loss of a loved one’s care and companionship.
In general, the more serious the injuries, the higher the compensation will be for the claim. The Kansas City courts will examine how greatly the injury impacted the victim, whether the victim has temporary or permanent disabilities because of the item, and many other factors to determine a fair compensation amount. Hiring a product liability lawyer in Kansas City can help you maximize your financial recovery.
Types of Product Liability
Product liability cases fall under the legal theory of strict liability, which means that an injured plaintiff doesn’t need to prove negligence led to the defective condition. In other words, all a plaintiff needs to prove is that a product was inherently dangerous or defective and that condition led to his or her injuries. There are a few different types of defects that could lead to a product liability claim:
DESIGN: A design defect. This refers to an inherently dangerous condition the manufacturer designed into the product. In other words, this defect affects an entire line of products, not just a batch. An example might be a phone manufactured with a dangerous lithium battery.
MANUFACTURING: Manufacturing defects, by contrast, affect only certain batches of a product line. An example might be a batch of applesauce tainted with listeria.
MARKETING: Marketing defects refer to improper labeling, lack of appropriate instructions or warnings, and explicit explanations about proper use.
Who Is Responsible for My Injuries?
One of the most difficult parts of litigating a product liability claim is determining who is at fault for your injuries. This requires an extensive investigation and an experienced hand. One benefit of product liability cases is that an injured plaintiff does not have to prove a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer committed negligence. Rather, the defendant must prove they were not negligent. This can make it easier for victims to collect damages for their injuries with the help of a product liability attorney.
Defective Product and Recall Statistics
Each year, thousands of consumer injuries occur because of defective and dangerous products in the U.S. Manufacturers may release unsafe products unknowingly, or intentionally hide defects to save money. Either way, the end result is thousands of products on shelves that could potentially cause serious consumer injuries. The following are the most recent statistics available on defective products in America, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
From 2014 to 2015, around 4,200 people in the U.S. lost their lives in deaths associated with the use of consumer products.
Consumer products caused or contributed to over one billion hospital emergency room-treated injuries from 2016 to 2017.
Sports and recreational activities equipment caused the most deaths, with 1,485 in total, followed by home furnishings and fixtures with 1,164 lives lost.
The most consumer injuries (4,581,373) stemmed from home structures and construction materials.
Three children died in accidents associated with toys during this time period.
Home structures and construction materials took the greatest number of elderly lives (ages 65 and older), with 382 related deaths.
The CPSC created the national recall list to help consumers keep track of products with known hazards or defects. The list updates almost daily with new items, and currently contains thousands of products with known health and safety risks. The list includes an enormous range of items, from hot water heaters to children’s toys.
Contact a Kansas City Product Liability Attorney Today
A product liability claim can help you pay for medical bills, lost wages, and the intangible losses of an accident. These cases, however, require the assistance of an experienced Kansas City product liability attorney. At Wendt Law P.C., our Kansas City product liability lawyers stand up for victims of personal injury. We advocate for their needs. To learn more about our product liability services or to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact us.
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