Consumers use millions of products on a daily basis as new products continuously enter the market. Although many products make our lives easier or improve our health, some products cause more harm than good. If you’ve been injured by a defective product, the Chicago product liability attorneys from Thomas Law Offices can help.
Our work is helping those who have been injured by dangerous and defective products.
Products liability law is a broad area of law concerning injuries that are caused by consumer products. If you purchased an item and sustained injuries that should have been prevented, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your losses. The Chicago product liability lawyers from Thomas Law Offices help injured people in Chicago, IL, Cook County, and the surrounding areas in Illinois.
We use the law to hold companies liable when they put profits ahead of safety.
Filing a Product Liability Claim for a Defective Product
Product liability claims are brought forward when defective products (or components of a product) cause consumers to suffer serious injuries. Some defective products may even cause a victim to suffer life-threatening injuries. Under Illinois law, victims of these types of injuries have legal options.
While a claim can be filed for any product, some of the most common defective products that cause serious injuries include:
- Medical devices
- Children’s toys
- Auto parts
- Power tools
- Machinery used by construction workers
- Lawn and agricultural tools
- Food and tobacco
- Products containing toxic chemicals (such as asbestos or pesticides)
- Household appliances
- Makeup, cosmetics, and personal hygiene products
During the design, manufacturing, shipping, and distribution processes, the parties involved are responsible for ensuring that products are not defective or damaged. A product defect is when a mistake, flaw, or willful negligence leads to an unreasonably dangerous consumer product.
When manufacturers and other parties allow a defective product on the market, it becomes a serious legal issue. Injured consumers in Chicago, IL have the right to seek compensation for losses and injuries sustained.
How We Can Help You File a Products Liability Claim
While most practice areas of personal injury law (such as a car accident case or slip and fall case) rest on theories of negligence, there are a few different legal theories that may apply in a product liability case. In general, a product liability case is based on one of the following concepts:
Most product liability claims are pursued under the theory of strict liability. With these claims, the plaintiff only has to prove that the product was defective and that an injury was sustained as a result. It’s important to note that products purchased second-hand are not eligible for strict liability claims.
To prove negligence, your law firm will need to demonstrate that carelessness or wrongdoing resulted in your injuries. Negligence can happen because a manufacturer breached a duty of care and released the product too early, failed to foresee possible uses for the product, or neglected to inspect or test the product sufficiently.
Breach of Warranty
When you purchase a product, there are typically two warranties. Express warranty is that which is clearly stated. Implied warranty is the implied promise made by manufacturers that the product—if used as intended—will not cause harm.
Regardless of which theory your claim is based on, it’s important to work with an experienced law firm. Thomas Law Offices has a successful history of representing victims of personal injury in Lake County, DuPage County, McHenry County, and other areas of Illinois. Our Chicago product liability attorneys are ready to help you file your products liability claim.
Types of Product Defects
Product liability claims are built on the type of defect that caused the injury. To determine which defect caused your injury, your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation, looking into when and where you purchased or received the item, how you were using it at the time of injury, and what steps the manufacturer took to ensure the product’s safety. Most claims are built on manufacturing defects, design defects, or marketing defects.
Manufacturing defects occur in the production process. This defect typically only affects one or a few items out of an entire line of products. Issues can arise if there is an error on the assembly line, causing certain products to be different from others.
A car accident may involve an auto part manufacturing defect. For example, if the other driver rear-ended you because their brakes failed, the manufacturer may be liable—if it is determined that the brake failure was a result of a manufacturing defect.
Sometimes, an entire line of products is defective because of poor design. Whether miscalculations were made or a flawed design was left unchanged after discovery, the manufacturer can be held accountable for failing to take foreseeable risks into account.
For example, a medical device may be designed in such a way that components could break off inside a patient’s body. If a design defect was to blame, a consumer injured by the product may be entitled to a large settlement to cover their resulting medical expenses and other costs.
A marketing defect may involve a manufacturer failing to provide adequate instructions for how to use a product, or failing to warn consumers about a product’s risks.
