Tappahannock Product Liability Attorney
Virginia Product Liability Lawyer Assisting Clients in Tappahannock
When we purchase a consumer product—from household items to children’s toys to automobiles—we should be able to expect that the product will be safe for our use. In other words, we should not have to be concerned that there is something wrong with the product that could result in serious or fatal injuries. Still, product defects exist in many different consumer products, and these defects can often result in serious personal injury.
Virginia law requires that consumer products be reasonably safe when used as intended, or when used in a manner that should have been foreseeable. When a product is defective and causes serious injury, then the injured party should learn more about filing a product liability lawsuit to seek financial compensation. An experienced Tappahannock product liability attorney can speak with you today about your case.
What is Product Liability?
When a product is defective and not reasonably safe for use, then one or more parties along the chain of manufacture and distribution may be held liable for any injuries that result from the defect. According to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, there are three general types of defects:
- Defective design. Design defects occur before the product ever reaches the manufacturing stage. The defect exists in the very design of the product so that regardless of the care of the manufacturer, the defect still remains. In most situations, a design defect cannot be repaired after the product has been manufactured and sold to consumers.
- Defective manufacture. Manufacturing defects occur after the product has been designed and during the stage of production. A manufacturing defect usually means that there is nothing wrong with the design of the product, but that something went wrong during the making of the product. In some cases, manufacturing defects can be repaired. Consumers may be asked to take the product somewhere to have it fixed or to request a repair kit that can be used at home.
- Defective warnings. Warning defects—also known as marketing defects or failure to warn—mean that the product has been marketed and sold without proper caution about associated risks. If the intended or foreseeable use of a consumer product poses a risk of injury, then consumers must be given a proper warning about that risk when deciding whether to purchase the product. This failure to warn defect often arises in the context of pharmaceutical drugs. Drug manufacturers are required to provide proper warnings about potential side effects or health risks known to the manufacturer that could result from taking a particular medication. A manufacturer’s failure to warn—of known side effects or harmful interactions with other drugs—could cause many people to experience serious health issues or even death.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Product Liability Lawsuit?
Now that you have a better grasp of the types of product defects that exist, you might be wondering who can be liable when someone gets hurt because of a product defect. Many different parties may be liable for injuries in a product liability lawsuit, including the:
- Designer of the product;
- Designer of one component of the product;
- Manufacturer of the product;
- Farming equipment;
- Fishing equipment;
- Boating equipment;
- Manufacturer of one component of the product;
- Distributor of the product; and
- Marketing team responsible for the product’s advertising.
In some cases, a product may be defective in multiple ways. For example, it may have both a design defect and a manufacturing defect. Or, it may have multiple manufacturing defects, which could mean that more than one company responsible for manufacturing components of the product may be responsible. In such cases, Virginia allows for joint and several liability. This means that more than one defendant can be found liable and that the defendants will share responsibility for paying damages in a manner proportionate to their liability.
What Kinds of Tappahannock Products Have Defects?
Product defects can occur in almost any consumer product. We regularly assist clients who have been injured as a result of:
- Medical device defects;
- Drug defects;
- Automotive defects;
- Household product defects, including furniture; and
- Children’s product defects.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in Tappahannock?
Product liability cases typically have a statute of limitations of two years from the date of injury, similar to other personal injury cases in Virginia. What is the statute of limitations, and how does it work? The statute of limitations is like a “timer” that specifies how much time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. Once the statute of limitations runs out, the plaintiff cannot file a claim. In most product liability cases, the statute of limitations begins “ticking,” so to speak, from the date that the plaintiff sustained the injury—not from the date of purchase of the product. This means that if you have been injured by a defective product in Virginia, you have two years from the date that you were injured to file a premises liability claim.
Negligence and Breach of Warranty Actions in Virginia
In Virginia, there are two different types of actions that can lead to a successful product liability lawsuit. A plaintiff may file a claim against a defendant or multiple defendants under a theory of negligence or under a theory of breach of warranty under the Uniform Commercial Code.
Many product liability lawsuits move forward on a theory of negligence. In negligence lawsuits, a plaintiff must be able to show that defendant had a duty of care toward the plaintiff, breached the duty of care, and as a result of the breach, the plaintiff suffered actual harm. If you have questions about the theory of law under which your product liability lawsuit should be brought, it is important to discuss your case with a Tappahannock product liability lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact a Tappahannock Product Liability Attorney
Were you hurt because of a product defect? An aggressive product liability attorney in Tappahannock can assist with your case. Contact Emroch & Kilduff today to learn more about how we can help with your claim.