Product designers, manufacturers, and distributors have a basic responsibility to ensure that the products they create and sell are not dangerous for consumers to use. Sadly, these parties can make careless mistakes or they may cut corners with their own profits in mind rather than the safety of those who purchase or use their products.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective or malfunctioning product, you may be able to take legal action against the responsible party. The Minnesota product liability lawyers at Robert Wilson & Associates are dedicated to helping the victims of dangerous products pursue the compensation they need from the companies responsible for their pain and suffering, and we are ready to help you.
Contact us at (612) 334-3444 to speak with a qualified attorney about your legal rights and options.
Why You Need an Attorney
No matter how large or small the company is that designed, manufactured, or distributed the product that caused your accident, no company is going to simply apologize and offer compensation willingly.
Even when your case seems airtight and the responsible parties acted with extreme negligence, there aren’t any guarantees that you will recover financial compensation to pay for medical bills and other damages.
That’s why it’s imperative that you consult with and retain a qualified and aggressive product liability lawyer as soon as possible.
At Robert Wilson & Associates, we know how hard this accident is for you and your family. We want you to know that you don’t have to go through it by yourself. Our product liability lawyers not only have experience taking on multinational corporations and insurance companies, but we also know how the legal system works and what it takes to hold these enterprises accountable for their negligence.
Hiring an experienced attorney to pursue a product liability case against a manufacturer, distributor, or other party is the next best move you can make, so contact us at (612) 334-3444.
To be able to recover financial compensation in a product liability case, you and your attorney must prove four basic things:
- You suffered an injury.
- The product was defective or didn’t provide proper warning information.
- The defect was the direct cause of your injuries.
- You were using the product in the manner it was designed to be used.
If a product causes harm, a wide range of parties could be responsible. Product defects and malfunctions can arise during:
- Design: A product or its packaging may have an inherent design flaw that makes it dangerous or defective. A lawsuit based on design flaws claims that an entire line or type of product is defective because it was poorly designed from the beginning. A familiar example is a motor vehicle that is prone to rolling over in an accident or when making sharp turns because of its shape or height.
- Products that are manufactured with dangerous materials or that are manufactured improperly may present a serious hazard to consumers. A common example is a child car seat where the seat’s sewn webbing is susceptible to tearing in an accident, which causes the child to be unstrained, increasing the risk that they will be seriously injured or killed. Another common example is a batch of food items that has been manufactured with foreign items like plastic, metal, or glass in them.
- Distribution: Shipping companies or individual stores may be responsible for improper handling or storage that can lead to product malfunction. A familiar example of this is in the food industry, where employees at distribution centers might have a fast-spreading virus (like norovirus) or a type of hepatitis (which can lead to liver damage or failure) handle food to be sent to grocery stores or restaurants without wearing protective gear to prevent the spread of illness or disease.
- Failing to Provide Warning or Instruction – When manufacturers do not warn users of any dangers associated with their product or they fail to provide instructions on how to safely use the product, they can be held liable if consumers are injured while using the product. This typically applies to products that might be dangerous if used improperly (such as electrical appliances, which should not be used near or in water), but the danger isn’t clear to people who use the product.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective, malfunctioning, or otherwise dangerous product, you may have the right to take legal action against the designer, manufacturer, distributor, or another party responsible for your injury.
Through a successful product liability lawsuit, not only can you gain the financial compensation you need to cover the costs of your injury-related losses, but you can also draw public attention to a dangerous product and potentially protect other consumers from being injured.
Who Can I Sue?
One of the first steps that your product liability lawyer takes when moving forward with your case is deciding which people and companies are liable for your accident and injuries, and then naming them as defendants. While some cases have clear defendants, other cases are less clear when it comes to identifying the right defendants.
A Minnesota product liability lawyer will look over every detail of your case and use their experience and resources to sue every individual or company responsible for your injuries.
In general, victims can take legal action against all parties involved in the chain of distribution, (the path the product travels on from manufacturing to customers).
It’s important to know that you do not have to be the person who purchased the defective product, nor do you have to be the person who was using it to file a product liability lawsuit.
One example of this would be that you were injured when you were a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, which contained the defective part that caused your injury. Another example would be that you were an innocent bystander when a product that was defective failed and you were injured as a result.
The chain of distribution includes:
- Manufacturer – Manufacturers can range from a single person working in their home to a multinational corporation. In some cases, you can include the manufacturer of a larger product that contained the defective product (such as a vehicle manufacturer that built vehicles that housed defective airbag).
Lawsuits may also include people involved with the design, marketing, and sale of the product.
- Wholesaler of Distributor – A defective product can touch a number of middlemen along the path from manufacturer to retailer. This includes wholesalers, suppliers, and distributors, all of whom could be held responsible and named as a defendant in your suit.
- Retailers – While the store that sold you the product had nothing to do with the defect that caused your accident and injuries, there are some cases where you can hold them liable.
Like all personal injury cases, plaintiffs have a limited amount of time to take legal action following an accident caused by a defective product.
In Minnesota, the statute of limitations depends on the legal theory the action is based on. Plaintiffs have two years from the date of the accident for claims of negligence that caused personal injury and six years from the date of the accident for property damage For strict liability (even though the manufacturer or retailer wasn’t negligent, they still made or sold a product that was defective) and breach of implied warranty (the product did not work the way it was supposed to) claims, plaintiffs much file their lawsuits within four years of the action that generated the claim.
At Robert Wilson & Associates, our Minnesota dangerous products attorneys are committed to helping innocent victims who have been injured because of the careless or negligent behavior of another party.
If you have been injured because of a dangerous or defective product, it is important for you to get an attorney onboard who can do the work to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. Contact our offices at (612) 334-3444 for more information on what our attorneys can do for you.