A marketing defect claim may be appropriate if a consumer is injured by a household product that was not labeled as unsafe in certain situations. It’s important to note that manufacturers cannot be held liable for failing to warn of obvious risks—such as falling off a ladder that was constructed properly.
Dangerous Products and Warning Labels
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) maintains regulations for safety symbols and product safety signs and labels. If a dangerous product does not have the proper warning label, the manufacturer could be held accountable. To meet ANSI standards, a warning label should inform the consumer of existing hazards, the severity of the risk involved with the product, the effects of the hazard, and how to avoid the hazard.
Some warning labels are known to be misleading, yet are left unchanged by the responsible party. If you plan to file a claim because you believe a warning label was inadequate, our attorneys will focus on building your claim around how the product caused you harm, the severity of your injuries, the level of duty the manufacturer owed to you, how much the label relied on your experience and knowledge, and whether the warning was clear enough to understand.
Pursue a Claim With Your Chicago Product Liability Attorneys
To pursue a successful claim, you need compelling evidence against the responsible party. Defective product claims are often filed against the manufacturer, retailer, or wholesaler. This also requires dealing with the entity’s insurance company, which can be a challenging hurdle if not handled by an experienced attorney.
We Provide Strong Representation Against Makers and Sellers of Defective Products
Your attorney from Thomas Law Offices will be able to analyze the details of your case and determine the best course of legal action. Usually, we will work with you to file a claim against one of three entities. This may include:
Claims Against Manufacturers
The manufacturer could be a large company or an individual working out of their garage. You may be dealing with a company based locally in Chicago, or one outside of Illinois altogether. Depending on the product, it’s possible the plaintiff could file a case against either the manufacturer of the entire product or the manufacturer of a single defective part.
Claims Against Retailers
Holding a retailer accountable for their negligence can happen if a retailer advertises an item for sale—implying the product is safe and suitable for use. If you decide to pursue a claim against a retailer, you don’t have to be the person who bought the product. In some situations, you might be able to recover compensation for used products purchased in Chicago, IL.
Claims Against Wholesalers
The wholesaler is considered the middleman between the manufacturer and retailer. If, for example, a product was damaged during shipping and that caused the dangerous defect, the trucking company could potentially be held liable.
Compensation for a Dangerous Product
The compensation you’re eligible for is determined by a number of factors. To start, your lawyer will determine what your economic losses are. Economic losses include calculable expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may also be able to seek compensation for future medical expenses and lost income.
In addition to the calculable losses, your lawyer will also determine what you’re owed in noneconomic damages. This covers pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and more. While this figure is harder to determine, your Thomas Law Offices lawyer will draw on vast experience across product liability law and other practice areas to determine what equates to a fair settlement amount.
While many claims resolve through negotiations with a settlement, there is a chance your case could proceed to trial. In the event you need to file a lawsuit in order to receive full and fair compensation, your lawyer will be by your side to provide expert legal representation. We have a track record of successful litigation in courts in Chicago, IL and across the state.
If you suffered serious injury in Chicago or Illinois after using a defective product, we have the experience you need. Call us now to schedule a free consultation.
Let a Chicago Defective Product Lawyer from Thomas Law Offices Work for You
If you’ve been injured by a dangerous product and are looking to recover compensation for your losses, the Chicago products liability attorneys from Thomas Law Offices can help. Our law firm is prepared to represent you or a family member who was caused injury in the Chicago area.
We know how intimidating it can seem to file a product liability lawsuit against a manufacturer. A large corporation and its insurance company can be a powerful adversary. But when you sustained life-threatening injuries because of another party’s wrongdoing, a personal injury lawsuit is often the best way to achieve justice.
From Chicago to Arlington Heights, our law office has been trusted for years by the people of Cook County. When we take your case, you know that the Thomas Law Offices attorney team will be by your side throughout the entire process. We’ll see that your rights are upheld and make sure you’re offered full and fair compensation for the costs related to your injuries.
The sooner you file a product liability claim, the better your chances are of maximizing your monetary award. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.