Experienced Wheeling, WV Defective Products Attorney
As a consumer, you have the right to expect that the product you purchase is safe for its intended use. The most fundamental right is the right to use the item safely. It is the responsibility of large corporations and product manufacturers to design and manufacture safe products and includes any necessary disclaimers and warnings. If they breach this duty and you are injured by a dangerous or defective product, you should consult with a competent Wheeling WV defective products attorney from Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C. A defective product can be hazardous and put you at risk for serious bodily harm.
Our defective personal injury attorney believes you deserve the best representation possible to ensure you receive the unitary compensation you deserve. Simply put, you have the right to justice and legal compensation if you were injured by a poorly designed or manufactured product.
You deserve a Wheeling WV defective products attorney who will fight for you in this challenging time. Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C. can assist you in your pursuit of justice and compensation.
Why Do I Need a Defective Products Attorney in West Virginia?
Product liability claims frequently require that plaintiffs take on large manufacturing corporations and insurers. These businesses will utilize their financial resources to deny or minimize your compensation claim. However, you need not confront them alone.
Our personal injury attorney can advocate for your rights and assist you in pursuing accountability and justice. When you hire our Wheeling, WV defective products attorney at Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C., you can count on our firm to:
- Investigating the accident’s circumstances, including gathering evidence and collaborating with accident reconstruction and engineering experts to identify product defects
- Identifying potential parties liable for your injuries and losses, such as manufacturers, part suppliers, and retailers
- Documenting your injuries and estimating your ongoing and future losses to pursue full compensation for the harm you have sustained
- Taking the time to answer your questions and explain your legal options, including the types of product liability claims you may be able to pursue, is exemplary client service
- Filing lawsuits and insurance claims against negligent manufacturers and retailers
- Maintaining awareness of crucial case deadlines
- Aggressively negotiate a fair and complete settlement of your case on your behalf
- Going to trial if litigation becomes necessary to seek the justice and compensation you deserve
What Constitutes Product Liability?
Product liability is a type of civil lawsuit filed against a manufacturer or retailer for a defective or excessively hazardous product. In a product liability case, those parties are held liable for placing a defective or dangerous product into the hands of a consumer or user who was injured as a result.
Product liability may be imposed on any participant in the distribution chain. Included among these parties are manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. A person who resold the used product is not among the liable parties. Product liability claims are not restricted to only the original purchaser.
Any individual who could have foreseeably been injured by the product may file a claim for product liability.
What Are the Different Types of Product Liability Lawsuits in West Virginia?
There are typically three types of cases involving product liability. There are three general theories of liability: negligence, strict liability, and warranty breach. These types of claims are typically governed by product liability law. The scope of these laws encompasses virtually all tangible items available for purchase.
These include vehicles, firearms, motorcycles, toys, sheetrock, tools, home appliances, and both over-the-counter and prescription medications.
In a negligence claim, you must show that the manufacturer was negligent in the product’s design or production. Typically, this is accomplished by explaining that the defendant had a duty to sell a safe product and that they breached this duty. If the plaintiff can prove that the defendant knew or should have known that the product was defective, a “breach of duty” has occurred.
Additionally, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the faulty product caused their injuries. Negligence can occur during many phases of product development, including but not limited to the following:
- Creating product planning
- Utilizing and maintaining the machines that produce the product
- Failure to anticipate or determine reasonable product uses
- Failure to adequately inspect or test the product
- Too soon release of the product to the consumer market
Product liability cases most often involve strict liability. With this claim, you must show that a defect in the product caused your injury. Upon establishing this, the manufacturer may be held strictly liable for any resulting damages, regardless of whether or not they exercised the utmost caution and care during production.
In West Virginia, the general rule for recovering under the strict liability theory is that a person may recover if he or she was injured by a product that was not reasonably safe for its intended use. Also, under West Virginia law, the fact that other manufacturers produce similar products is not an excuse.
To prevail on a strict liability claim for a defective product in West Virginia, it is generally sufficient to show that you were injured by the product while using it as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable manner.
Breach of Warranty
A warranty is a seller’s assurance that the product is free of defects and meets industry standards for safety and dependability. When a representation regarding the product’s quality is made at the time of sale, the product is said to be under warranty. You can file a claim for breach of warranty if the product turns out to be defective or not as advertised, causing you harm.
When you purchase a product, you rely on two warranties: the express warranty and the implied warranty.
