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Design Defect Attorney

defective-design-product-liability-lawsuit In the U.S., it is estimated that over 1,000 people are killed every year due to defective products. In addition, there were also approximately 1 million injuries reported in 2017 alone.

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal representatives for people injured by a design defect. We fight aggressively on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive maximum compensation while seeking damages.

Call a product liability attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our law firm remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

What Is a Design Defect?

Many products are released to the public with a design or manufacturing defect where the flaw leads to catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. The manufacturer or designer of the product is responsible if it's determined that they applied an unreasonable safety risk when designing or building the product.

When a design defect is present in a product, the manufacturer can be held liable for any injuries.

However, it means that if an unsafe product has injured you or someone you love, it's important to contact an attorney who specializes in defective products right away so they can start building your case and protecting your rights.

Some common examples of a design defect include defective car tires or motorcycle helmets. You may have even heard about some potentially dangerous defects associated with certain types of cars as recently as 2018. These automakers reached settlements to help those injured by their faulty vehicles.

Design defects can affect various things, from products people use in their homes or businesses to medical devices, cars, toys, and much more.

Specific examples of design defects could involve:

  • Unsafe products that are easily flammable
  • A vehicle that has a history of sudden acceleration incidents leading to a car accident
  • Tools that can cause severe injuries simply from being used incorrectly
  • Toys with small pieces that present choking hazards to young children
  • Medical devices that were recalled due to faulty or dangerous designs
  • Products with structurally hazardous components like chairs that easily collapse, handles that break away unexpectedly, etc.

Even though most products are safe to use when used the right way, some might have features that make them potentially dangerous. That is why it's so important for manufacturers to design their products carefully and with safety in mind.

Design Defects and Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), roughly 15,000 consumer-product-related injuries in the United States every day. While most of these injuries never result in litigation, it's still important to know that your injury might not be an accident at all—it could have been caused due to a defective design product.

The CPSC was created for the very purpose of reducing deaths and injuries that result from consumer products, but they rely on you reporting issues with unsafe products or ones that are dangerous due to defects.

You can report products you think are defective or dangerous to them for free by calling CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772, emailing them at cpsc.gov, or filing a complaint on their website.

Design Defects and the Centers For Disease Control (CDC)

Data released by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that design defects and manufacturing problems are responsible for at least 1.5 million injuries every year in the United States that require hospitalization or cause death.

This data only accounts for products that are being exactly used as intended, likely so it's even more people might be injured by poor design decisions made during manufacturing.

An example of a product defect leading to injury would be a person getting hurt by a seemingly harmless hair clip.

If you were to look at the design of that hair clip, you might see that the ends are easily removable—meaning they can detach when opened or closed unexpectedly. It is an example of a design defect that has caused many people to suffer from lacerations and other injuries.

How Can You Report a Product Defect?

It only takes one or two small things going wrong with a product before somebody can be injured, hospitalized, or killed. That means every design defect is important and must be reported by a consumer who sees it.

One thing that might surprise you about the Consumer Product Safety Commission is that they don't have to tell you what action they've taken regarding your reported product.

When it comes to reporting a product defect, there are two ways you can do it: by taking matters into your own hands or by hiring an attorney. While most people tend to prefer the first option, there are many reasons why you might consider hiring an attorney.

For example, filing a consumer complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission isn't easy—especially if you're unsure about their process.

Unfortunately, it means that there is a possibility that your issue could be ignored or mishandled by CPSC staff members who don't know what they're doing.

On the other hand, hiring an attorney to handle your case will ensure your matter is handled with care and attention to detail by someone who knows how CPSC works. Also, they can even help you file a defective design product liability claim if necessary.

If you want to report a defective or dangerous product but don't know how to go about it, don't hesitate to get in touch with us for help.

We have experience working with CPSC on dangerous product cases and can ensure your report is handled correctly, but you must be sure that your report is defective.

What Types of Injuries Can Result From a Design Defect?

