According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, defective and unsafe products injure tens of millions of people every year. In 2021, more than 12 million people were injured badly enough to require treatment in the emergency room, and 1.8 million people were hospitalized or died from their injuries. When unsafe products cause injuries, victims and their loved ones deserve to be compensated for any medical expenses, lost wages, and the pain and suffering that they’ve experienced.
Most product liability claims fall under at least one of the following categories: design defects, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn.
A design defect is a problem with the original design of a product, meaning that it would still be dangerous even if made and used as intended. An example would be a heating pad that can get hot enough to burn the skin.
A manufacturing defect is an error that happens during the production of a product. Recent examples include the recall of jack stands by Harbor Freight Tools due to welding defects or the recall and subsequent shortage of infant formula manufactured by Abbott Nutrition due to potentially deadly bacteria found in one of its facilities.
Failure to warn means that the product lacked clear instructions on how to use it safely. Manufacturers are not required to warn of obvious dangers, but whether a risk is “well known” or not can be a bit of a gray area. An example that’s been appearing in the news more frequently is the potential for e-cigarettes to explode while charging or during normal use. While the likelihood of this happening is small, not all manufacturers warn consumers of the risk or give clear instructions on reducing the odds of an explosion.
Generally speaking, in Pennsylvania, you only get two years to file a claim from the time you first become aware that a defective product caused an injury. If it has been more than two years from the date of your injury, but you only became aware of it or its cause recently, consult with a lawyer to determine if you still have time to take legal action.
The duration of a product liability case can vary quite a bit from claim to claim and depends on several factors. It can be difficult to navigate this process on your own, but a good legal team can help.
Severe injuries, such as those that will have long-term or permanent effects, typically take longer to resolve because it can be difficult to determine what amount of compensation will be adequate to cover future expenses. It’s much easier to determine the appropriate compensation (and reach a quick settlement) if the affected individual has fully recovered before filing a claim.
The complexity of proving that a product was dangerous can take a substantial amount of investigation. Proof must be found to show that the victim did not foresee the danger and that the average consumer would not have noticed that the product was defective.
While it can be stressful to know that your case may take months (or longer) to complete, a good law firm can increase the likelihood of a satisfactory resolution to your case. Your lawyer will ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted into the details of your case to determine an adequate demand package, negotiate on your behalf, and either bring your case before a jury or reach a settlement outside of court.
While many firms make claims about their successes with product liability cases, few have a track record quite like Ross Feller Casey. We’ve recovered more than $2 billion in personal injury cases for our clients and have more than 50 $10-million-plus verdicts and settlements under our belts.
We have a dedicated team of doctor-lawyers on staff, so we understand how complex your medical future may be after a severe injury from a defective product. We’re here to make sure you and your loved ones have the financial stability needed to get through whatever the future holds.
Our law firm offers free consultations, and we work on a contingency basis. You won’t pay a penny unless you win your case. We’re ready to put our expertise and experience to work for you, so contact us today.
Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.