Chicago Product Liability Attorneys
As a consumer in Chicago Illinois, you have an expectation that the consumer products that you buy will not be unreasonably dangerous.
When you suffer serious injuries, you can file a products liability lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation for the harm that you have suffered.
How We Can Assist with Your Liability Claim
The attorneys at the law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help you file your product liability personal injury case for consumer products and other dangerous items that you have bought.
When you contact our Chicago product liability attorneys to schedule a free consultation, you will learn more about how the law allows you to recover compensation for your injuries.
Call the Chicago office of our law firm for a free case evaluation.
Product Liability Law and Your Case
The Different Types of Defective Products Cases
In order to fully understand what a product liability claim means, it is useful to understand a few examples of these cases in different contexts:
Design defect - this is a problem with the design that made the product unreasonably dangerous.
Marketing defect - this could be something like a failure to warn of the dangers of the product or encouraging an off-label use of the product.
Manufacturing defect - The product may have been designed properly, but there was something that went wrong in the manufacturing process.
Defective Products that We Use Everyday
Products liability cases touch many areas of our lives today. Practically everything that you use can break and harm you.
When that happens, you are entitled to damages for all the harm that you have suffered.
Here are some many ways that defective products touch your everyday life as a consumer:
- Food poisoning - Usually, the news is filled with reports of people who have been injured by things such as salmonella and e-coli. These can be the basis for a claim against the restaurant or food seller because there are defects in the food.
- Defective Toys - People may also be injured by defective toys. Sometimes, they have small parts that children can choke on and swallow. Other times, the paint on these toys can be toxic.
- Medical Devices and Drugs - This is one of the more common types of lawsuits today. Things such as hernia mesh or even the drug Zantac have been the subject of liability cases where plaintiffs have claimed that they are defective. Chicago product liability and personal injury attorneys have received numerous calls from injured consumers seeking help for faulty medications
Here are some of the more well-known recent product liability lawsuits:
- Roundup Weedkiller - This is one of the larger liability claims in recent years. Plaintiffs claimed that the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, was an active carcinogen. After several extremely large jury verdicts that included tens of millions of dollars in punitive damages, Bayer sought to reach a multi-billion dollar settlement with the plaintiffs. We are also prosecuting Paraquat lawsuits involving Parkinson's Disease.
- Fen Phen Diet Pills - This was one of the biggest defective drug lawsuits ever. The supposedly revolutionary diet pill caused heart attacks and other heart valve damage that killed scores of people. This resulted in a settlement of nearly $5 billion.
- Asbestos - In one of the most expensive and longest-running product liability suits of all-time, plaintiffs have been filing cases against practically every company associated with this naturally occurring element that causes mesothelioma. The legal liability has bankrupted large corporations as the total amount of settlements and verdicts has reached into the tens of billions.
- Ford Pinto - In one of the first mass tort personal injury cases, plaintiffs suffered serious injuries when the placement of the gas tank caused this vehicle to explode upon impact in certain collisions.
When You Can Sue a Manufacturer for a Defective Product
If you were the purchaser of the product and were injured, you may have the legal right to sue the manufacturer and other entities responsible for design and distribution of the product.
Similarly if your loved one was killed due to a product with defects, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer.
Buying the product creates a legal relationship between you and everyone else who was involved in the stream of commerce that entitles you to a safe product that will not injure you.
Product Liability Legal Theories of Recovery
There are two possible ways that you can recover in your Chicago Illinois case. The way that you are entitled to compensation is strict liability.
Here, it does not matter whether the manufacturer exercised due care in making the product.
All you need to show is the following:
- You bought the product
- You used it in a foreseeable way
- The product is in substantially the same condition it was in when it was sold
- You suffered an injury
The key here is that your personal injury attorney is able to show that the product was defective. If that is the case, then you would likely be able to receive financial compensation for your injury.
The Negligence Theory of a Product Liability Case
Even if you cannot show that the manufacturer should be strictly liable for your injuries, the law still allows you to recover.
Here, you would need to show that you were injured by the manufacturers' or sellers' negligence.
Just like any other negligence case, you would need to prove the following:
- The defendant owed you the duty of care. This is usually the case when you are buying a product from the seller or maker.
- The defendant breached the duty of care by acting unreasonably.
- You were injured by the product.
- You would not have been injured but for the actions of the defendant.
Here, the key is proving that the defendant acted unreasonably. This is where our firm can help you.