A defectively designed product can lead to serious injuries and even death. Therefore, they can be much more dangerous than similar products designed carefully to prevent these injuries. It is especially true if the product isn't meant to pose a risk, such as power tools or furniture.

According to one study, as many as seventy percent of the deaths caused by consumer products involve design defects. And over half of the injuries that result from defective products are catastrophic, even resulting in paralysis and amputation.

When a product is unreasonably dangerous, not following normal industry standards for safety, it can cause:

  • Serious burns and lacerations
  • Broken bones and internal injuries
  • Head injuries that lead to brain damage or death
  • Paralysis and amputation bones
  • Serious internal injuries that might require lifelong care
  • Choking incidents that result in death or disability
  • Death if the design defect causes product failure Not only can design defects lead to life-altering injuries but they may be considered defective product liability cases even if no one was hurt

Defective products are not always easy to spot, but when it comes to the safety of consumers, manufacturers are held to a much higher standard.

Current Status of Manufacturers in Design Defect Claims

In almost every state, product designers or manufacturers can be responsible for injuries caused by their defective products if they were unreasonably dangerous when used correctly.

It's only in some rare personal injury cases that an injured person cannot recover damages when the product doesn't have a safety design.

According to one study, over seventy percent of Americans are working in an industry where they could be exposed to hazardous products.

They might not even know it, leaving them vulnerable to serious injuries or even death without expecting it. That is why manufacturers are held to this standard of care.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Design Defect?

When an injury does occur, more than one party might be responsible for paying damages. For example, when product designers are at fault, they could be held liable by the manufacturer or product seller.

It is because everyone involved in the distribution chain is responsible for providing safe products to the market.

Specifically, anyone involved in design defects can be held liable:

  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers and distributors of dangerous products
  • Product designers who might create negligent designs that are unreasonably dangerous for consumers
  • Companies that make small parts or components, especially if they're unable to warn about proper use or precautions
  • Anyone involved in the chain of distribution can be held liable for damages, including those who fail to test or inspect the product carefully

Lawsuits Involving Product Design Defects

The best way to know whether you might have a defective design claim against someone is to speak with an attorney and get their take on your situation.

For claims involving design defects, it's most likely that the injured person has to prove several things in court:

  • That they were using the product correctly when the injury occurred
  • That the use of the product resulted in an injury
  • The defect or failure was what caused their injuries
  • If products that are similar to theirs haven't had similar issues, then this one is defective that led to their injuries

You might need to consult with an attorney specializing in manufacturing defects lawsuits for help. However, it's important to take the time now so you can understand what happened, why it's dangerous, and if the manufacturer was aware of a foreseeable risk posed by their product.

Common Types of Hazardous Defects

Many products are recalled or pulled from the marketplace due to a design defect. However, more problems might also be involved in the dangerous product, including:

  • Defective manufacturing happens when creating a product that leads to an injury and the manufacturer's failure to create an alternative design without risk.
  • Improper labeling or missing warnings mistakes while instructing users on using the product safely or warning them of dangers.
  • Warning labels are there for a reason, but sometimes they're not enough. It takes multiple parties along the distribution chain working together to get products to the market that don't ever see major accidents.

For example, suppose a Whirlpool dishwasher injures you because it's too heavy for its casters and falls back on you while you're moving it. In that case, the appliance seller might be held liable because they failed to ensure that customers were aware of this risk.

Again, it is because product manufacturers aren't always aware of how products are used in the real world.

In this case, the designer could be held liable too. If anyone along the chain of distribution should have been made aware of such a defect and failed to take necessary steps by recalling or fixing it, then they too can be held responsible for your injuries.

Liability for Defective Products - What to Do Next

If a defective product has injured you, you may be able to file a lawsuit and recover damages. However, you should first talk with an attorney who can tell you if you have a defective design claim that qualifies for legal action and what might be your next steps.

The law protects the ordinary consumer against dangerous products and those responsible for manufacturing them. If a defective design product hurts you, make sure you know your legal options for compensation.

Contact a design defect lawyer specializing in defective product liability for a free consultation to learn more about how to proceed with filing a claim against those responsible for manufacturing or selling their defective product.

