Manufacturers have an absolute duty to produce safe products. If you have been harmed by a defective product, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Some examples of defective products include automobiles, pharmaceuticals, asbestos, children’s toys, and household appliances. Contact us if you have been injured by a defective product.
Products that we use or consume every day without giving a second thought to, can sometimes wind up hurting us. Dangerous products are placed into the stream of commerce by manufacturers, distributors, and retailers putting consumers at risk for injury and death.
Were you injured as a result of a defective or dangerous product?
If so, a Louisiana product liability attorney may recover compensation for your damages.
Below is free information that we hope helps you decide if you need to hire a product liability lawyer. If you believe you may have a case, call us to speak with an attorney for free.
We represent those consumers who become victims of dangerous or defective products. Just about any item we purchase, use or consume can present danger if proper standards in production, design or distribution are not adhered to.
We have all heard by now that that the manufacturers of certain pharmaceuticals, medical devices and vehicles have sometimes put profits over safety.
Defective and dangerous products are often the result of careless or unethical business practices. Many times we do not learn about products being recalled or being unreasonably dangerous until it is too late. We help bring these issues to the public eye.
Why is it important to hire a product liability law firm?
There are many different types of attorneys out there. A product liability attorney can fully investigate your case and identify additional parties who may owe you damages.
For example, if you were t-boned by a vehicle that ran a red light you may think you have an auto accident case against the other driver.
While we can represent you in the auto accident, our team would also look to see if there were any potential defects with the other driver’s vehicle.
Maybe the vehicle model had a history of brake or ignition switch problems, in which case, you may also have a claim against the manufacturer of the automobile.
Who is Responsible for Defective Products?
In the event you have been injured by a defective or dangerous product, you likely have legal recourse against every company that had a hand in designing, manufacturing, and selling the product.
Product liability laws in New Orleans allow an injured individual to sue as many potential defendants as possible.
The reason for this is to ensure that the plaintiff recovers full compensation.
Companies that may be responsible for damages due to a product defect include:
- The store that sold the product
- The manufacturer of the product.
- The company that assembled the product.
- The wholesaler of the product.
Each of these parties has a legal duty to ensure the products that are sold to the public are safe for use.
If the product is dangerous, each party can be responsible for the damages caused to a consumer.
What to Do If You Suspect You Have Been Injured By a Defective Product?
The first steps after you suspect you were injured by a defective product are important.
You need to first be sure that you get the medical treatment you need.
Without evidence that you were injured, there is no reason a jury would award damages.
You will also need to gather evidence and documentation of the defective product.
Get the Medical Help You Need
Each product liability is unique, and you will need qualified medical personnel to prove your injuries and damages. Defective products injury people in numerous ways and you will likely need a licensed medical specialist to both to ensure that you get the necessary medical treatment that you need and also have the expertise to help prove your case at trial.
Our law firm works with clients to ensure they are being referred to and evaluated by the proper medical professionals.
Gathering Evidence or Documentation
To prove your product liability case, you will need to prove that you were injured by the product.
Here are some tips for gathering evidence for your case:
- Take pictures of any damaged products.
- Save any product manuals or brochures.
- Gather evidence that you purchased the product.
- Save copies of product descriptions.
- Save copies of advertisements.
- Save product information from retailers.
- Request your medical records.
- Request your prescription records.
You will ultimately need evidence to prove your case and it is important that you gather and preserve evidence after you believe you may have a case.
Categories of Product Liability Cases in New Orleans
Product liability cases often fall into one of three categories: manufacturing defects, defective design, and failure to warn.
In Louisiana, manufacturers and sellers of defective products are strictly liable for unreasonably dangerous products.
In many of these cases, you need to prove that the manufacturer knew about a defect or couldn’t have prevented an injury through reasonable care.
A manufacturing defect is a problem with the way the product was created or assembled. Manufacturers are responsible for testing the products sold to the public to ensure they are safe for use.
