Madison Product Liability Lawyers
Strong advocacy for victims of dangerous and defective products
At Martin & Helms, our seasoned Madison product liability lawyers demand justice when defective car parts, drugs, machinery, equipment, and other products cause death or physical harm. We have the experience to negotiate settlements with insurance companies and try cases before juries when manufacturers deny their responsibility. Our lawyers have the resources to help show products were defective and unreasonably dangerous. Call us for help today.
The truth about defective products
The number of injuries due to consumer product failures is overwhelming. According to the latest data from the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), sports equipment and recreational activities killed almost 1,500 people, and another 1,164 died due to home furnishing and fixture products (many of which fell over). During the year starting October 1, 2016, more than four and half million people visited the ER for injuries associated with home structures and construction materials.
How product liability laws work in Madison
When a defective product causes someone’s death or injury, there are three grounds for holding the makers and sellers of the product accountable. The most common is called strict liability. In Alabama, strict liability is more formally called the “extended manufacturer’s liability doctrine.”
The essence of this doctrine is that the manufacturers and sellers of products are in the best position to make their products safe. Consumers and workers have the right to expect that the products they use will be safe for their intended use.
For these reasons, Alabama and federal laws hold that manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can be liable for someone’s injuries or death if:
- The product was defective when sold and was unreasonably dangerous;
- The defect caused an accident; and
- The accident caused the victim’s injuries.
The right to file an action is based on the use of the product. Anyone who legitimately used the product can file a claim even if he or she did not purchase the product. Claims can be brought against any company that was in the business of making or selling the product.
Additional claims in product liability cases
In addition to strict liability claims, experienced product liability lawyers usually also assert these two claims: that the makers and sellers were negligent, and/or that there was a breach or warranty, either implied or stated.
Types of product defects
- Defective design. Whether the design is by hand or by computer, product designers need to consider all possible dangers and side-effects. Designs should put the safety of the user first.
- Defective workmanship. This includes using substandard parts, making the products too quickly, and other types of substandard workmanship.
- Faulty instruction. Even if a product is made correctly, the consumer needs to understand how to use it. For example, drugs should come with proper instructions as to how often someone should take the medications.
Products can also be defective if they were assembled improperly, the marketing was deceptive or inaccurate, the labels are faulty, and for other reasons.
The types of product liability claims we handle
Our Madison defective product lawyers handle the full range of product liability claims. We examine if products were ever recalled or if they should have been recalled. We review what defect caused the accident. We represent clients injured in the following type of product accident claims:
- Drug and medical device defects. Patients and consumers have the right to expect the medications drug companies make, and pharmacists sell, will work. While most drugs aren’t cure-alls, the users have the right to expect they won’t harm the patient – other than expected side effects. Many devices such as vaginal meshes, implants, and other products have caused insufferable harm.
- Car, truck, and motorcycle defects. Seat belts should work when accidents occur. Air bags should expand and protect the occupants when a crash occurs. Tires shouldn’t blow out if they are inflated properly and have the right tread. Steering should drive the car straight. Fuel-lines should never explode. Brakes should never fail. Many vehicle accidents are due to simple things like defective screws and hoses and complex things such as faulty transmissions. Vehicles are required to meet federal crashworthiness levels.
- Machinery and equipment defects. When forklifts fail, scaffolding collapses, gas heaters explode, safety helmets don’t protect, or other work products malfunction – it’s often because the work products weren’t designed properly or were made cheaply.
- Recreational vehicle defects. All-terrain-vehicles (ATVs), bicycles, and other products are a lot of fun to ride – until they tip over, a fork on the bicycle breaks, or the brakes don’t work hurdling the occupant onto the ground.
Other products that have taken lives or caused serious harm include asbestos, flammable furniture, water sports products, child car seats, lawn care machinery, toys, and most everything used in the home, on the road, or at work.
It is critical that we examine the product before it is repaired or thrown out. Delay can hurt your liability case and your chances for a full recovery.
Contact an experienced product liability lawyer as soon as an accident occurs
At Martin & Helms, we only represent injury victims. We are respected throughout Alabama for our ability to take on large companies who will contest your claim to the fullest. To speak with a skilled Madison product liability lawyer, please call 256-539-1990 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.