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Chicago Defective Product Attorney

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When purchasing a product, you do not expect to be harmed by it. But defective products cause more injuries than most people realize and are in fact responsible for a significant number of serious injuries and deaths.

Statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission show that tens of millions of Americans suffer an injury related to a consumer product every year. A substantial number of these injuries are caused by a defect in the design or manufacture of the product.

Why Choose A Chicago Defective Product Attorney From Smith LaCien?

If you’ve been injured by a defective product, it’s important to take steps immediately to protect your rights. You need the best defective products law firm to help you. The Chicago injury lawyers at Smith LaCien LLP in Chicago have the experience and track record necessary to provide the justice you deserve.

Common Reasons for a Chicago Defective Product Claim

Chicago defective product lawyer

There are three main types of product defects: design defects, manufacturer defects, and defects in instructions or warnings. Defects in design happen because of how a product was created. Defects in manufacturing occur when a product is not built properly. Defects in instructions or warnings fail to alert a buyer of any potential problems they may encounter. Sometimes medical professionals can misinterpret instructions or use a faulty instrument. In this case, contacting the Chicago medical malpractice attorneys can help you determine who to hold liable in these complicated cases.

Regardless of the cause of the accident, our job as defective product lawyers is to prove that a company intentionally or carelessly made errors and mistakes. As a supplier, it is their responsibility to make products that work according to their intended purpose. When that doesn’t happen, they can be held liable. This even applies, to vehicles, just ask our car accident lawyers in Chicago! You can receive damages based on your unique situation. We are here to analyze your case, provide an honest assessment, and determine what the next steps are.

Common Injuries From Defective Products

Consumers and employees can suffer injuries from defective products in nearly any environment, including at home, at work, or while driving. Defective products in medical treatment, including defective medical devices, also sometimes cause injuries. Common injuries from defective products include the following:

  • Head injuries/traumatic brain injury
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Toxic exposure
  • Choking
  • Smothering 
  • Eye injury
  • Traumatic limb loss
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Medical problems from defective medications or devices

When a consumer purchases a product in good faith and uses it according to directions, or in a manner the manufacturer could reasonably assume a consumer might use it, the manufacturer is liable for damages to the victim like medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering.

Does a Recall Affect a Liability Claim In Chicago?

A product recall is a request by a government agency or manufacturer to recall a product after the discovery of subpar quality standards, safety issues, or product defects that might endanger the consumer and put the maker or seller at risk of legal action.  Even if an item was deemed unsafe is removed from store shelves, action is seldom taken to remove the items item from homes and facilities. Further, many consumers may be unaware of the recall so millions of unsafe products remain in use.

Some companies ban the sale of an item and instruct you to throw away the product. Other recalls ask you to return the item for replacement or repair. The seller will replace the defective part, to reduce the danger of using the product. Commonly recalled products include vehicles, child safety seats, food, bicycles, and more. If you suffered an injury due to a defective bicycle part, reach out to a Chicago bicycle accident attorney today for more information on your case.

While a recall can serve as useful evidence in your case, it is still up to you and your personal injury attorney to prove that the injuries you sustained caused you harm.

Seeking Compensation In Chicago for Your Defective Product Injury

If you have been injured by a defective product, you may have a valid product liability claim. A product liability claim is an action that can be brought against the manufacturer or seller of a product, for any harm caused by the product. A product seller includes any person whose business involves selling, distributing, leasing, installing, packaging, labeling, marketing, repairing, or maintaining a product. A product seller also includes other persons involved with the product from the time it leaves the manufacturer until it enters the hands of the end consumer. Even if your accident happened at the job site, contacting a workplace injury attorney in Chicago can help you decide if you have a product liability claim, a workplace injury claim, or potentially both.

To succeed on a product liability claim, the victim must prove that the manufacturer or seller failed in their duty of care to the end consumer and that the failure resulted in the victim’s injury.

Why You Need a Defective Product Injury Lawyer

Injury claims are not always easy to prove. Large manufacturers and their product liability insurance companies commonly dispute claims that their product caused injury or they falsely assign blame to the victim. A product injury lawyer will do the following on your behalf:

  • Investigate all aspects of the injury by examining evidence, reviewing medical records, deposing eyewitnesses, and consulting with expert witnesses and medical experts
  • Build a compelling case for the manufacturer’s liability
  • Carefully calculate your damages so you can recover the maximum amount available to you in your claim
  • Send an evidence-backed demand package to the manufacturer and their insurer
  • Begin negotiating with the insurance adjuster assigned to your case to achieve the largest possible out-of-court settlement
  • Attend mediation sessions by your side to attempt a resolution if the manufacturer doesn’t immediately offer an ample settlement
  • Take your case to court in a lawsuit if the insurance company doesn’t offer an acceptable settlement or wrongfully denies the claim

Over 90 percent of product liability claims settle out of court. If your case does require a lawsuit, your attorney from Smith LaCien LLP is more than ready to assert your rights and defend your best interests in court by filing a lawsuit within the state’s statute of limitations.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Product Liability Lawsuits in Illinois?

Although most claims are settled out of court through an attorney’s direct negotiations with the insurance company, a case could become a lawsuit if the insurer disputes the manufacturer’s liability or fails to offer an acceptable settlement. In this case, to pursue compensation the case must be taken before a jury in a lawsuit. Like all states, Illinois limits the amount of time an injury victim has to file a personal injury lawsuit. This ensures that evidence is still available when a case comes to court and that eyewitness testimony remains reliable. In Illinois injury claims, injury victims have up to two years from the date the injury occurred to file a lawsuit and take the manufacturer to court. Except in limited circumstances, a court will toss out a case if it’s past the statute of limitations. 