This includes both the finished products and the component parts that the manufacturer may incorporate into a final product.
A design defect is a problem with the way the product was designed or developed. Manufacturers owe a duty to design products to be free from defects.
While a manufacturer does not owe a legal duty to design a perfect product, it must take reasonable precautions to test the product for defects.
Many manufacturers push to sell a product without taking reasonable precautions to ensure the product is not defective.
Failure to Warn
There are many products that are inherently dangerous. A manufacturer should provide adequate warnings about these dangers and also instruct users on how to properly use the product.
An adequate warning is not always a warning that the product can be dangerous. A manufacturer needs to understand how the product is being used and if the warnings and instructions it is providing to consumers are actually being understood.
In the case of many pharmaceuticals, simply warning that a product can be dangerous is not always enough.
A manufacturer needs to test the product to fully understand its dangers and be clear to the public about these dangers.
Breach of Warranty
The Louisiana Products Liability Act also permits a claim for breach of warranty.
This type of product liability case is less common. These types of cases normally arise when the manufacturer or seller warrants that the product was suitable for a certain purpose.
Breach of warranty claims is less common because most goods are not sold with specific warranties from a seller or manufacturer.
Property Damage Claims
Some product liability cases only involve property damage. For example, a defective water heater may cause a fire resulting in damages to your home.
What are the Most Common Defective Products?
There were at least 4,210 products recalled in 2015 due to a dangerous defect. Unfortunately, consumers rarely learn that a product has been recalled before suffering a personal injury.
Medications are one of the most common defective products.
Drugmakers often do not properly test a drug before marketing it to the public. Further, many drugs do not adequately warn consumers of potential side effects.
Currently, the following drugs are suspected of being defective:
- TDF HIV Drugs
Automobiles are likely the most recalled product in the United States. Over the last few decades, several hundred automobiles have been recalled. Automobile defects are a common cause of automobile accidents. Some of the most common auto defects include:
- Brake malfunctions
- Tire defects
- Acceleration Defects
- Seat belt malfunctions
- Electrical systems that cause fires
- Fuel system defects that cause fires
- Wheels prone to failure
Each year over 14,000 people are killed or hospitalized from injuries caused by household appliances. These injuries are caused by a number of specific problems including poor designs, manufacturing defects, defective component parts, and poor warnings and assembly instructions.
We all expect to be safe in our homes and do not expect the items we use daily in our home to suddenly be dangerous. Appliances that are often found to be defective include:
- Space heaters.
- Water heaters
- Ceiling fans.
- Freezers and Refrigerators
- Blenders and food processors
- Stoves and ovens
Children’s toys often pose unnecessary risks and dangers due to their design and the fact that small children use them.
The Louisiana Products Liability Act
Products liability claims in Louisiana are filed under the Louisiana Products Liability Act, La. R.S. 9:2800.50.
This law states that a manufacturer and seller of a product shall be liable for damages if the product was unreasonably dangerous.
The law defines “unreasonably dangerous products” as follows:
- The product is unreasonably dangerous in construction or composition.
- The product is unreasonably dangerous in design.
- The product is unreasonably dangerous because an adequate warning about the product has not been provided.
- The product is unreasonably dangerous because it does not conform to an express warranty of the manufacturer
If you prove your injuries were caused by a defective design, you can recover the following categories of damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Compensation for property damage
- Other consequential damages
- General damages for pain and suffering
Punitive damages are generally disfavored by the courts unless you can prove that the manufacturer knew the defects were injuring consumers or acted in a reckless manner.
In catastrophic cases, the assistance of vocation experts, medical experts, and life care planners will be necessary to prove the full extent of your damages.
Call to Speak With An Attorney for Free
Call to speak with an attorney at The BFH Law Group for free about your product liability case. We are available to take your call 24/7.
Our team of attorneys will work with you to investigate the defective product and gather the details of your case.
We are also more than happy to review your medical records and to help you get the treatment you need to fully recover. You can reach us at (504) 273-0444.