ORDER YOUR FREE REPORT NOW - A Consumers Guide to Products Liability Litigation in Pennsylvania
Our product injury lawyers have substantial experience representing residents of Pennsylvania and New Jersey who have been seriously injured by unsafe or dangerous products, including both commercial products and consumer products.
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In both PA and NJ, a very specific body of law applies to dangerous products cases. This body of law is generally known as products liability and is one of the most complex areas of law. Under products liability laws of both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, individuals who are injured due to a defective or dangerous product have legal rights. This applies to both consumers in the workplace and at home.
Who is Liable? In general, any company or business which places a product in the stream of commerce can face liability for a dangerous, defective product. This means that product manufacturers, designers, distributors and retailers may be held liable. Basically, any company or business may be sued for a dangerous, defective product.
What Do You Have to Prove? In order to win a products liability lawsuit, there must be sufficient evidence of the following: 1. the product was defective when it left the defendant's control, 2. the defective condition caused the injury, and 3. damages.
How Do You Prove a Product was Defective? A product can be defective in one of three ways. First, a product can be defectively designed. This means there is a serious safety issue with the way the product was designed. Here's an example of a defective design claim: a high-powered blender with razor sharp blades is designed in such a way that the motor can still run when the blades are exposed. In other words, the blades may spin even though the cover or container is not attached. This is a design defect. The motor should never be allowed to run with the blades exposed. It poses an obvious laceration risk to users.
Second, a product can be defective due to a manufacturing defect or error. This is called the "one in a million" theory. Here's an example of a manufacturing error: a bike frame fails due to a bubble in the aluminum frame. The bubble created a weak point in the frame which broke when the rider was riding the bike at high speed. The bubble was created during the manufacturing process and only affected a select number of bicycles.
Third, a product can be dangerous because it failed to contain reasonable warnings or instructions. Instructions or warnings must be reasonable. Failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions can lead to injury.
In the civil justice system, a plaintiff (injured party) bears the burden of proof. This means that the plaintiff must prove all the claims. In order to do that, experts are often required to examine the product, test it and then determine how it failed. Mechanical engineers, product/material engineers, etc., are often necessary. These cases often boil down to a battle of the experts, so it is crucial to identify the right expert.
It is also important to note that consumers should make reasonable attempts to secure the product at issue. For example, in a case where a step ladder fails and collapses, the ladder should be kept, even in its broken condition. A product engineer will examine the broken ladder to determine how and why it collapsed.
What Claims for Financial Compensation are Allowed? There are various claims for financial compensation which may be made in product injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They include:
Oftentimes, individuals injured due to defective products suffer catastrophic injuries such as amputated limbs or disfigurement. Complex surgical procedures are often necessary. Medical bills alone can exceed tens of thousands of dollars. Naturally, injured individuals lose time from work. Together, these economic losses can total close to $100,000 or more if an individual becomes permanently disabled.
Pain and suffering is unique to the individual and is not determined by any set formula. Rather, it is important to present proper evidence of an individual's pain and suffering, i.e., how the injuries affected the individual's life, relationships, work, hobbies, etc. In general, the more serious the injury, the greater the pain and suffering. Someone who breaks a leg due to a dangerous product does not endure as much pain and suffering as someone who suffers a spinal injury that causes paraplegia. The point is that pain and suffering very much depends on the nature and extent of the injuries.
Dan O'Brien and his colleagues have been handling these cases for many years. They have a track record of success in these cases that they are very proud of. The defendants in dangerous products cases are often huge corporations. When an injured individual goes up against one of these corporations challenging the way that the corporation designs or manufactures their product, you can rest assured that the corporation is going to defend themselves with everything they have. It often takes an enormous investment of time, resources and money to succeed in a products liability case.
Dan O'Brien and his colleagues have a track record of success going toe to toe with some of the biggest product manufacturers in the world. If you or a loved one has been injured by a product, either at home or in a work or industrial setting, please give us a call. We may be able to help you and your family. (877) 944-8396
Last updated: May 12, 2015