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Washington DC Medical Malpractice > FAQ > Unsafe & Defective Products

Washington DC Unsafe & Defective Products FAQs

Q. What is an unsafe or defective product?

A. An unsafe or defective product is a product that causes harm when used because it was designed unsafe or does not have the right warnings for the public. The harm is not known to the person using the product, which makes it unreasonably dangerous for the user. A product can be considered defective if it is “unreasonably dangerous” for general use. A product may be found to be defective because of a manufacturing, design or a warning defect. If we can prove any one of these defects, the victim can be compensated for the harms suffered by the unsafe product against the manufacturer or sometimes the seller of the product.

Q: What is the difference between a design defect, a manufacturing defect and a marketing defect?

A. Product defects are generally put into three categories: design, manufacturing and marketing defects. Design defects are in a manner of speaking, intended. This type of defect is inherent in the design of the product. For example, a chair that is designed with only three legs might be considered defectively designed because it tips over too easily. Manufacturing defects on the other hand are defects that were not intended at all. For example, a chair might be designed to be stable, but if it is manufactured with one of the legs not bolted on correctly, the chair would be said to have a manufacturing defect. Marketing defects are defects in the manner in which a product is sold. This type of defect can include inadequate warnings and/or instructions for the public.

Q. Who is legally responsible for a defective product?

A. If a product does not work properly or causes injury or death to the user, and then the manufacturer, distributors and sellers may be responsible for your injury depending on the facts of the case. If you or a loved one has been injured by a consumer product, you may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit. It is important to remember that your product liability case is subject to a statute of limitations which restricts the time you have to file a claim. To learn more about how you can recover your losses after a product related injury, please contact us to speak with an experienced product liability attorney.

Q. I think I have been injured by a defective product, what claims do I have?

A. We would need to know more facts. If you have been injured as a result of a defective product, you may have claims for negligence, negligent design, breach of warranty, and strict liability for selling a defective product.

Q. What is product liability?

A. Product liability is all about holding manufacturers, distributors and sellers accountable or responsible for injuries or death caused by the use of a defective product. The products can range from medications, medical devices, to most complicated machinery such as motor vehicles or airplanes, to common household items such as home appliances, children’s toys and baby highchairs.

Q. If I misuse a product, can I still file a claim?

A. The most common defense to a product liability suit is that the consumer was using the product incorrectly. Yet, even if the defense proves you have misused a product, this does not necessarily mean your claim is invalid. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to anticipate product misuses, and warn consumers of the dangers of using it in an unintended manner. The only way a manufacturer can escape liability is if the product is misused in a way they never imagined or in a way that is clearly contrary to the exact warnings that came with the product.

Q. Can I file a product liability claim if I used the product, but do not own it?

A. Yes. You do not have to own the defective product to file a product liability claim. If you were borrowing a product and were injured as a result, you can still qualify for full and fair compensation.

Q. What damages can I recover in a defective product case?

A. Usually, the injured person is entitled to recover damages for past and future medical treatment, past and future wage loss, damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress, and, if the injured person can establish intentionally reckless conduct on the part of the manufacturer you may be entitled to punitive damages (i.e. damages intended to punish the business). If the injured person dies, his or her survivors are entitled to recover full compensation for their economic losses that result from the injured person’s death, as well as monetary damages which stem from the loss of society, care, and comfort of the decedent.

Q. Should I keep the defective product?

A. Yes. Set the defective product aside in a protected space, and do not use it or change it in any way.

Q. Are witnesses important?

A. Yes. Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any people who are familiar with the product that caused your injury, and any witnesses to your accident.

Q. Should I take photographs?

A . Yes! Take photos or video of the product, any warnings, labels, operator instructions and the location where the injury occurred. In addition, pictures should be taken of any visible bodily injury.

Q. Should I find the product’s instructions/packing/manuals? (If applicable)

A. Yes. Locate any documents, papers or instructions that came with the product, such as shipping instructions, operator manuals, warnings, packaging, labels, and any billing information you have, etc.

Q. How much will you charge me to discuss my product liability accident?

A. Nothing! After an initial phone call, if we think the case may have merit, the attorneys at Bertram & Amell will meet with you about your case at no cost. Remember, the law holds manufacturers, sellers and distributors responsible for products that pose a danger to users or consumers as a result of design and/or manufacturing defects. If a product has injured you, you may be able to recover for your injuries under products liability or negligence law. Ms. Bertram and Ms. Amell have the experience in handling products liability and negligence cases and can analyze the facts surrounding your injury and determine whether the product that injured you was defectively designed, defectively manufactured or both.

If you have question or want more information please call 202-803-5800 or email us to learn more.

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