Decatur Product Liability Attorneys
Protecting Morgan County citizens injured by dangerous products
No matter where you live in Alabama or across the United States, you buy or use products every day. It’s nearly impossible not to. The vehicle in which you commute to work is a product. The coffee or tea you drink during your afternoon break is a product. And so are your prescription medications.
If you or a loved one were injured by a defective or dangerous product, drug, or medical device, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Remember, the negligence of another is never your fault. Talk to the Decatur product liability lawyers at Martin & Helms. We use our decades of experience to put together a personalized strategy for your case, keeping your best interests in mind.
Types of product defects
Federal and state law require that consumer products be designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold under conditions that are safe and honest. And, if manufacturers and retailers disregard consumer safety and break these laws, the unfortunate result may be a defective product that puts the user and everyone around them at risk of personal injury. These injuries can happen immediately or develop over years of prolonged use.
There are three main categories of product defects:
- Manufacturing defects. Typically, a manufacturing defect is only found in a small percentage of a product run. However, a manufacturer is liable for any defects that occur throughout the construction and manufacturing process.
- Design defects. Design flaws can go all the way back to the original blueprint of the product, causing it to be dangerous and cause a hazard for users and consumers.
- Warning defects. Some products are simply hazardous no matter how well they’re designed (think a chainsaw or propane heater). These types of products pose a safety risk if they’re not used carefully, and require instructions and appropriate warnings on how to use and how not to use the products. If potentially dangerous products fail to provide reasonable safety warnings and instructions, they can injure consumers.
If you’re harmed by a product defect, you may have grounds for a defective product claim. Our Decatur attorneys can talk to you about your situation and injuries.
Types of Decatur product liability cases
Our practice generally sees three types of product liability cases:
- Negligence. This means that carelessness in the design or manufacture of the product directly led to your injuries. Product manufacturers have a duty of care to consumers to deliver and sell a safe product. When they fail or breach this duty, they can be held negligent and responsible for your injuries. Negligence can happen during any part of the design and manufacturing process – including drawing and reviewing product designs, maintaining machines and supplies that make the product, failure to properly inspect or test the product, or releasing the product to market too quickly.
- Strict liability. Many product liability cases are handled under the theory of strict liability. This means that you only have to prove that a product defect exists, and you were harmed as a result. If this defect does exist, the manufacturer may be strictly liable for your damages, regardless of whether it exercised caution when manufacturing the product. Your product liability attorney can explain the details of strict liability further.
- Breach of warranty. When you purchase a product, you rely on two warranties – the express warranty and the implied warranty. The express warranty is any safety and product information made to you by the manufacturer or retailer. The implied warranty is the implied promise by the manufacturer that the product is free of defects and safe when used properly.
Liability for defective products in Alabama
Depending on your particular case, you may be able to seek compensation from more than one party, including the manufacturer, retailers, or wholesalers. It’s not necessary to choose one – under the law, any responsible party in the chain of distribution of a defective product might be held responsible in a product liability claim:
- Manufacturer. A product manufacturer can be anything or anyone from a multinational corporation to a small company. Depending on the size and complexity of the product, you might make a claim against the manufacturer of a defective part, in addition to the manufacturer of the overall product.
Retailer or Wholesaler. When a retailer or wholesaler (product distributor) is also the manufacturer or the assembler of the defective product, they may be held liable under Alabama law. If the retailer or wholesaler had substantial control or input over the design, testing, manufacturing, packaging or labeling of a defective product, they also may be held liable for resulting injuries under Alabama law. Further, if a retailer or wholesaler alters or modifies a product and such alteration or modification causes harm, they are liable for the harm caused under Alabama law. Any of or all of these entities could be found negligent for your injuries and damages from a dangerous and defective product.
Recovering damages in a Decatur product liability case
You could be eligible for several types of damages when injured by a dangerous product. These can include:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
You may also be entitled to punitive damages against the guilty party or parties, which are designed to punish the responsible party, and deter them and others from further careless conduct.
Call our skilled Decatur product liability lawyers today
If you or a family member suffered an injury from a defective product, get in touch with our qualified attorneys immediately. You don’t have to bear the burden of the physical and emotional pain an injury can cause. Our legal team is dedicated to protecting the public from dangerous and hazardous products. To set up a consultation in our Decatur office, call Martin & Helms at 256-539-1990 or fill out our contact form.