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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.

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 lawyers at Smith LaCien LLP in Chicago have the experience and track record necessary to provide the justice you deserve.

Understanding the Common Reasons for a Claim

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.

Regardless of the cause of the accident, our job as defective products lawyers is to prove that a company intentionally or carelessly made the 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. 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.

Does a Recall Affect a Liability Claim?

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 recalls 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 and toys.

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.

Getting Compensation for Your 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.

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.

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 lay person. Your personal injury 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.

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 of 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 products claim. These include the date of 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.

To Discuss Your Legal Options, Call Our Attorneys 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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