Injuries from Defective Consumer Products

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Trusted personal injury attorneys

Conoscienti and Ledbetter can help you navigate the complexities of defective consumer product injuries and ensure you understand your rights and compensation options. Call us for more information.

Blake Ledbetter Atlanta AttorneyAuthor: J. Blake Ledbetter, Partner, Conoscienti & Ledbetter

Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil litigation in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, and possesses vast experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Mr. Ledbetter was recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 in the area of Civil Litigation. Published on February 13, 2024.

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Defective Product Injuries: Risks and Recourse

Every year, numerous individuals fall victim to defective consumer products, resulting in not only financial losses but also physical injuries and, in some cases, severe health complications.

These risks lie within everyday items like:

  • An overheating electronic device

  • A toy with hazardous components

  • A vehicle with flawed parts

If you have been injured by a defective product, or your property has been damaged, recourse may be available through a product liability claim.

At Conoscienti & Ledbetter, we advocate for those who have been unjustly injured and hold the responsible parties accountable. Our team is experienced in handling such cases and will expertly guide you through the complexities of legal recourse, ensuring that justice is served.

Understanding Product Liability

Under Georgia law, a product is deemed “defective” if it presents an unreasonable risk or lacks sufficient warnings, potentially jeopardizing the user’s or consumer’s safety. If a defective product causes injury, the manufacturer may be held responsible for the damages. Three primary categories of product defects are recognized: manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to warn.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects happen when a product deviates from its intended design due to an error during the manufacturing process. This deviation makes the product more hazardous than intended, posing a consumer risk. In Georgia, manufacturers can be held responsible for injuries resulting from such defects, regardless of whether they exercised reasonable care during production.

Design Defects

Design defects occur when a product’s inherent design is flawed, rendering it unreasonably hazardous even when manufactured correctly. These defects are inherent in the product’s design and impact all units produced. To establish a claim for design defect, the injured party should show that an alternative design was available and that implementing this alternative design would have prevented the injury.

Failure To Warn Consumers

A product can also be deemed defective if it fails to include sufficient warnings or instructions for proper usage. Manufacturers are responsible for providing clear and explicit notifications regarding potential risks and hazards associated with their products.

Speak with trusted personal injury attorneys today, for free.

The Role of the Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for creating and enforcing standards to ensure the safety of American products. The CPSC identifies areas of concern and product safety risks by continuously monitoring consumer product injuries and deaths. 

Established in 1972, the CPSC was formed in response to the distribution of many unsafe products to consumers nationwide. To address the variability of state and local regulations, Congress decided to establish safety standards at the federal level to benefit the public. The CPSA defines consumer products as items or components produced or distributed in the US for personal or household use.

Common Injuries From Defective Products

Injuries resulting from defective product accidents can vary significantly in severity, ranging from minor inconveniences to life-altering consequences.

Some common injuries due to defective products include:

  • Burns: Malfunctioning electrical devices or highly flammable materials have the potential to cause severe burns, while unsafe products can lead to fires, inflicting devastating physical and emotional trauma. 
  • Lacerations and Cuts: Products with sharp edges or defective tools can risk lacerations and cuts, varying from minor scratches to deep wounds that may necessitate medical intervention. We strongly advise seeking medical attention if a faulty product has injured you.
  • Head and Brain Injuries: Poorly designed safety equipment or sports gear can result in concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and long-term cognitive impairments. Design flaws may enable companies to market products with inadequate protection, thus increasing the risk of these severe injuries.
  • Poisoning and Toxic Exposure: Consuming contaminated food or coming into contact with toxic chemicals in products can lead to poisoning or exposure to harmful substances, resulting in severe illnesses and health complications. We prioritize the prevention and treatment of diseases caused by these dangerous products.
  • Broken Bones and Fractures: In cases involving defective vehicles or poorly made furniture, broken bones and fractures are frequently encountered. These injuries can arise from structural defects, manufacturing flaws, insufficient safety features, or substandard construction materials.

Legal Rights and Responsibilities of Manufacturers

Consumer Rights

As a consumer, you should know that you have certain legal rights regarding product liability cases. These rights protect you from any harm caused by defective products.

  • Right to Safety: Consumers can rightfully expect the products they buy to be safe, whether used as intended or in ways reasonably foreseeable. Manufacturers and other entities involved in the supply chain have a legal duty to ensure that their products are reasonably safe and free from defects.

  • Compensation Rights: When a consumer experiences harm or injuries due to a defective product, they are often entitled to pursue financial compensation for the damages incurred. This may encompass medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other associated losses arising from the product defect.

Manufacturer’s Duty To Report

Manufacturers are legally responsible for promptly informing the CPSC of any potential hazards associated with their products. This obligation applies when a product possesses a defect, poses an unreasonable risk of harm, or fails to comply with consumer product safety rules. Even incidents not resulting in death or serious injury should be reported.

Manufacturers must fulfill this reporting requirement within 24 hours of obtaining credible information that supports the belief that a product contains a defect that may present a substantial risk, violate a relevant consumer product safety rule, or pose an unreasonable risk of severe injury or death.

These obligations are outlined in the Consumer Product Safety Act, which aims to safeguard consumers by preventing the distribution and sale of hazardous or defective products. 

    The Legal Process for Defective Product Claims

    If a defective product causes injury to you or damage to your property, you may be entitled to pursue compensation using a personal injury lawsuit. The manufacturer of the product could be held liable for the damages. A successful product liability claim will depend on proving liability and damages. 

    Proving Liability

    Product liability claims can be based on two theories of liability: strict liability or negligence.

    Strict Liability

    According to the theory of strict product liability in defective product law, the plaintiff is not required to prove fault on the defendant’s part. However, it is crucial to establish the following elements:

    1. The defendant is responsible for manufacturing the product.
    2. The product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s control.
    3. The injury resulted from the product’s defective condition.

    Negligence

    A products liability plaintiff must prove the following four elements:

    1. The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
    2. The defendant breached the duty of care owed.
    3. The defendant’s breach caused in fact or proximately caused the events leading to the claim.
    4. Actual damages.

    Our personal injury attorneys in Decatur can help you determine the appropriate claim for your product liability case and strategy for pursuing damages. 

    Compensation and Damages

    Compensation for damages can vary depending on the injuries involved and the type of claim. These can include reimbursement for medical expenses, compensation for lost wages, and damages for the pain and suffering from product-related injuries. 

    It is important to note that individuals injured by a defective product usually have just two years to pursue a legal claim. At Conoscienti & Ledbetter, our team of defective product lawyers is highly knowledgeable in Georgia law. We are here to guide you through the legal process, help you understand how the statute of limitations affects your case, and safeguard your rights.

    Secure Justice in Defective Product Cases With Conoscienti & Ledbetter 

    You have every right to expect safety when you purchase and use products. If those expectations are unmet, you deserve compensation for any harm or injury you suffer. However, proving liability and getting fair compensation can prove challenging. 

    At Conoscienti & Ledbetter, our attorneys help you seek justice and hold the responsible parties accountable. Our skilled attorneys will develop personalized legal strategies tailored to the unique circumstances of your case, helping you achieve a desirable outcome. 

    If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered damages from a defective product, do not hesitate to contact Conoscienti & Ledbetter for a complimentary initial consultation.

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