Any representation made by the manufacturer or retailer about the product’s safety. The express warranty has been breached if the product is not as described and the purchaser sustains an injury or economic loss as a result.
A manufacturer’s (or other liable parties’) implied guarantee that the product, when used as intended, will not cause harm. Legally enforceable warranties may exist even if the seller has not made any specific claims about the quality and safety of the product.
Remember that a seller does not need to use terms such as “warranty” or “guarantee” to provide a warranty. As long as a seller, manufacturer, or retailer attests to the product’s quality, a warranty is created. In addition, the breach of warranty cause of action applies to anyone who could be expected to use the product.
How Does a Defective Product Develop?
Under the law of product liability, a product may contain one or more of the following three types of defects:
A design defect is a dangerous or unreasonably unsafe flaw present in the product’s underlying specifications. A design flaw impacts all products with the same design specification.
A manufacturing defect is an error that occurs during the production or assembly procedure. The manufacturing defect causes the product to depart in some way from its design specification. Thus, the product contains a dangerous or unsafe flaw. A manufacturing defect may affect only a single unit or the entire production run of a product.
Failure to Instruct or Failure to Warn
A failure to instruct or warn, also known as a “marketing defect,” occurs when a product is sold to consumers without adequate instructions for its safe use for its intended purposes. The marketing defect may also refer to inadequate warnings regarding the risk of accident or injury associated with the product’s intended use.
West Virginia is a state with “strict liability” for defective products. This means that you are not required to prove that the manufacturer or seller acted negligently or irresponsibly in designing, producing, assembling, or selling the product. The defect in the product is sufficient to impose liability on manufacturers and retailers for injuries caused by the defect.
What Are the Most Common Defective Product Injuries?
Manufacturers are expected to ensure the safety of their products before the public uses them. Thousands of people are injured or killed each year due to defective products. Defective products do not function properly and may lack the necessary safety features.
If a defective product caused you harm, you may be eligible for compensation. West Virginia personal injury law firm Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C. should be consulted about your case. Below are some common injuries caused by defective products.
The same prescription medications that are intended to make you feel better may cause additional harm. Certain medications may cause side effects that are not listed on the label. Long-term use of certain medications may result in damage to the kidneys, liver, brain, or heart.
If vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and scooters are not constructed properly, they are more likely to cause severe head injuries in the event of an accident. Even if the user is wearing a helmet, it may not provide sufficient protection against the impact. Severe head injuries can result in cognitive issues, speech and language difficulties, emotional issues, and other complications.
Small, detachable toys may choke young toddlers. Children are naturally curious, so they might put these small pieces in their mouths. Choking can cause death without immediate medical intervention. Manufacturers should disclose on the label whether particular toys are meant for older children.
If home appliances, such as toasters and curling irons, have faulty wiring, their risk of catching fire increases. This can result in severe burns for the person using them.
Unexpectedly breaking products can result in broken bones. For instance, if a child is seated in a high chair and that chair breaks, the child may sustain a fractured arm or leg. Broken bones can be extremely painful and require a lengthy recovery period. If a bone is fractured in multiple locations, surgery may be required.
Injuries From Dangerous Drugs
When advancements in medicine can cure a disease, prolong a person’s life, or alleviate pain, many people are pleased. But there are numerous drugs on the market that claim to prevent illness or are marketed as a form of protection against illness. Frequently, these new drugs are marketed to younger populations as a means of achieving a healthier lifestyle.
Due to the dangers that some of these drugs pose, there has been an increase in drug recalls over the past few years. Our competent Wheeling, WV defective products attorney is aware of the grave impact drug-related injuries can have on a victim. If you or a member of your family has experienced a serious adverse reaction to a drug, you should seek both medical and legal advice.
What Should You Do If Injured by a Defective Product?
Here are the steps to take if you have been injured by a faulty or unsafe product:
Seek Immediate Medical Help
If possible, go immediately to the nearest hospital for treatment of your injuries. This could potentially jeopardize your health and recovery if you wait and hope that your pain or symptoms will go away. In addition to receiving medical treatment, hospitalization results in the injury being documented in medical records. This is a crucial step that will serve as proof and documentation if you decide to file a product liability claim.
Keep the Product and Purchase Receipt
If at all possible, the defective product should not be discarded or altered in any way. Keep it in a secure location until you speak with an attorney. Keep the product’s documentation, receipt, and instructions. Preserve the original packaging if you still have it. All of these items can serve as valuable evidence.
