There are around 300 to 500 products that the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission issues recalls for every year. While that may not seem like many, each Lanham product liability lawyer in our office handles countless cases in which other items injure or kill individuals every year despite no recall ever occurring.
Our attorneys’ zealous representation of clients who have suffered harm due to the negligence of others has been key in growing our GDH Law practice’s reach here in Lanham and surrounding areas in Prince George’s County. We provide complimentary consultations in which our firm’s experienced lawyers can review evidence in your case to assess whether you have a valid product liability claim. If you do, we’ll counsel you as to steps to take that will allow you to recover maximum compensation for what you’ve endured and also might in the future.
Types of Defects Products Can Have
Products can be defective in one of three different ways. They can have:
- Design defects: When creating a product, a designer needs to account for use in addition to aesthetics. A designer who doesn’t take product functionality or utilization into account and only considers “looks” may create a product that hurts when they attempt to use it.
- Manufacturing defects: Once designed, a product moves into production. While an item may have a sound design, improperly calibrated equipment, for example, may lead to fabrication issues, which can cause a product to fail, injuring or killing users.
- Failure to warn: Marketers and advertisers have an obligation to notify consumers if products pose certain dangers to certain populations. For example, they may need to warn that a product’s small parts pose a choking hazard, that if one introduces an electrical device to water it may shock or electrocute them, or if they use an item over a designated weight limit it may fail.
If you have injuries or lost a loved one that you believe is attributable to one of the defects described above, reach out to our law firm, GDH Law. Our Lanham product liability lawyers can confirm the validity of your claim and advise you of legal remedies you can pursue to recover compensation for incurred bills and non-monetary losses like pain and suffering.
Common Examples of Defective Products
Virtually any item can have defects. However, reviews of recalls and news stories of individuals suffering harm would suggest that the following types of products tend to be poorly designed, manufactured, or advertised compared to others:
- Kids’ toys
- Automobiles or auto parts
- Medical devices
- Lawn equipment
- Medications or supplements
- Consumer electronics like health and beauty aids or countertop appliances
The CPSC maintains its own recalls website, where consumers can see a listing of the latest product recalls or search a database of past ones. Consumers can also sign up for e-mail notifications of recalls. Information is available in both English and Spanish.
Injuries Dangerous Products Cause
Harm that items like the ones listed above can cause are varied and include:
- Crush injuries, resulting in broken bones, nerve damage, amputation, or spinal cord injuries
- Hearing loss
- Respiratory illness
- Choking injuries
- Head or neck injuries
Who You Can Hold Liable for Defective Products
When assessing your case, your Lanham product liability attorney may find that the liable party is one of the following for your injuries or your family member’s wrongful death:
- Design firms
- Wholesalers or distributors
- Advertisers or marketers
How Lanham Product Liability Lawyers Prove Cases
There are a few different aspects of a potential product liability claim that we weigh when evaluating evidence in your case.
We look to see if there’s evidence that negligence occurred.
If you are hurt, or a family member lost their life while using a product, one may readily conclude negligence on behalf of the designer, manufacturer, or marketer/advertiser occurred. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Our Lanham product liability attorneys will look to verify if the product was indeed defective and, if so, where along the supply chain someone dropped the ball. This is how our lawyers determine who to potentially pursue for damages for the harm it caused.
In any personal injury case like this, there are certain elements a plaintiff or their attorney must prove to move forward in filing a claim, including:
- The company that designed, manufactured, or marketed the product owed you a duty of care (for example, to release a safe product on the market)
- One of the parties above breached the duty of care they owed you
- There’s a plausible correlation between an action one of the parties above took and the harm you or your relative suffered (establishing causation)
- Documenting how you suffered verifiable harm as a result of the actions (or inactions) one of the parties above took
In product liability cases, there can be both breaches of implied warranty, where a plaintiff contends the product didn’t perform as implied it would. There’s also a breach of express warranty, where a product didn’t function as anticipated.
Liability is complex to sort out, which is why it can be beneficial to have an attorney to help you determine where the fault lies so that you can pursue the negligent party for compensation for any incident-related costs and non-economic damages like emotional distress. Our attorneys can help you sort out liability, starting with a free initial consultation.
Types of Damages Product Liability Victims Can Recover
A product injury lawyer in Lanham, MD may advise you of your right to recover both economic and non-economic damages, categories into which these damages fall:
- Medical bills, including related health care expenses like physical therapy, prescription drugs, and specialized transportation to see your doctors
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages or future earnings
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Maryland caps some of the damages recoverable in product liability cases, especially when it comes to the recovery of non-monetary losses or compensation in a wrongful death case. Your Lanham product liability lawyer will discuss these potential limitations that exist when meeting with you to discuss your case during your free initial consultation, so schedule that appointment today.
How Long Do You Have To File a Product Liability Claim in Maryland?
The general timeline for filing product liability lawsuits in our state is three years from the onset of your injury. There are extenuating circumstances under which that time frame may extend out longer than that statutory time frame, which your attorney can advise you of during your initial conversation.
Getting Help From a Lanham Product Liability Attorney in Filing a Lawsuit
Maryland law allows individuals injured by defective products (plaintiffs) to file civil lawsuits unilaterally without a legal representative’s assistance. However, considering how liability can be difficult to sort out and building evidence to present a strong case to insurance adjusters or at trial is a painstaking process, having a lawyer to handle this entire legal process can be helpful.
There’s no cost or obligation associated with scheduling a meeting with an attorney from GDH Law to discuss the merits of your case. So, consider reaching out to us now. It’s the best option for ensuring the preservation of evidence in your case, which is necessary to prove liability and secure maximum compensation for you.