Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Product Liability Lawyer

When you purchase a product online or at the store, you expect it to work as intended. When it doesn’t, you may want to return it or contact the manufacturer for a replacement. But what happens when something doesn’t work properly and injures you? If that happens, you may need help from a product liability lawyer.

At Thomas Law Offices, we believe product creators, developers, and sellers have an obligation to provide safe and usable products. When a defect results in the injury of a consumer or multiple consumers, those injured individuals have the right to pursue a personal injury claim to seek compensation for their losses. Our attorneys are here to guide you through the legal process.

The Product Development Process

The traditional product development process involves three categories, broken down into six steps. A defect can arise at any one of these steps the process isn’t followed closely, or corners are cut in an attempt to save money. Your lawyer will research the development process the product you used went through to determine what went wrong and when. The categories of product development include the following:

  • Discovery
    • This is where new product concepts begin. Companies often form small teams to explore idea generation and product concepts. If something goes wrong during this initial step and the issue isn’t addressed, it can result in an entire product line being defective or dangerous.
  • Product Development
    • Product Definition. Sometimes called scoping, product definition involves refining the definition of the initial concept. When this is done improperly, it can increase the time it takes a product to reach the
    • Business Case Development. During the business case development phase, a company will create a detailed business plan that involves intensive market research. When done properly, this stage reduces market risk.
    • Detailed Design. This is when a working prototype is created. The company will likely seek out customer feedback and incorporate that into new iterations of the prototype.
    • Validation/Testing. This phase, where most product defects occur, is when the product is supposed to be tested to ensure it works as planned. This is the last opportunity to revisit the prototype before the product is sold.
  • Launch
    • In the final stage, the team brings the product to market with marketing and sales plans, while manufacturing and customer support begin.

While there are other product development processes, the one outlined above is standard practice for today’s products, including auto parts, children’s toys, medical devices, housewares, apparel, and anything else you would buy in the store. In the event you purchase a defective product, are injured, and are looking to file a claim, you will need to know what type of defect you’re dealing with.

The attorneys at Thomas Law Offices are ready to speak with you about your injuries and how you think they happened. When a defective product is the reason, we can provide you with strong legal representation.
Call us at 502.473.6540 or fill out this form.

Types of Product Defects

To determine if you have grounds to take legal action for a dangerous product, you’ll need to establish the type of defect you believe caused your injury. Doing so will help you determine who to hold accountable. Your lawyer will investigate the product and your injuries to figure out the best way to proceed. The types of product defects include manufacturing, design, and marketing.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects occur during assembly. In most cases, the defect is only found in a small percentage of the company’s manufactured goods, as opposed to the entire product line. A manufacturer could be held accountable for a manufacturing error that resulted from faulty construction even if they took care through the process. Proving a manufacturing defect can be challenging because the plaintiff needs to be able to show that the defect was present when the product departed from the factory.

Design Defects

If a product has a design defect, it means something went wrong in the original blueprint. As a result, the product may be unreasonably hazardous. To determine if a design defect caused your injuries, you will need to establish if the product’s design were dangerous before production, if the design flaw could have been anticipated and therefore prevented, and whether the manufacturer could have used a better design that would not have altered the purpose of the product.

Marketing Defects

Marketing defects often involve warning labels. The American National Standards Institute oversees the regulations regarding safety symbols and product safety signs and labels. Therefore, , a warning label should inform the consumer of existing hazards, the severity of risk associated with using a particular product, the effects of the hazard, and how to avoid the danger. If a company fails to comply with those standards and a consumer is injured, they can be held accountable for failure to warn.

Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit

Once your lawyer has determined the type of defect that caused your injuries and losses, they’ll have a better idea of how to proceed with your lawsuit. Depending on the defect and how you believe it was caused, it will affect the basis of your liability case. In general, your case will be based on one of the following: strict liability, negligence, or breach of warranty.

Strict Liability

Product liability claims are typically pursued under the theory of strict liability. To succeed in a claim, you only need to prove the existence of the defect and that it caused your injury. Under liability,, it does not matter if the manufacturer took extreme caution and care during the manufacturing the product. However, it’s important to note that you must prove the product was purchased within the chain of distribution, rather than through a second-hand purchase.


To prove negligence, you need to establish a certain level of carelessness in designing or creating the product that injured you. A manufacturer owes its consumers a certain duty of care, and when that  duty is breached, victims can take action. Negligence can occur in various situations. If a company fails to maintain its machines or does not inspect or test a product sufficiently, it can be deemed negligent.

Breach of Warranty

Buyers can rely on two different warranties when they purchase a product. The first is the express warranty, which includes information about the product and its safety provided by the manufacturer or retailers. There is also the implied warranty, which is the manufacturer’s implied promise that the product will not be dangerous if it’s used as intended. You might be covered under the warranty if you were using the product as intended when you were injured.

Litigating Product Liability Claims

Product liability claims vary in litigation approach based on the nature and extent of misconduct. Those injured by a defective product can pursue individual claims against the manufacturer. However, due to the widespread distribution of products, such cases are often organized into class actions or manufacturing to ensure full accountability for the companies involved.

Class Actions

In product liability cases where plaintiffs seek compensation for economic or emotional harm caused by a defective product, it’s common for them to pursue a class action lawsuit. In such cases, one or several plaintiffs initiate legal proceedings on behalf of a larger group of affected individuals.

Mass Torts

When hundreds or even thousands of consumers come forward with bodily injury lawsuits sharing common grievances, these cases can be combined into a mass tort proceeding within a federal court. Unlike class actions, which involve collective plaintiff representation, mass torts unite individual cases alleging similar injuries caused by a single defendant’s product.

Thomas Law Offices Can Help

The product liability lawyers from Thomas Law Offices believe negligent product designers, manufacturers, and sellers should be held accountable, while victims deserve the opportunity to recover as fully as possible. If you believe a defective product has caused you harm, our attorneys are here to determine if you have valid grounds for a claim.

The earlier you reach out to our law firm, the greater your chances of pursuing a successful case. We understand how overwhelming it can be to go up against a company, but we will be by your side the entire time. Contact us today to learn more.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

Maintaining an automobile insurance policy offers many benefits for car owners. In Illinois, it is also the law. A recent report on ABC 7 Chicago Eyewitness News found that insurance costs spiked in the last year from $1,806 to $2,310. In addition to those regular increases, your car insurance can also go up after an […]

Read More

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?

There are over 2,716,450 people who call the Windy City home, according to the City of Chicago. This is a city that teems with traffic and pedestrians who share miles of streets and roads. The hope is that everyone gets to where they’re going safely. To make that happen, everyone needs to be aware and […]

Read More

Who Pays for Car Repairs When the Other Driver Is At Fault?

No one leaves home thinking that today is the day they will get into a car crash. However, based on data collected by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there is a car accident somewhere in the country every 13 seconds. If you get into an accident, your first thought will be, “Am I okay?” Your […]

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
National Civil Justice Institute - Trustee
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
Martindale Hubbell Preeminent
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion