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Frequently Asked Questions About Products Liability
Q: Who is responsible when a product causes an injury?
A: Manufacturers, wholesalers and sellers may all be responsible when a product injures someone. If the product is defective or it presents an unreasonable danger, and the defect or danger causes the injury, the injured party may have a case. The defendants can be found liable under theories of negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty.
Q: What kind of compensation or damages can be awarded in products liability cases?
A: Depending on the strength and the facts of the case, the plaintiff may recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may be available if the defendant acted in a malicious or grossly negligent manner. The level of the award and its application depends on the state in which the litigation takes place.
Products Liability - An Overview
Defective and unreasonably dangerous products can cause serious injuries to adults and children alike. No one uses a product expecting it to break or fail; when a product's defect becomes apparent, it can take the user by surprise.
Luckily, products liability is a well-established area of the law. If you have been injured, consult with an experienced products liability attorney from Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer, LLP in Atlanta, GA, to discuss your options.
The federal government regulates some aspects of consumer product safety, but the laws affecting products liability litigation exist at the state level. Although the intricacies of these laws vary from state to state, the states share some overarching principles.
What Is Products Liability?
When a person uses a product in a reasonable manner and that product causes injury, the manufacturer, wholesaler or seller may be liable. Think of a hairdryer that emits a dangerous shock or a child's toy that contains small, sharp pieces: consumers should be able to use these products as they are intended to be used without worrying about being hurt.
Defective products can cause serious injury and even death. Defects can be traced to three main stages: when the product is designed, when the product is manufactured and when the consumer should receive instructions or warnings.
Types of Products Liability Cases
Because we interact with so many different products in this country, injuries can have many different sources. Products that cause injury and even wrongful death range from cars and trucks to toys and children's furniture.
Special Considerations in Products Liability Cases
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, the first thing to do is seek proper medical care. After that, you may wish to take legal action. Products liability cases can be complex, so it is important to seek the help of an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you sort out the details and secure the witnesses you need.
Products Liability Resource Links
U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)
The CPSC oversees more than 15,000 types of consumer products in the U.S. It establishes safety guidelines, sets fines and coordinates recalls of defective and dangerous products.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC is responsible for handling complaints about false advertising and fraud, including claims that relate to product quality.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The FDA regulates the nation's drugs, medical devices, cosmetics and food. Its website provides information on its activities and recalled items.
Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)
ISMP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to informing both consumers and health care providers about the safe use of medication. The website discusses issues such as medication errors and easily confused drug names.
The official blog of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Here you will find the latest safety information as well as important messages that will keep you and your family safe.