We use numerous products on a daily basis, from prescription medications to household appliances and cleaners. We assume these products will be safe to use and will not cause us to suffer an injury. If an injury occurs, it may be because of a design or manufacturing defect. In some situations, the product did not contain sufficient warnings about the risks. When these things happen, victims may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit. An Albany product liability lawyer from Roden Law can assess your situation in a free, no obligation consultation. He or she can determine your legal options and review the forms of compensation you may be entitled. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, so there are no costs or fees unless you receive compensation. We have thorough knowledge of relevant state laws and know how to apply that knowledge to your case.
Statute of Limitations for Defective Product Cases
There are multiple statutes of limitations that apply to product liability cases. The specifics of your case will determine which statutes apply. However, if you do not file a lawsuit by the deadlines, or statutes of limitations that apply to your case, you will lose the right to do so.
This is why you should contact our Albany product liability lawyers as soon as possible. It takes time to build a case and the sooner you contact us, the sooner we can go to work defending your best interests.
The product liability statutes of limitations include:
- Personal injury statute of limitations – Product liability claims involving personal injuries are governed by the personal injury statute of limitations. This statute says victims must file a lawsuit within two years of the injury. Our Albany personal injury lawyers have detailed knowledge of this statute.
- Property damage statute of limitations – Claims involving property damage caused by a defective product must be filed within four years of the injury, according to Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A. 9-3-31).
- Discovery rule – Courts have recognized a discovery rule, which means the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the date you discovered or should have discovered you had grounds for a case. For example, maybe you suffered an injury but could not have been expected to know it was caused by a product defect.
- Statute of repose – Under this statute, defective product victims cannot file lawsuits more than 10 years after purchasing the product. It does not matter when the injury occurred.
- Breach of warranty statute of limitations – Some defective product lawsuits involve a breach of the warranty for the product in question. These claims are governed by the statute of limitations in contracts for sale. Under this statute, you have four years from the date you were injured to file a lawsuit. The discovery rule does not apply to these situations.
Contact an Albany product liability attorney now by calling 1-844-RESULTS.
Types of Products That Often Cause Injury
The following types of products often cause injury to consumers:
- Medical equipment – This could include pacemakers, knee replacements, hip replacements, surgical mesh, blood clot filters, intrauterine devices, gastrointestinal scopes, power morcellators and warming blankets.
- Home appliances – Consumers could suffer injuries from something as small as a toaster oven or coffee maker. They could also be injured by stoves, fireplaces, water heaters, outdoor grills, dishwashers, air conditioners or microwaves.
- Motor vehicle equipment – This could include safety features and components in the engine. Examples of defective safety features could include brakes, air bags or seat belts.
- Industrial equipment – This could include everything from vehicles to equipment in factories, like conveyor belts. Vehicles that could cause injuries include those used in construction, like bulldozers, cranes, tractors, forklifts and dump trucks. Sometimes equipment has defective wiring or shut off switches.
- Boats and recreational vehicles – People could get injured on golf carts, mopeds or bigger equipment like jet skis or ATVs. Scuba divers could also get injured by their own gear.
- Children's products – Examples of these products include toys, over-the-counter or prescription medications, bicycles, sports equipment, beds, playground equipment, car seats, strollers and changing tables.
- Power tools – Saws, drills, nail guns, welding equipment and soldering equipment could all cause injuries. Consumers could also be injured from defective or improperly designed safety equipment, like gloves or guards on saws to prevent people from cutting themselves.
Regardless of the source of your defective product injury, you may have legal options. Our product liability lawyers are prepared to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Contact the firm today for a free legal consultation.
3 Types of Product Liability Cases
There are three reasons you can file a lawsuit over injuries caused by a defective product. In other words, you must prove the product had one of these three defects:
Some products were designed in such a way that they are unreasonably dangerous for consumers, even when consumers are taking proper safety precautions and using the product as intended. This means there will be a defect even if the product is manufactured exactly as it is supposed to be.
An example of a defectively designed product is one that has a high risk of melting or catching fire, particularly if heat is essential to the function of the device.
One of the central issues in a defective design case is whether it was possible to use an alternative design for the product and if this would have been cost effective. If the change in design would have allowed the product to be used as intended, the victim may be entitled to compensation.
Some products were designed safely but were assembled in such a way that they have become dangerous. For example, components may have been broken or put together the wrong way. This can be particularly dangerous when the defect involves safety features being improperly installed.
Manufacturers should do regular maintenance and checkups to ensure assembly lines and other equipment used in the production process are working correctly.
Manufacturing defects affect a certain batch of a product as opposed to a design defect case, when the entire line is dangerous to consumers.
Sometimes there is nothing physically wrong with a product. However, it might not have the proper instructions or warnings to help ensure users' safety. For example, maybe the label does not warn about foreseeable problems with the product. There are cases where the instructions for the product do not properly explain how to use it safely.
Victims of any of these defects may have the option of filing a defective product lawsuit. Contact a product liability lawyer for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
Building a Defective Product Case
There are three main legal theories your product liability attorney can use to prove a manufacturer or designer is liable for your injuries. This includes:
In this type of case, your product liability attorney must prove the four elements of negligence:
- Existence of a duty of care – There must be a legal obligation owed to you by the manufacturer or designer to take reasonable care to prevent you from being injured by the product. In other words, manufacturers and designers must act the way a reasonable person would.
- Breach of the duty of care – There must be evidence that the manufacturer or designer did not satisfy the duty of care for the situation. For example, a defective design could be considered a breach of the duty of care.
- Link between the breach and your injuries – You must be able to show your injuries would not have occurred unless there was a breach of the duty of care concerning the product.
- Existence of damages – You must have suffered physical, financial or emotional damages because of your injuries. For example, maybe you had medical bills, lost wages, or physical or emotional pain and suffering.
There are some cases where manufacturers or designers can be held liable even if they were not negligent. These are known as strict liability cases and all we need to establish is that you were injured by the product in question.
The legal theory of strict liability is allowed under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. 51-1-11. This statute says manufacturers can be liable for anyone's injuries if the product they used was not reasonably suited for its intended use and the condition of the product when it was sold was the proximate cause of injury.
Breach of Warranty
All products have some type of warranty – even if there is no stated warranty, every product comes with an implied warranty of merchantability.
Express warranties are stated by the seller on the product label or marketing. These types of warranties often say what a product will do and for how long. If you use the product for the purpose it was intended and it causes injury, you may have a claim for a breach of warranty.
The implied warranty of merchantability means a product must satisfy the following conditions, according to O.C.G.A. 11-2-314. Products must:
- Pass with no objections according to the contract description
- Comply with the statements of facts made on the container or label
- Be adequately packaged and labeled
- Be fit for expected uses
- Be of fair, average quality as described on the label
Often in implied warranty claims, Albany product liability attorneys must establish that the victim was the one who purchased the product. There is an exception for victims who were family members or lived in the household of the purchaser. However, there must have been a reasonable expectation these people would have been reasonably expected to use the product.
These legal theories are very difficult to interpret and understand unless you have experience with these cases. The lawyers at Roden Law have detailed knowledge of these theories and how to determine which one applies to your case.
Contact an Albany Product Liability Lawyer
Defective product injuries can cause long-term pain and suffering and other damages that make your life much more difficult.
This is why victims should strongly consider seeking legal counsel after this type of injury to discuss their rights. If your injury was the result of negligence on the part of the product manufacturer or designer, you may be able to file a lawsuit. The purpose of this lawsuit would be to recover compensation for the damages you have experienced.
At Roden Law, our Albany product liability attorneys can represent you on contingency. This means no upfront costs or attorney fees unless you are adequately compensated.