The manufacturer and their lawyer will always try to show that their product was safe, or at least that it was not dangerous. Your attorney can help you put forth the evidence that will back your claim that the product was not safe for its intended use.
Damages in a Products Liability Lawsuit
Here are some of the categories of damages for which you can recover compensation in a products liability lawsuit:
- Lost wages for the time that you have missed from work and would miss in the future. You can also be paid for the reduction in your earnings capacity.
- Medical expenses for the payments to doctors that have come out of your pocket. This can also cover future medical expenses. This category could include the cost of nursing care for those with serious injuries.
- Pain and suffering (in Illinois, there are no caps on pain and suffering)
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct was found to be bad enough
Your Products Liability Case Can Be Heavily Scientific
Proving product liability cases is not always easy. Dangerous conditions may require scientific evidence and expert testimony to show the court that the defects were real and that your injuries were caused by the product defect.
Your case could take a long time to litigate, and you can expect motions from both sides.
Product liability lawsuits are hard-fought because the defendant has huge monetary stakes. Even the company itself can be at stake.
You Need a Product Liability Attorney
This is why you need an injury attorney on your side. We will handle your product liability case from start to finish, working with the experts to help prove your claims.
This is what you will need to do in order to prove your entitlement to financial compensation:
- The product that you bought was defective
- You were injured by that product.
- Your injuries were caused by the product defect.
- You were not using the product in an unintended manner
The products liability lawsuit process begins the moment that you give a phone call to an attorney in our Chicago office to schedule your free consultation.
Your attorney will sit down with you and ask you a series of questions about your case.
The lawyers at our firm will take the time to learn all the facts of your case before letting you know whether the law would support compensation and let you know of your legal rights.
Then, your product liability attorney will begin your case by filing a complaint with the court that lays out the facts and why the manufacturer or seller should be made to pay for your injury.
Before your Chicago product liability trial begins, your case will have a phase of discovery where the two parties will exchange documents and take depositions. This will help our firm build your case even further.
Finally, your legal case will go to trial. Here, your Chicago product liability lawyer will call witnesses and present the evidence. The jury will decide whether the defendant has a legal liability to pay for your injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions of Chicago Product Liability Lawyers
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about product liability cases:
Can I afford to hire a product liability lawyer?
Like all personal injury lawyers, our law office works on a contingency basis, meaning that we are not paid unless you recover compensation.
Not only do you get a free case evaluation, but you are not charged on an hourly basis. Your liability attorney is paid from the proceeds of your settlement or jury verdict.
How would I choose the right product liability lawyer?
Ideally, you need a lawyer who has the experience necessary to handle your specific claim. You would not hire someone with a criminal defense practice to handle a products liability case.
The best thing to do is ask the attorney about the previous product liability and personal injury cases that they have tried. You should recognize that products liability is one of the more complex practice areas, and not every attorney can handle this area of the law.
How Long Will My Defective Product Case Take?
As you can see, there are many steps to your defective products case. It can take years to resolve in court, since the legal process is often slow.
In some cases, manufacturers and sellers will try to settle your lawsuit. This means that you can receive compensation without having to go through the entire legal process.
What Are My Legal Rights as a Consumer in Illinois?
You have a right to a product that is not unreasonably dangerous and certainly something that is not a defective product. If what you have bought has caused you to become injured, Illinois law allows for you to receive compensation.
Call one of the Chicago product liability lawyers with our firm today to learn more about your legal rights through a free consultation. You can contact us online or place a phone call to our office.
Who Can I Sue as an Injured Consumer?
The law allows you to sue anyone in the "stream of commerce" for a defective product. This includes anyone from manufacturers all the way down to the sellers. In the end, as a consumer, you have a legal right to compensation.
After you are successful in your product liability case, it is up to the defendants to figure out legally who needs to pay what. That is not your problem in your Chicago product case.
What if My Product Contained a Warning Label?
In a failure to warn case, many manufacturers have included some sort of a warning on their label. However, the issue is with the substance of the warning.
Specifically, their warning will have needed to make you aware of the risks of the particular injury that you suffered. In other cases, manufacturers will not have included any warning whatsoever since they did not want to scare customers.
These cases are somewhat easier for plaintiffs because the law is more on their side when there is a complete failure to warn.
Contact a Chicago Product Liability Lawyer
The Chicago product liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers in Chicago, IL have assisted numerous people who have been injured by dangerous products.
Contact our office today on the phone or online to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to do video conferences in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines.
Our attorneys will assist you secure financial compensation for your injuries.
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