Personal Injury/Defective Products in New York & New Jersey
A wide range of products are designed for everyday use. These products include things like ovens, power tools, industrial equipment, water heaters, medications, and automotive products, all of which are capable of causing serious injury and even death if they are distributed, manufactured, or designed improperly.
The same potential dangers are true of seemingly innocuous products: those consumers often think of as harmless, such as clothing, perfume, food, and paint. Additionally, how consumers are instructed to use a specific product could affect its potential to do harm.
At the end of the day, manufacturers have an obligation to create products that are safe for people to use in their daily lives, like cosmetics that are free from toxins and child’s toys that are free of lead paint. If a product is unable to be safely designed, then the manufacturer has a duty to warn and protect consumers against the part of the product, airbags, for example, that presents a potential danger.
In the event that a product’s potential danger is unable to be properly guarded against, then the manufacturer has a duty to provide explicit instructions and ample warnings as to its proper use as is the case with products like fireworks and firearms.
The New Jersey and New York defective product lawyers at Metro law will work diligently to recover the benefits you are entitled to. Through our decades of experience representing injured clients in product liability cases, and our painstaking preparation and assessment, our personal injury attorneys are able to help victims and their loved ones obtain financial compensation for their injuries, medical costs, and pain and suffering.
Sometimes, our successful outcomes are achieved by taking a case to trial. However, in most instances, our attorneys are able to secure the maximum amount of economic recovery outside of the courtroom, making the ordeal as stress-free as possible for our clients.
What is a Product Liability Suit?
Manufacturers are expected to ensure that their products have been designed, tested, and built to be safe for professional and consumer use before they are made available to the general public.
From installation and maintenance, to design, manufacturing, and packaging, manufacturers, as well as their licensees and subcontractors, could be held liable for damages if one of their products results in serious injury or death while being used under reasonable circumstances.
How is “Defective Product” Defined in New York and New Jersey?
A defective product is one that causes injury, damage, or death to a consumer due to a defect of some kind in the product, the product’s labeling, or the way it is used. The manufacturer or vendor who sold the product may be held liable.
Product liability cases can range from car seats with handles that come dislodged while they are being carried, to cars with airbags that don’t deploy, to dangerous side effects from a medication that was insufficiently tested.
Three Types of Product Liability Claims
There are three main classifications under which a consumer could bring a product liability action:
Defective design: This applies when a flaw in the design of the product is responsible for your injury. One example of a design defect is an SUV with a narrow turning radius and an unnecessarily high center of gravity that is prone to overturning and causing catastrophic injuries or death
Defective manufacturing: Manufacturing defects are the most common product liability claims. This applies when a flaw in the product occurs during the manufacturing process. For instance, a particular batch of a specific vehicle model could have a potentially dangerous defect that originated on the assembly line.
Defective marketing: Also known as “failure to warn,” this refers to insufficient warnings, information, and instructions being included with the product. The basis of most failure to warn cases is that the manufacturer of the product was not fully disclosed to the consumer. In the case of medications with contraindications and dangerous side effects, for example, the manufacturer is duty-bound to make all potential dangers known to doctors, pharmacists, and consumers.
If you feel that a defective product has caused your injury, you might have a products liability claim against not only the manufacturer but other parties along the chain of commerce as well. At Metro Law, our New Jersey and New York product liability attorneys are here to ensure that you recover full financial compensation for your injuries.
Product Defects That Cause Serious Injuries
Anytime a product has flaws in its manufacture, design, distribution, or warnings and instructions to the consumer, those deficiencies and defects could result in an avoidable injury.
For products ranging from chainsaws and medications, bicycles, automotive products, toaster ovens, and cleaning supplies, the distributors, manufacturers, and designers of those products are obligated to make sure that employees and consumers alike are adequately protected from being injured or killed while using them. Employers also have a duty of care to not knowingly utilize potentially dangerous products and to ensure the safety of their employees.
Failing to properly protect a consumer from harm, or failing to appropriately warn a user of the potential dangers intrinsic to the use and nature of a product, could constitute product liability.
Most people assume that a product must be safe if it is for sale at a reputable or well-known store. As several thousand Americans learn every year, however, regulation and reputation are not always enough to ensure that a product is safe to use.
The federal agency tasked with regulating the safety of products sold in the United States, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, recalls hundreds of products every year because of safety concerns. Faulty consumer products are more than a simple annoyance and waste of money; they can cause toxic exposure, unnecessary deaths, and many other severe injuries.
