Kansas City Product Liability Lawyer: Your Advocate Against Defective Products
When you purchase a product, you expect to be able to use it safely. If there are certain dangers associated with the product, these should be stated clearly on the product so that you are fully aware of any risks.
Sometimes, however, manufacturers fail to provide adequate warnings about the dangers of using their products, or some defects happen during the manufacturing process, which results in a dangerous and defective product. If this defect or unsafe product results in a person suffering harm, the injured party has the right to raise a product liability claim against the manufacturer for any injuries caused.
If you have suffered a personal injury as a result of a dangerous or defective product, you should speak with an experienced Kansas City product liability lawyer as soon as possible. At Wendt Law, we can help you get compensation by filing a product liability lawsuit on your behalf. Our law firm has a team of product liability lawyers who are ready to fight your case.
We offer a free initial consultation where you can present your case to our lawyers and receive honest and reliable advice regarding your legal options.
Call us today at 816-542-6734 to schedule a free consultation.
Ask a Kansas City Lawyer: What Is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to the idea that a manufacturer or seller might be legally responsible for putting an injury-causing product into the hands of a consumer. The law requires that a product meets certain expectations of the consumer. When an unexpected defect or inherently dangerous condition leads to injury, a manufacturer or retailer may have violated these expectations.
Product liability law varies from state to state, but these laws usually involve the legal theories of negligence, breach of warranty, and strict liability.
What To Do if You Have Been Injured By a Defective Product
If you have suffered an injury due to a product defect or a product that is inherently dangerous by design, you should do the following to ensure your safety and maximize your chances of being awarded compensation.
Seek medical assistance – Firstly, you need to ensure that you are safe and that any injuries you suffered are being properly looked after. Even if your injuries were not serious, you should still see a doctor so they can conduct a full examination. Your medical records will be essential evidence in your product liability claim.
File a report – If you have been injured at work, it is important that you file an official report with your supervisor as soon as possible. Ensure that you do not relay any information that could be harmful to your claim, such as putting the blame on yourself or speculating that you may have misused the product that caused you harm.
Preserve all evidence – It is extremely important that you keep the product in the same condition as when it caused you harm. Ensure to keep all packaging relating to the product and any receipts or insurance you have purchased for the product. Physical evidence of a defective or dangerous product can often be the most persuasive evidence in these cases.
Contact one of our Kansas City product liability attorneys – Once you have carried out the above steps, you should contact a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with defective product claims. They will work with you from the start to gather evidence, collect reports, carry out investigations, and speak with the other parties involved to ensure that you have a successful claim.
Types of Product Liability Claims in Kansas City, MO.
As noted previously, product liability is not the same as personal injury. For personal injury cases, the victim must prove that their injuries were caused by the negligence of another party.
In comparison, product liability claims are based on the principle of strict liability, meaning that an injured person must show that the product was inherently dangerous and their injuries were directly caused by this dangerous product. There are typically three types of product liability cases in Kansas City:
Manufacturing defects – An injured person can bring a manufacturing defects claim if they were injured due to a defect that happened during the manufacturing process. With these claims, the product is not inherently dangerous. However, there was an error or negligence during the manufacturing process, which resulted in a defective product. For example, if a bottle of medication is contaminated by an employee or due to a lack of regulation, and a person gets sick as a result, they can file a claim.
Defective design – Unlike manufacturing defects, liability claims arising from design defects refer to products that are inherently dangerous due to their design. This could include a plastic toy built for children under 4 that breaks into pieces within a few weeks, an electric appliance that melts, or a top-heavy car that is more likely to be involved in rollover accidents. If it can be shown that the product could have been made safer and that this other method of creation was cost-effective, then the product manufacturer can be found liable for any injuries sustained by consumers.
Marketing defects – Product manufacturers are required to put a warning label on their products for any dangers that could arise. If a company creates a hairdryer that can cause an electric shock when exposed to water, they are required to warn consumers of this danger. If they fail to provide a warning and a consumer is injured, they can file a product liability lawsuit.
It is possible to file a personal injury claim for product defects. However, it can be very difficult to prove. Strict liability takes away the need to prove negligence and simply questions whether the product itself was defective. In negligence cases, you must show that the party responsible owed you a personal duty of care and breached this duty, which is much more difficult to prove in these cases.
Do You Have a Product Liability or Defective Product Case?
Knowing whether you have a case after a product-related injury may make scheduling a consultation with a Kansas City product liability attorney. You may have the elements of a product liability claim in Kansas City, or anywhere in Missouri, if you can show that an item you bought or used contained a defect and that this defect caused the injuries and damages in question. This is the basic burden of proof an injured consumer will have in a product liability suit in Missouri or Kansas.
