Product Liability Lawyers Serving Injury Victims in Chicago
When you purchase something, you have certain expectations. If a company manufactures and then sells a product, they have a serious responsibility to their buyers. They must manufacture a safe product that can be used. If the product is faulty and you get hurt, this is known as product liability. In this instance, you need an Illinois product liability lawyer. The goal is to show that you used the product as it was meant to be used, and that it was faulty. The faulty product is the reason why you were injured.
What About Blame?
Many people who are injured by a faulty product wonder about blame under product liability laws. If the product was used properly and there was no warning about a potential injury, the faulty product may likely be at fault.
There are many different products that are covered under product liability law: Toys, vehicles, electronics, furniture, lawn mowers, and even appliances. Product liability laws are meant to protect the public from injuries caused by dangerous products put on the market without warning.
If a product is used in a way in which it wasn’t intended to be used, you may not have a case. If you construct a treehouse using bolts and wood that are made to withstand 300 pounds, but you place things inside of the treehouse that weigh 1,000 pounds, then the bolts and wood weren’t used for their original purpose. This reduces the bolt manufacturer’s liability.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability is about a defective product that hurt other people. There are five main product liability categories:
- Negligence. This means that something happened or didn’t happen and that thing caused an injury of some sort.
- Misrepresentation. This means that there was some sort of fraud involved. If a retailer knowingly lied to someone and that person relied on the lie when he or she purchased the product, that is misrepresentation if the product doesn’t do what the consumer was told it would do.
- Breach of express warranty. A breach of express warranty is similar to misrepresentation. The consumer must rely on the expressed words provided by the retailer. Those words must not be true. The consumer is injured because he or she relied on what was said.
- Breach of implied warranty. An implied warranty occurs when the seller knows that the consumer is relying on his or her expertise. Whatever is being sold will not actually fit to be used for the purpose implied by the seller.
- Strict liability in tort. For product liability, this relates to defective products that are made and distributed that hurt someone. Using strict liability in tort, the manufacturer, the distributor, and the seller may all be held accountable for the injuries.
The Four Elements of Product Liability
Like any legal cause of action, product liability has elements that must be met in order for you to file a claim in a court of law. In fact, if you’re injured because of a defective product, you only have two years to file your claim in Illinois. So, if you believe your claim has the following four elements, call Malman Law right away!
- You must suffer from an actual injury. A defective lawn mower isn’t enough. It must cause some sort of harm to you or damage your property in some way (for example, if the engine blew up and set your garage on fire).
- The product must be defective. We know that certain parts of lawn mowers naturally get hot because they have an engine. However, the lawn mower must actually be defective in some way to qualify as a product liability lawsuit.
- The defect must be the actual cause of the injury or property damage. If your lawn mower is defective and catches on fire and causes you to suffer from burns, that may be the actual cause of your burns.
- Finally, one of the most important elements: You must be using the product in the way in which it was intended. If you were using your lawn mower to try and clear snow and ice from your lawn, that’s not the way that the product was intended to be used. However, if you were using it to mow your backyard, that is what lawn mowers were designed to do.
What Should You Do if You’re Hurt?
If you’ve been injured by a faulty product, you need to contact an Illinois product liability lawyer. During your initial consultation, you’ll discuss what happened to cause your injury. The product liability lawyer will need documentation such as pictures, medical reports, product packaging, and instructions for the product. These items can help your attorney determine if you have a good case. So, make sure that you have these items ready to bring with you to the consultation.