Almost any product has the potential to be defective, but some of the more well-known, serious product defects include:
Faulty electrical wiring
Children’s toys that are choking hazards
Jewelry and toys that contain lead or other toxins
Dangerous over-the-counter and prescription medications
Flammable apparel and home furnishings
Inadequate warnings informing the consumer that a product is dangerous to use as intended
Insufficient instructions pertaining to the safe use of a product
Do I Have a Valid Defective Product Injury Claim?
Product liability cases are often complicated and involve multi-party liability. You might not know if you have a legitimate claim for compensation until you understand New York and New Jersey personal injury law and your rights. You can schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced product liability lawyers to discuss your wrongful death or personal injury claim including:
Automotive defects like airbag and seat belt failures, faulty brakes, gas tank defects, and sudden acceleration.
Recalled prescription drugs and dangerous medications.
Talcum powder which recent scientific studies have linked directly to ovarian cancer.
Medical devices such as surgical appliances, defective orthopedic products, and more.
Dangerous household products such as cleaning products and paint.
Home appliances that cause serious burns, electrical shocks, and injuries from explosions.
Construction and industrial workplace injuries caused by air hammers, power construction tools, hoist and conveyor equipment, metal processing machinery, and forklifts.
Power tools such as table saws, chain saws, garden and lawn equipment, and snowblowers at home or in the workplace.
Toys and other products designed for children that can cause burns, choking hazards, suffocation, broken bones, and amputation such as hoverboards and baby formula.
Chemical products such as processing fluids and caustic industrial cleaners that result in injuries like respiratory problems and burns.
What Do I Need to Prove My Products Liability Claim?
Although this varies from state to state, product liability cases are typically based on strict liability instead of negligence. Strict liability means the victim does not have to establish fault, merely that the product was defective and the injuries they sustained were a result of that defect.
What if I Wasn’t Using the Product According to its Instructions?
The law states that products should be safe when used responsibly under the conditions for which the product was designed. For instance, it is reasonable to expect a child to play with a toy in any way that is fun and enjoyable, whether or not that was its intended use or according to any instructions.
The same overall considerations apply to consumer products like power tools. If the victim was injured while using a tool in a reasonable manner for its intended purpose, they could still have a valid claim for damages according to product liability laws in New York and New Jersey.
Dangerous and Defective Products in the Workplace
Defective products are not only found in consumers’ homes, they can also find their way into the workplace. Office workers could be exposed to harsh cleaning and sanitizing chemicals or electrocution from office equipment such as computers and copy machines. Manufacturing, construction, or industrial jobs usually involve equipment that has the potential to be dangerous even when it is used correctly. Common defective product injuries in the workplace include:
Faulty construction equipment
Elevator and escalator malfunctions
Issues with industrial and manufacturing equipment
Insulation and other materials that contain toxins like asbestos
Deficient or defective safety equipment
New Jersey and New York law imposes strict liability on manufacturers and others in the supply chain for the injuries their defective products cause. You can hold a company liable for an inherently flawed design, defects, contamination that occurred during the manufacturing process, insufficient safeguards, and deficient instructions and warnings of the possible danger.
In a defective products suit in New York and New Jersey, you can be granted financial compensation for wrongful death, permanent disability, or serious injury. This compensation is intended as reimbursement for medical costs, lost wages, and other damages associated with your accident.
What Damages Can I Recover in a New Jersey or New York Defective Product Claim?
You could potentially recover four kinds of damages from a New York or New Jersey products liability case:
Compensatory Damages: These damages are designed to cover your medical costs, time away from work, and any property damage caused by the faulty product
Pain and Suffering: These damages are compensation for the pain that you endured due to your injury.
Loss of Consortium: These damages provide compensation for the impact your injury has had on your relationship with your husband or wife. Your spouse might be able to collect these damages even if the faulty product did not cause injury to them directly.
Punitive Damages: In the event that the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious, the courts may award these damages as extra punishment and to deter others from being negligent.
How Much Time Do I Have to File My Case?
By and large, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a products liability claim in New Jersey. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. Some states, including New York and New Jersey, have what is called the “delayed discovery” rule. This is when the clock on the statute of limitations does not start until you discover the injury. This is a critical factor in some product liability cases, for example, if the victim developed cancer from being exposed to a dangerous chemical or had breast implants leak, and didn’t learn about it until months or even years after the fact.
How Will a Product Liability Attorney Help My Case?
Product liability cases are very complex. You have to be able to show that the product you used was faulty in either its manufacturing, design or failure to warn. You will need to prove that the defective product was the immediate cause of your injury.
Our reputable product liability lawyers are ready to defend your rights and collect recovery from all defendants in your case by leveraging our experience and knowledge on your behalf.
Reach out to one of our New Jersey or New York personal injuries attorneys at 973-344-6587 for a no-obligation consultation.