When you are using a product, especially a product you have used many times before, sustaining an injury is the last thing on your mind. Yet, such accidents happen every day and can cause serious injuries. Contact a Germantown product liability lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, if you were recently harmed because of a faulty item.
An experienced legal professional will hear your case in detail and let you know whether obtaining compensation is possible. If the case is viable, the right Germantown personal injury lawyer will also represent you through all aspects of the legal claim to help you win the damages you deserve.
Liable Parties in Product Liability Cases
Depending on its nature, several parties can be liable in a product liability case. The most common liable parties include the designer, the manufacturer, the distributor, and the wholesaler or retailer.
If a product features one or multiple design flaws that make it dangerous to use, the designer is liable. This person or group knew the product was defective but allowed it to be manufactured anyway and endangered consumers.
A product’s design might be sound, but the manufacturer does not assemble it correctly. There can be one or two faulty products created during the manufacturing process, though most of the time, all products are created with flaws that make them hazardous.
In some cases, the warehouse distributor was aware the product featured one or several defects, but it allowed it to be shipped to stores around the state or country.
The Wholesaler or Retailer
Like the distributor, the wholesaler or retailer that sells the product in question might know of its flaws yet sells it to consumers and are therefore liable.
A legal claim for a faulty product can subsequently involve taking legal action against one, two, or all of these parties in light of the evidence. Liability can also be assigned to the manufacturer or other applicable party if the product in question was not labeled as potentially hazardous. This is considered a failure to inform the consumer.
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The Types of Products that Can Cause Injuries
A wide range of consumer products can inflict injuries on the user. Some of the most common products cited in personal injury claims include lawn equipment, power tools, medical devices, toys, beauty tools, appliances, and motor vehicles.
Injuries sustained from these products can include burns, cuts and lacerations, head trauma, broken bones, loss of limb(s), back injuries, puncture wounds, and muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries.
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The Compensation Product Liability Lawyers in Germantown, TN, Typically Request
A product liability attorney in Germantown usually requests economic and non-economic damages in light of their client’s’ injuries. Economic damages concern monetary losses relating to the accident, while non-economic damages focus on the emotional and mental anguish the incident creates. Types of economic and non-economic damages in product liability cases can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Permanent loss of earning capacity
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of life enjoyment
Your Germantown product liability lawyer must prove that you used the product according to the directions yet sustained serious injuries to win damages.
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How a Plaintiff Can Be to Blame for Their Injuries in Product Liability Cases
Sometimes, the plaintiff in a product liability suit is found partially to blame for their injuries. How much blame they are assigned determines whether they receive compensation per Tennessee’s modified comparative negligence rules.
For example, say the plaintiff sustained injuries from a faulty curling iron. They curled a section of their hair for 10 seconds longer than suggested, but the iron was hotter than the box specified due to a malfunctioning heating element. This resulted in lost hair and a badly burnt scalp.
Since the plaintiff used the beauty tool for ten more seconds than recommended, they are found to be 5% to blame for their injuries. If they request $6,000 in compensation, they will receive $5,700 due to their blame percentage.
Modified Comparative Negligence
In some cases, the plaintiff is found 50% or more to blame for their injuries and cannot collect compensation due to modified comparative negligence. For example, say the plaintiff wanted to use their new power tool to trim hanging tree branches. They did not refer to the tool’s instruction manual and sustained severe injuries from improper usage.
Because the plaintiff did not follow the directions, they are found 70% to blame for their injuries and are not entitled to compensation.
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The Statute of Limitations for Product Liability Cases in Tennessee
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases varies by state but is usually between one and two years. In Germantown and other parts of Tennessee, the plaintiff has one year from the date of the accident to file a legal claim. If they file the claim after the statute of limitations has expired, the state dismisses the case and will not receive compensation.
Working with a product liability attorney in Germantown, TN, avoids late filings because the lawyer will ensure all paperwork is filled out and submitted on time.
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Common Defenses in Product Liability Cases
Several defenses accused parties use in product liability cases, including misuse. They are not liable if the defendant can prove that the plaintiff used the product the wrong way. Other common defenses include outside the statute of limitations, improper modification of the product that resulted in physical harm, and assumption of risk.
The latter defense refers to an inherently dangerous product, such as a chainsaw, and the consumer was aware of the risks upon purchase. If this person sustained an injury because of “regular use,” it is unlikely they will be able to collect damages.
Contact a Germantown Product Liability Lawyer Today
If you were injured because of a faulty product, contact Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC. Our lawyers do not get their fees unless our clients win and are backed by over 40 years of industry experience. Call our office, or send a message online today to get started with an experienced Germantown product liability lawyer.