Record Everything That You Can
You should record as much information as possible about the product, such as how and when it was sold to you, its cost, how you utilized it, how it failed, and more. Include photographs or videos of any injuries caused by the defective product, if applicable.
Abstain From Social Media
If you have been injured by a faulty product and are pursuing compensation, it is best to avoid social media, as it could jeopardize your personal injury case. Additionally, you should avoid posting anything that could be construed as slanderous or defamatory.
Consult a Qualified Wheeling WV Defective Products Attorney
Consumers have the right to sue the manufacturer for defective products under West Virginia’s law. Because the law requires defective product cases to be filed within these strict deadlines, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you suspect you have been injured by a defective or unsafe product.
Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C. is a personal injury law firm with decades of experience handling claims for personal injury and wrongful death.
Who Can Be Held Legally Liable for a Defective Product?
One of the initial steps in obtaining compensation for product-related injuries is to determine who may be liable for your damages. This party will be the target of your claim, and may ultimately be responsible for compensating you for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and other losses.
Determining liability is often a difficult task, as multiple parties may share fault for the same accident. For the majority of defective product claims, the following parties assume or share liability:
- Product designer or marketer
- Outside consultants or contractors
- Retailer or distributor
- Other entities in the manufacturing supply chain
Identifying the proper defendant may require some time and a thorough investigation into the accident. However, identifying all potential defendants is essential, as doing so can increase your chances of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries. Always rely on our talented Wheeling WV defective products attorney when filing a product liability claim to ensure that you identify all parties who may be liable for your damages.
What Must You Do Before Filing a Claim for Personal Injury?
Before filing a personal injury claim, it may be beneficial to contact a West Virginia personal injury law firm. The greater the severity of an accident victim’s injuries, the more complex their personal injury claim will be, and the greater the need to retain legal representation. There are two primary reasons for this:
- A severe injury frequently necessitates long-term medical care and an extended absence from work. The resulting damages necessitate maximizing the compensation received from the negligent party to cover expenses. Our West Virginia personal injury law firm has an outstanding track record of negotiating large settlements for our clients.
- The greater the damages, the higher the value of a claim, and the greater the likelihood that the at-fault party’s insurance company will attempt to settle for less than a fair amount to save money. In addition, they may deny your claim despite its validity. Our personal injury attorney is aggressive in defending the rights of our clients. If the insurance company refuses to honor its moral and legal obligation to pay your claim, we will, if necessary, take them to court.
How to Prove Liability in a West Virginia Product Liability Case?
In the majority of cases involving personal injury, the injured party must establish the defendant’s fault, such as negligence or breach of duty. However, product liability claims are distinct. Extremely difficult for the average consumer to prove manufacturer negligence or carelessness.
For this reason, state courts allow plaintiffs to pursue damages based on strict liability, without the burden of proving fault or negligence. This is good news for plaintiffs, as it relieves them of the burden of proof in the majority of cases. In some instances, strict product liability regulations may not apply.
For instance, if the product did not contain an unreasonable hazard but still caused injuries. In these instances, the plaintiff must file a lawsuit based on negligence or breach of duty and prove that the defendant was responsible for the incident.
In negligence-based claims, where the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached a standard of care and that this breach resulted in the defective product and subsequent injuries, our Wheeling, WV defective products attorney’s extensive experience is always an asset.
What is the Time Limit for Filing a Product Liability Claim in West Virginia?
Product liability claims in West Virginia are subject to the same strict filing deadlines as other types of personal injury claims. Contact our knowledgeable Wheeling WV defective products attorney immediately if you believe you have a case against a product manufacturer or supplier, so as not to miss a crucial deadline.
The statute of limitations for filing a product liability claim in West Virginia is two years from the date of injury. In some instances, the court will toll or extend your deadline if you discover your injuries after the deadline has passed. For instance, if a plaintiff does not discover he or she has mesothelioma until 20 years after asbestos exposure, the courts will extend the deadline.
The West Virginia Law Firm You Can Rely On to Fight for Your Recovery
Product liability is a highly complex area of the law, and consumers are often unaware of their right to file an injury claim. When attempting to file a claim, you must understand your rights so that you are not taken advantage of. Therefore, it is essential to consult with our versed Wheeling WV defective products attorney.
If you have been injured by a product, please contact our firm for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We will explain your legal options and answer any questions you have.