Strict Liability in Defective Product Design

Generally, in law, strict liability refers to a defendant’s liability for the consequences of their actions, regardless of whether the defendant was negligent or at fault. In defective product cases, a victim may show that a product’s design is defective and hold the manufacturer or seller strictly liable for their injuries if they can show either:

  • The product failed to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when it is used in the intended or reasonably foreseeable way; or
  • The product’s design caused the victim’s injury, and the defendant failed to prove that the benefits of the product’s design outweigh the risk of danger inherent in the design.

In Illinois, these issues are resolved by two tests known as the “consumer-user contemplation test” and the “danger-utility” test. The danger-utility test may be avoided if the product’s design defect is open and obvious and the mechanism involved is simple.

Both tests require the introduction of compelling evidence to prove. Analyzing the design and manufacture of a product requires technical knowledge and expertise beyond the scope of a layperson. Your product liability lawyer must have the resources to put together a compelling case for you. At Smith LaCien, our reputation speaks for itself. We have the resources to go up against major opponents and we have done so successfully in many cases.

The Manufacturer’s Duty to Warn and Other Factors

Product manufacturers and sellers also have a duty to warn consumers of any risks associated with the use of dangerous products. If a product such as pharmaceuticals has qualities that make it dangerous and there is unequal knowledge about the risk of the product’s harm, and the manufacturer has or should have had knowledge of the danger, they have a duty to warn consumers of that danger.

A manufacturer also owes a duty of care to the ultimate consumer of their manufactured goods. Where defective products pose a threat to injury or safety, the claimant will have a remedy in common law negligence for breaching this duty of care if it can be shown that the manufacturer was at fault.

There are other factors to consider before beginning a defective product claim. These include the date of the first sale of the product or any alterations or modifications of the product done by the seller or consumer. The relevant factors in your case will depend on your specific circumstances. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to assess your situation and advise you on your legal options.

Evidence Needed to Prove a Defective Product Claim

Your defective product lawyer from Smith LaCien LLP will diligently investigate your injury and gather compelling evidence to make your claim to the manufacturer and their liability insurance company. Examples of evidence used to prove defective product injuries and their financial and physical impacts on the victim include the following:

  • Receipts showing you purchased the product
  • Product packaging
  • Photos of injuries
  • Medical records
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Testimony from expert witnesses
  • Testimony from medical experts
  • Medical bills, invoices, and receipts
  • Receipts from out-of-pocket expenses
  • W2 forms and employer statements proving your income loss

In some cases, the investigation uncovers evidence that the manufacturer knew of the defect and failed to act to correct or address the problem promptly. However, because manufacturers are held to strict liability, it isn’t necessary to prove negligence to recover compensation for damages.

Damages Available For a Defective Product Claim

Serious injuries cause significant economic losses as well as pain and trauma. When a defective product causes harm, injury victims commonly find themselves facing large medical bills at the same time their injury prevents a prompt return to work. Some injuries are catastrophic and cause life-altering disability. A successful defective product claim helps an injury victim recover financial compensation and a sense of justice. Common compensation in defective product claims in Chicago recovers the following damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Anticipated future medical care costs related to the injury
  • Income loss
  • Future income loss
  • Diminished future earning capacity due to disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other non-economic damages that apply in an individual case such as disfigurement, traumatic limb loss, loss of enjoyment of life, or PTSD

Your attorney from Smith LaCien LLP will carefully assess your damages and seek the maximum available compensation.

Although financial compensation doesn’t erase pain or heal injuries, it helps injury victims move forward with better medical care and less financial hardship.

What to Do After a Defective Product Injury

If you’ve been injured by a product despite using the product as directed by the packaging, you have a right to seek compensation. It’s difficult to keep a clear head after an alarming injury, but by taking specific steps, you can help yourself physically and financially. If your injuries are so serious that they leave you incapacitated, a loved one should take these steps for you. After an injury from a defective product, do the following:

  • Preserve the product in a plastic bag
  • Find the receipt and packaging if possible
  • Take photos of any visible injuries
  • Go directly to the hospital and ask for a thorough medical evaluation as well as treatment for any immediate injuries
  • Ask the doctor to fill out a detailed medical report documenting your injuries, their recommendations for treatment, and what the prognosis is for your recovery
  • Call an attorney from Smith LaCien before speaking to anyone from the manufacturing company or their insurer

Once your attorney files your claim, direct all communication with the insurance company to your lawyer. Avoid posting on social media until the claim process is complete.

Contact A Chicago Defective Product Attorney Today

When consumers bought cars with Takata-manufactured airbags, they didn’t expect that the product designed to protect them could explode, but they did, causing injuries and deaths in some cases. Smith LaCien LLP was co-lead counsel for economic loss in the multi-district litigation, which involved more than 1 million members across the nation and covered 1.35 million vehicles.

Cases like these require attention to detail and a commitment to the client. When you work with us, you can be assured that your case will be handled the right way. We are here to guide you in the right direction and will answer any questions you have. To schedule a free consultation, call our Chicago office at (312) 509-8900 today. You can also email us and someone will contact you shortly.

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