In many cases, the manufacturer was well aware that the defect existed and could cause a personal injury without making changes to create an alternative design eliminating the risk.

What Is Strict Liability, and Do I Have a Case?

Unlike personal injury liability laws, strict product liability laws hold manufacturers of defective products liable even if they did nothing wrong. Instead of proving that the manufacturers were negligent, you only need to prove that their product was defective and caused your injuries.

Strict product liability is different from a traditional negligence case that is often based on a cost-benefit analysis. Instead, strict product liability typically identifies problems with the product itself.

The plaintiff builds their design defect claim arguing that the product's risks outweigh the benefits because it is unreasonably dangerous with inherent flaws that do not affect its intended purpose.

For strict product liability laws to apply, there are three elements:

  • The defendant made a dangerous product
  • There is a defect in the design, manufacturing, or creating process that caused the product to be dangerous
  • The defect made the product unreasonably unsafe for consumer use

It doesn't matter if the manufacturer didn't know about the defect or did anything wrong. All that's required is proof of a defective and dangerous product and that it caused your personal injuries.

Since proving fault can be difficult with these types of claims, it might be necessary to contact an attorney specializing in product liability to help you figure out your options.

How Do You Know If a Product Is Defective?

Often, the evidence shows up in the form of complaints from consumers, medical reports or other records by doctors, photos, and more. But what does this look like specifically?

If you can't be there to witness an accident involving a faulty product personally, it's difficult to know the extent of damages caused by that product.

But if it has significant problems, then experts can find the following when reviewing these flawed products:

  • A product is designed in a way that makes it unreasonably dangerous
  • The product had an unsafe design or construction That this design or construction was what resulted in injury to the consumer
  • It can be more difficult for attorneys to prove if they don't have supporting documentation, like relevant medical records and photos

Offering Evidence in a Product Design Defect Claim

Many things can help provide evidence for your claim, which is why it's important to consult with an attorney. Of course, the most helpful thing is pointing out a pattern or trend of damaged products, known as a class-action lawsuit. These cases share specific characteristics that can help establish the claims against those involved.

For instance, you might find many faulty products on the market, but only one specific manufacturer is responsible for producing them. However, if they manufacture several different models, each with similar issues, this could be enough to prove your case.

Additionally, if certain components or parts were defective on their own, it can help show that this was what led to your injuries. Your attorney's goal is to prove the connection between these faulty products and your injuries, making this documentation critical in court.

Statute of Limitation: Is There a Time Limit on Product Liability Claims?

Your attorney can help you understand whether your attorney has time to file the case within the statute of limitations. For product liability claims, this is usually three years from the date of injury or two years from when you discover the injury. It varies by state, however, so it's best to get advice from someone who can help you with the specifics.

If multiple parties could be at fault for your injuries, then sometimes product liability cases can be taken up by groups rather than individuals.

For example, suppose five companies all manufactured parts of a car's brake pads, and any one of them was unreasonably dangerous. In that case, it's possible to take them all on as defendants and file for damages for the full value of your injuries.

Most cases, however, involve one or two parties at most and only those entities directly responsible for the defect. If you've been injured by a product that didn't follow reasonable manufacturing standards, then your attorney can help hold the responsible party or parties accountable for your injuries.

Be wary of manufacturers who try to blame the injured party – it's always best to consult with an attorney and understand your options before entering into any negotiations on your own.

Hiring a Design Defect Lawyer to Resolve your Compensation Case – Schedule a Free Consultation

Are you the victim of a design defect, or did you lose a loved one through a wrongful death caused by another's negligence?

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our product liability attorneys represent injured consumers harmed by a manufacturer's negligence in designing, making, or marketing the damaged product.

We serve clients by accepting all personal injury cases involving dangerous products through a contingency fee agreement. This promise ensures you pay nothing of front and that your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.

Call our law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. We will hold the company accountable for their defective manufacturing process or design defects that led to your damages.

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Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
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Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
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This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
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Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa