Product Liability Lawyers in Chicago
Product Liability Lawyers in Chicago
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Product Liability Lawyers in Chicago
In a movie, if a car falls apart while someone is driving it, or a blender spins too quickly and explodes all over a kitchen, it is usually meant for laughs. But when a product fails due to some defect in real life, people usually get hurt. And the harm caused by defective products is often the fault of the manufacturer or seller of the product.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that a manufacturer or retailer might be responsible for their injuries after a defective product fails. And this lack of knowledge results in paying for medical bills out-of-pocket. At Morgan & Morgan, we don’t want you to go into debt and face financial hardship because of a company’s negligence.
That is why our product liability lawyers in Chicago are available 24/7 to help victims of defective products. If you have been injured due to a defective product or a lack of proper warnings on a product, contact our product liability lawyers in Chicago immediately to get a free case evaluation.
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What Makes a Business Liable?
Products available to the public are supposed to be safe for use and consumption. If a product isn’t safe to use, it can cause great harm, even when used properly. The manufacturer (and sometimes the retailer or distributor) is liable if you are harmed while using a product as instructed.
Product liability is a relatively diverse topic. Manufacturers can be negligent in several ways, resulting in harm to product users. Product liability lawyers in Chicago are familiar with all the ways that businesses can be liable for dangerous products.
A product is defective when a design or manufacturing flaw results in the product failing to work properly. For example, if your hair dryer won’t turn on because it has a bad circuit, the entire product is defective. However, if your hair dryer catches on fire when you turn it on due to a bad circuit, it is not only defective, it is also dangerously defective.
Even indirect failure can cause harm in the right circumstances. If the brakes on your car suddenly stop working due to being defective, you could end up in an accident through no fault of your own. Despite the product not harming you directly, the failure of the product did result in your harm, making the manufacturer liable for your injuries.
A variation on a defective product that is specific to food products would be unsafe ingredients. If an ingredient is contaminated in some way, it can make you sick when you eat or drink the product. Just like with a defective product, assuming you prepared and stored the food as instructed, the fault belongs to the company that packaged it.
Improper Instructions or Safety Warnings
Almost every product, no matter how trivial, comes with instructions. Your new television probably has a 50-page instruction manual, while a can of soda might simply have instructions on the can that tell you how to open it.
But regardless of the type of product, you can probably find some instructions that tell you how to use it properly. These instructions limit liability for the manufacturer.
Additionally, every product should also include safety warnings. On your can of soda, you can probably also find a warning telling you not to shake the can before opening it.
That warning is designed to keep you safe and to limit the liability of the company that manufactured the product. If you shake that soda before opening it and get hurt because you shook it, you are liable for your injury.
Some products, however, do not have appropriate instructions or warnings. It could be negligence on the part of the manufacturer or carelessness while testing the product. Regardless, if you aren’t properly warned about unsafe uses of the product, the manufacturer is liable if you use a product unsafely and get harmed.
Product instructions should be clear, concise, and readily available. If the only safety instructions for your new reclining chair are on the bottom of the chair in a tiny font, that is not readily available, and the manufacturer has not done their due diligence to protect you from potential harm.
There are almost as many ways that you can be harmed in a product liability case as there are products on the market. A few of the more common ways that you can be harmed by a product include:
- Food poisoning
- Car accidents
- Crushed by a product collapse
Regardless of what type of injury you suffer in a product liability case, the manufacturer is liable for all medical bills and other expenses resulting from your injuries. This includes lost income if the injury prevents you from working temporarily or permanently.
How Can Product Liability Lawyers in Chicago Help You?
When you have been injured by a product in Chicago, you will need help quickly in order to receive money for your medical bills. A Morgan and Morgan product liability attorney will start by evaluating your case.
If the evidence shows that the product was defective and that defect directly contributed to your injury, we will take your case. Our experienced legal team knows how to determine liability quickly and correctly.
