Charlottesville Product Liability Attorney
At this moment, there is probably a dangerous product in your garage, closet, or medicine cabinet. Some manufactured products have dangerous defects which the manufacturer did not address. Even worse, manufacturers frequently suppress such negative information, so sales will be unaffected. Other products are so dangerous that no amount of care can make them truly safe. The same thing applies to certain activities.
Many manufacturers put profits before people. But at MichieHamlett, our Charlottesville products liability attorneys put people first. Specifically, we put our clients first. This means that we proactively communicate with you throughout the entire process, so you are never in the dark. This process includes a thorough case evaluation, diligent evidence collection, and strong legal advocacy.
Reckless drivers usually injure two or three people. Reckless companies could easily injure two or three thousand people. So, a negligence standard is not strong enough to protect consumers from product defects.
Instead, companies are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. Negligence is usually irrelevant, at least during this portion of a claim. There are basically two types of product defects:
- Design Defect: Most companies rush engineers and researchers to come up with a marketable product. So, many of these products contain fatal design flaws. The design process moves so fast that there is little time for safety checks, and there is certainly no time for do-overs.
- Manufacturing Defect: Sometimes, companies take shortcuts during the manufacturing process. Once again, these manufacturing flaws usually go unnoticed, or at least uncorrected. Generally, manufacturers are strictly liable for defects which occur during the shipping process as well.
In design defect claims, some jurisdictions require victim/plaintiffs to show that the defendant could have used a reasonably safe alternative design which was then available.
Unforeseeable misuse is the only effective defense to a defective product claim. Companies are not liable if the victim’s unforeseeable product misuse caused the injury.
Falling off the top step of a ladder is a good example. Most ladders clearly warn people not to use the top step. However, it is foreseeable that someone would ignore this warning. So, the unforeseeable misuse defense is unavailable in these situations.
Inherently Dangerous Products
Manufacturers are also strictly liable for injuries caused by an inherently dangerous product. But it is a different kind of strict liability.
Inherently dangerous products include things like fireworks and swimming pool cleaners. It’s impossible to make these products completely safe, despite a manufacturer’s best efforts. Therefore, these victims do not need to prove the product was defective. They simply must prove that the inherently dangerous product caused their injuries.
Some activities are inherently dangerous as well. Examples include hazardous waste disposal and hazardous substances storage.
All products liability victims are usually entitled to compensatory damages for things like medical bills and emotional distress. Moreover, most victims are also entitled to additional punitive damages. These damages are available if there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant intentionally disregarded a known risk.
Reach Out to a Diligent Attorney
Companies are strictly liable for the injuries their dangerous products cause. For a free consultation with an experienced products liability lawyer in Charlottesville, contact MichieHamlett. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.