Every year in Georgia, dangerous and defective consumer products cause hundreds of injuries. If you are injured while using a consumer item – and you were using it according to instructions and as intended – schedule a meeting at once with an Augusta product liability attorney.
Dangerous and defective consumer items may include vehicles, vehicle parts, electronics, tools, appliances, and even toys for children. If you are injured while using a defective or dangerous consumer product in this state, what are your rights? What steps will you need to take?
If you’ll keep reading this brief introduction to product liability law, you will find answers to these questions, and you will learn more about your rights if you are injured by a defective or dangerous consumer item in or near the Augusta area.
What Types of Defects Put Consumers at Risk?
Under Georgia law, manufacturers of dangerous or defective consumer items may be held liable and ordered to pay for injuries and damages caused by those items. Generally speaking, three types of defects are responsible for injuries to consumers and trigger product liability lawsuits:
Defects in a product’s design that make it fundamentally hazardous are “design defects.” A defect that occurs during a product’s production or assembly is a “manufacturing defect.” Inadequate warnings and instructions and inaccurate labeling are “marketing defects.”
Georgia consumers need to keep their sales receipts and related paperwork. If you’re injured while using an appliance or tool, and you’ve had the tool or appliance for several years, you may not be able to recollect where you purchased it.
Furthermore, product labels tend to wear and fade over time, so it may be difficult to identify a product’s manufacturer. You can’t take legal action if you can’t identify the party that is liable for your injury, so always keep your receipts.
What Steps Should You Take?
If you’re injured using a defective consumer item, obtain medical treatment at once. Take photographs of the accident location and your visible injuries. Gather any pertinent receipts, packaging, labels, and anything else that might be evidence in support of your injury claim.
Then, speak to a product liability lawyer as soon as possible and ask that lawyer to explain your legal options and rights, which may include pursuing a product liability claim to recover compensation for your medical expenses and your wages lost due to your injury.
How Can You Prevail With Your Product Liability Lawsuit?
If you file a product liability lawsuit against a consumer product’s manufacturer, you and your lawyer must prove:
- The manufacturer owed you a “duty of care.”
- The manufacturer’s negligence was a failure to provide a duty of care.
- That negligence caused your personal injury.
- Under the law, you should recover compensation from the manufacturer.
You must also show that a manufacturer could or should have known of the risks and dangers of the product before or during the manufacturing of the product. It’s a great deal to prove, but with the right evidence and the right Augusta product liability attorney, your claim should prevail.
What Else Should You Know About Product Liability Lawsuits?
Product liability lawsuits may arise from the false or misleading information offered by the manufacturers or even by the retailers of consumer products. False or misleading information is considered a “marketing defect.”
The rules are different for used items. A business that refurbishes, rebuilds, or reconditions consumer items is liable for its own work but not for a product that is fundamentally defective. Each case is unique and depends on the product and the details of the accident and the injury.
If you are injured while using any consumer product, new or used, schedule a consultation with an Augusta product liability lawyer who will review your claim and determine whether you can move forward with legal action.
How Do Product Manufacturers Defend Themselves?
A manufacturer may claim that an injured consumer ignored the directions and warnings or used the product in a way that the manufacturer couldn’t have foreseen. To bring a product liability claim, a consumer must have been using the product as it was meant to be used.
The injuries that defective items cause can be severe, disabling, and sometimes permanent. These may include spinal cord damage, burn injuries, head injuries, and injuries requiring amputation. The victims of these injuries may need to recover the maximum available compensation amount.
When a defective or dangerous consumer item is a car, truck, bus, motorcycle, or vehicle part, no one who shares the street with that vehicle is safe. If the defective or dangerous item is a pharmaceutical prescription, the consequences could be fatal.
Can You Protect Yourself and Your Family?
If you are injured using any consumer item, seek medical help immediately; do not speak with an insurance company before you have consulted a Georgia product liability attorney; and meet as quickly as possible with that attorney.
There is never a guarantee that any particular consumer item is absolutely safe. Dangerous and defective brakes, tires, tools, and appliances are everywhere in today’s world.
The best advice is to read and adhere to the instructions for every product you purchase, maintain your vehicles routinely, and follow the news about the recalls of consumer items.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides the details of vehicle recalls at its website, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission website provides details on recalled household appliances and other items.
When Should You Contact a Product Liability Attorney?
You’ve been reading a general introduction to product liability laws in Georgia, but if you’re injured while using a consumer product, you must have sound legal advice and aggressive representation from an injury attorney with substantial product liability experience.
You pay a product liability lawyer nothing unless and until that lawyer recovers compensation on your behalf. Your first consultation is provided with no cost or obligation. It’s your chance to receive personal advice and learn how the law applies in your own situation.
If you have sustained a personal injury or injuries, the statute of limitations in Georgia for filing a product liability lawsuit is two years. Don’t wait two years – or even two weeks – to contact a product liability lawyer.
Your lawyer will need to examine any physical evidence before it deteriorates or disappears and question any witnesses before their memories fade. If you and your attorney can prove your injury claim, you will be compensated, and the law will be on your side.