Once we have determined you have a strong case, we will gather additional evidence and consult with experts as necessary. We build a strong case even if we never go to trial. The evidence we collect can often be used to negotiate a fair settlement with the product manufacturer.
If the manufacturer doesn’t negotiate a fair settlement, however, we will go to trial. A trial might take a few years, but we will fight tirelessly to get you the money you deserve no matter the time it takes. Morgan & Morgan attorneys have an excellent record of success at trial and know how best to navigate the Chicago court system.
Am I Better Off With an Individual Lawsuit or a Class Action Lawsuit?
Many product liability cases end up as class action lawsuits. This is because, if a product is defective and harms one person, it has probably harmed multiple people.
It is often easier to prove that a defective product caused harm in a class action lawsuit because of the number of people harmed by it. Additionally, in a class action lawsuit, it isn’t always necessary to prove that the defect caused your injury.
That said, class action lawsuits often result in much smaller awards for the plaintiffs. This may be too little money if your injuries are significant. Therefore, even if a class action lawsuit is available, you might be better off filing a lawsuit as an individual.
When your Morgan and Morgan attorney evaluates your lawsuit, they will recommend how best to approach the case and present you with the options. The final decision about how to proceed will be yours.
Can I File a Lawsuit If I Borrowed the Item From Someone Else?
As long as the product was defective and you were using it properly, it doesn’t matter whether you own the product or not. The manufacturer is still responsible for the harm you suffered when you properly used the item they created.
When Is a Retailer or Distributor Liable?
A retailer or distributor is most likely liable if they damaged the item through negligence while transporting or storing the item. For example, if a retailer stores food in a room that is too warm and causes it to spoil, the retailer is responsible for the food poisoning you get when you eat the food.
In these types of cases, the manufacturer may have no responsibility. Product liability lawyers in Chicago are skilled at determining which parties are liable.
The other major way that a retailer or distributor might be liable is if they were aware that a product was defective and continued to sell it. In a case like this, even though the manufacturer is liable, any party aware of the defect that continued to provide the product to consumers without warning is also liable.
Can I File a Product Liability Lawsuit If the Manufacturer Announces a Recall?
That depends on when you were injured by the product. If a manufacturer properly announces a recall due to a defect, the manufacturer ceases to be liable shortly after the announcement is made.
If you were injured by the defective product before the announcement of a recall was made, you had no way to be aware the product was defective, and a retroactive recall doesn’t protect the manufacturer from liability.
Additionally, if the manufacturer doesn’t properly publicize the recall, the manufacturer is not protected from liability. A recall only provides protection when it is well-publicized and the manufacturer makes every reasonable effort to inform all owners of the product.
Do I Have to Be Injured to File a Product Liability Lawsuit?
No, but you must be harmed by the defective product. For example, if a defective product caught fire and burned down your home, this falls under harm. You can sue the manufacturer to recover damages for the cost of your lost possessions and home.
But if a product fails, no matter how spectacularly, you can’t file a product liability lawsuit if you weren’t harmed in some way. The loss of the product itself usually will not count as harm. You can, however, demand that the manufacturer replace the product or repay what you spent on the product. That just isn’t a product liability claim.
Can Product Liability Lawyers in Chicago Help Me If I Live in Another City or State?
While they probably can, you most likely want local attorneys for your product liability case. The good news is that Morgan and Morgan has product liability lawyers in every state in the country.
We can direct you to lawyers that are local to you so you can easily meet face-to-face with your product liability attorney. Personal attention lets you know that your case is in good hands and helps keep you up to date with the progress of your case.
Excellent Product Liability Lawyers in Chicago
No one should have to suffer injuries from products they believe they can trust. When this happens, you need experienced attorneys on hand to ensure you are compensated for your injuries.
If you have suffered an injury due to a defective product in Chicago, contact the product liability attorneys at Morgan & Morgan today for a free evaluation.