People buy and use products believing they will work as expected. Unfortunately, many products do not. Instead, countless consumers are injured every year by defective and dangerous products that catch on fire, explode, collapse, or otherwise fail. These consumers are entitled to compensation.
At Sabbeth Law, our attorneys have handled many product liability lawsuits. These are not easy claims to bring. This area of law is complicated, and defendants aggressively fight these lawsuits, which makes hiring an attorney one of the most important steps you can take.
How Are Products Defective?
Any product could be potentially defective. Anyone injured by defective bicycles, cars, kitchen appliances, electronic gadgets, furniture, clothes, or prescription drugs should contact us as soon as possible. We will talk about your legal rights to compensation and how your claim will proceed.
Generally, products suffer from one of three defects:
- Defective design. Think of a child’s highchair with legs that are too close together. The chair is at immediate risk of toppling over due to this defective design. When the design is defective, we see problems along the entire product line, and any product made to specifications will be dangerous.
- Defective manufacture. Some products are not made according to their design. Instead, inadequate materials or another defect in the manufacturing process makes the product dangerous. For example, the hinge on a ladder could be unbolted, leading to a collapse.
- Marketing defect. Some dangerous products can become safe if the manufacturer provides appropriate warnings or instructions on how to use the product. When these are missing or insufficient, then the product can injure people.
Many of our clients have no idea why a product exploded in their face or collapsed beneath them. All they know is that they are hurt and need compensation. Let our lawyers inspect the product to find out what was wrong with it. Remember to hold onto the product and all packing and instructions so that your White River Junction product liability attorney can inspect them.
What Legal Theories Can You Use?
One reason this is a confusing area of law stems from the many crisscrossing legal theories that are in play. Injured victims must identify a legal theory to bring their cases under, and this is where an attorney can help enormously.
One option is negligence. Manufacturers and designers must use reasonable care when doing their jobs. If they don’t, and a person is injured, then they can be sued. However, defendants can raise the defense that the care they used was sufficient, even if the product ultimately harmed someone.
The Uniform Commercial Code might also be helpful, in particular the law of warranties. All goods sold have implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. When products fail to work as expected, the warranty has been breached.
Product liability law is another specialized area that we use to bring claims. This is strict liability, meaning that a victim only needs to show that the product is unreasonably dangerous and that it injured them. The defendant cannot counter that they used sufficient care.
Instead of trying to figure out what legal theory to use, you should meet with a White River Junction products liability lawyer to review your case. A lawyer understands the strengths and weaknesses of each theory and will choose the one best suited to the surrounding circumstances.
Deciding Who to Sue
A key decision in these cases is deciding who to sue. Vermont law allows injured plaintiffs to sue many different entities, including the manufacture of the product or the entity that manufactured a defective part. For example, a defective bicycle might have crashed because the brakes failed. In this example, a plaintiff could sue the manufacturer of the bicycle or the manufacturer of the brakes, or both.
Other entities include anyone in the chain of distribution, such as wholesalers, distributors, and even retailers. Naming the right defendants is confusing and might require investigation. Your Hartford product liability lawyer should investigate for you.
Statute of Limitations
Like other states, Vermont gives injured victims a short amount of time to bring a lawsuit. Specifically, you have three years to bring a claim if you sue under negligence or products liability. This time can pass very quickly, and if you fail to file a lawsuit in a timely fashion, then the court can dismiss your claim.
Contact Us Today
The Hartford product liability attorneys at Sabbeth Law bring decades of experience on behalf of our clients. We know how to build product liability cases from the ground up, and we have tackled some of the more factually complex cases around.
To find out more, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.