It is not necessary to prove a manufacturer’s negligence or fault if strict liability rules apply. The manufacturer will be strictly liable for your damages if the item in question had a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect and caused your injuries. If strict liability laws do not apply to your case, you will need to prove negligence. This may take help from expert key witnesses and Kansas City personal injury attorneys who can tell your story to a judge or jury.
How Do I Prove That I Was Injured By a Defective Product?
Product liability claims do not require you to prove negligence on behalf of the other party. However, you must prove that the defective product directly caused you to suffer an injury and that your injuries were caused while using the product in a reasonable manner, i.e., using the product as it was intended to be used.
Strict liability claims can be difficult to prove, which is why we recommend speaking with a product liability attorney who has sufficient experience to argue your claim. Your attorney will need to gather sufficient evidence to prove the following:
You suffered damages while using a defective product, either through suffering injuries or monetary loss.
The product is defective, either through a manufacturing defect, design defect, or marketing defect.
Your injury was caused by the defect in question.
You used the product in a reasonably foreseeable manner.
Once these elements can be proved in a Kansas City product liability case, you can successfully recover compensation for the harm you have suffered, and the responsible party will be held liable.
Often, however, the parties responsible for defective products have a lot of resources, and being found liable for product defects can cause them to lose a lot of money. For this reason, they will put up a strong fight to ensure that you do not win your product liability lawsuit. Having the backing of an experienced lawyer will seriously improve your chances of winning your case. Schedule a free consultation with our law firm today.
Who Is Responsible?
All defective product claims are different. The party responsible for your injuries could be any party in the distribution chain of the product, including manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Some parties that may be responsible for your harm could include:
The product manufacturers, e.g., car manufacturers.
Parts manufacturers, i.e., parties that manufacture parts of the product, such as companies responsible for creating safety features that are added to a product.
Outside parties are involved in assembling a product.
The retail store that sold the product.
Trying to determine the at-fault party in product liability cases is often the most difficult part. There are often numerous parties involved in the manufacture, production, distribution, and retail of the product, which can make pinning down one party quite difficult.
An experienced Kansas City product liability attorney can conduct a thorough investigation on your behalf to determine who should be held liable for your injuries and build up a strong case to ensure that you get the compensation you are owed.
What Damages Can My Kansas City Product Liability Lawyer Recover?
Filing a product liability lawsuit gives you the opportunity to claim recovery for a variety of damages the defective item caused you or your family member. Kansas City consumers have the right to seek financial reimbursement for past and future losses from the product manufacturer or another at-fault party.
Medical expenses. Seek recovery for the costs of past and future hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, surgeries, rehabilitation, live-in care, and more.
Lost wages. Request compensation for lost income due to missing shifts at work while you heal, as well as any lost capacity, to earn from a permanent disability.
Physical pain and emotional suffering. Recover non-economic damages relating to your accident, including mental anguish and emotional trauma.
Property damage. If the defective product caused any property damage, you may add this to your list of damages sought.
Loss of consortium. The loss of a loved one because of a defective product could yield the right to wrongful death damages. These can include loss of consortium or loss of a loved one’s care and companionship.
In general, the more serious the injuries, the higher the compensation will be for the claim. The Kansas City courts will examine how greatly the injury impacted the victim, whether the victim has temporary or permanent disabilities because of the item, and many other factors to determine a fair compensation amount. Hiring a product liability lawyer in Kansas City can help you maximize your financial recovery.
Defective Product and Recall Statistics
Each year, thousands of consumer injuries occur because of defective and dangerous products in the U.S. Manufacturers may release unsafe products unknowingly, or intentionally hide defects to save money. Either way, the end result is thousands of products on shelves that could potentially cause serious consumer injuries. The following are the most recent statistics available on defective products in America, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
From 2014 to 2015, around 4,200 people in the U.S. lost their lives in deaths associated with the use of consumer products.
Consumer products caused or contributed to over one billion hospital emergency room-treated injuries from 2016 to 2017.
Sports and recreational activities equipment caused the most deaths, with 1,485 in total, followed by home furnishings and fixtures with 1,164 lives lost.
The most consumer injuries (4,581,373) stemmed from home structures and construction materials.
Three children died in accidents associated with toys during this time period.
Home structures and construction materials took the greatest number of elderly lives (ages 65 and older), with 382 related deaths.
The CPSC created the national recall list to help consumers keep track of products with known hazards or defects. The list updates almost daily with new items, and currently contains thousands of products with known health and safety risks. The list includes an enormous range of items, from hot water heaters to children’s toys.
Contact a Kansas City Product Liability Attorney Today
A product liability claim can help you pay for medical bills, lost wages, and the intangible losses of an accident. These cases, however, require the assistance of an experienced Kansas City product liability attorney. At Wendt Law P.C., our Kansas City product liability lawyers stand up for victims of personal injury. We advocate for their needs. To learn more about our product liability services or to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact us.