What You Should Know About Product Liability
Lewis and Tompkins is a Washington, D.C. based injury law firm that helps residents of the D.C. area receive fair and realistic compensation for their injuries. We have successfully provided legal help to people in the District as well as the suburbs of Northern Virginia and Maryland. We are currently accepting cases involving those who have been injured while using products that were faulty or defective. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a product that was poorly made, contact the law offices of Lewis and Tompkins for a free legal consultation today.
Imagine the idea of taking your life in your own hands every time you went to the store.
Imagine going shopping with the knowledge that there were a few items on every shelf that could cause you serious injury, but you don’t know which ones.
That doesn’t sound like a very good way to spend your money and your time, does it?
For the most part, the products that you buy have been tested and thoroughly vetted by their manufacturers, but in some cases inherent and dangerous flaws are allowed to remain. Despite the spin of insurance companies and tort reform organizations, faulty products cause serious injuries and even deaths on a regular basis here in America.
Proving a product liability case can be difficult, especially with modern design and manufacturing methods. It used to be that one person or manufacturer was responsible for everything about a product, from the design to the manufacture to its eventual sale. But nowadays, a product can be designed, made and sold without anyone involved in the process ever even meeting.
In order to successfully prove a product liability case, one of three things has to be shown by the plaintiff:
Defect in Design: This is quite literally “the drawing board.” The entire design process, including blueprints and schematics, need to be reviewed to see if there is a flaw. It could be the way the product is put together or the materials that were used.
Defect in Manufacturing: It might be that the design and materials required in the initial plans were completely sound and safe, but the flaw might have come up in the manufacturing process. Manufacturers might make slight alterations in design or materials used in order to cut costs and maximize their profits.
Lack of Warning: Despite much scoffing by various social critics, warning labels exist on practically everything for a good reason. Some products are misused. The people who do so aren’t “stupid.” They just weren’t properly briefed on everything about the product. And in fact, sometimes products can be marketed in ways that the product was never originally intended to be used. It is the duty of the maker of the product to inform consumers about any particular danger that might exist when it comes to that product.
It should also be noted that there are times where the product might be fine, but the packaging is made of dangerous materials or is structured in a way that might be a danger to others.
One of the more difficult parts of proving a product liability case is that since so many people are involved in the manufacturing process that it becomes very easy for one party to pass the buck. To illustrate the point, consider a pencil. In order to make one yourself, you would have to cut and shape the wood, mine your own graphite, get the right metal for the eraser holder, chemically produce and refine your own rubber, and put the whole thing together. If that is the process for a pencil, imagine the process involved for an automobile, food processor, microwave oven, or any of the many products that millions of Americans buy on a daily basis?
With all of the complexity involved in determining which element of the manufacturing process was liable in a faulty products case, having an experienced product liability attorney is a crucial part of establishing and proving a successful case.
At Lewis and Tompkins, we have years of experience in helping injured DC area residents receive the compensation that they deserve for injuries that were received due to no fault of their own, and a big part of our firm’s practice is helping those who were injured due to faulty products. We have the resources, skill and experience to thoroughly investigate any and all parties involved in a product liability case, and we can certainly help you.
If you or a loved one in the District has been injured due to the use of a faulty or defective product, contact Lewis and Tompkins for a free legal consultation today.