Louisville Product Liability Attorney
When you buy a product to use, you should never have to worry about it causing harm to you or a loved one. Unfortunately, there are many times when defective products make it into the hands of consumers. At the Law Office of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, our skilled Louisville product liability lawyers are here to help if you have been injured. We will investigate your case and work to secure the compensation you deserve.
Why Do You Need Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery?
Product liability cases require help from an experienced Louisville personal injury attorney, and the team at Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery is here to help.
- We have vast experience in the field of personal injury law, and we are not afraid to take on major companies or insurance carriers.
- We have a proven track record of success, having secured billions of dollars in favorable settlements on behalf of our clients.
- We take Louisville product liability cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we will only collect legal fees after we secure the compensation our clients need.
Is an Attorney Necessary for This Case?
Product liability cases are complex, and most injury victims do not have the resources or legal experience to properly secure the compensation they deserve. A Louisville product liability attorney will be responsible for:
- Obtaining all evidence of a product defect
- Ensuring your total losses are properly calculated
- Identifying the correct defendant(s)
- Negotiating with all parties involved to secure the compensation you deserve
- Hiring highly qualified experts to testify during your case
- Taking your case to trial if necessary
You can rest, relax and focus on healing while your attorney handles the legal aspects of your product liability claim for you. Your attorney can go up against powerful adversaries, including a major product manufacturing company, on your behalf.
What Is a Product Liability Claim?
A product liability claim is a civil lawsuit brought against the manufacturer or distributor of a product that has caused injury to one or more consumers due to a defect. The goal of a product liability claim is to make the injured victim whole again by giving him or her financial compensation. If the defendant is found liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, the defendant will have to pay for the victim’s medical bills, property damage and any other losses associated with the incident.
How Do Products Become Defective?
There are various ways that products can become defective. While companies and manufacturers generally do put safe products on the market, there are times when the following can occur:
- Design flaws. Even after testing is complete, there may be a problem with a product’s design that renders it unsafe.
- Manufacturing error. Even a well-designed product could be damaged or altered during the manufacturing process, making it unsafe for consumers.
- Marketing/label problem. A product’s label must have all the information that a consumer needs to use it safely. This includes instructions, ingredients, warnings, dosages, and more. Any missing or misleading information could cause serious harm.
Product recalls happen all the time, but not all dangerous products are on recall lists. Defective products can affect every industry, including:
- Auto parts
- Foods and beverages
- And more.
Consumers can sustain external and internal trauma due to defective products, as well as serious illnesses, that can lead to major medical bills and long-lasting pain and suffering.
Who Is Liable in a Defective Product Case?
The party that can be held liable, or legally and financially responsible, for injuries caused by a defective product will depend on the circumstances. Many different parties play a role in the development, production and distribution of a product. The liable party for a defect that results in injury will be the one responsible for the inherent safety issue. This could be one or a combination of the following parties:
- The manufacturer
- A part supplier
- A distributor
- The retailer
- A wholesaler
- A contractor
- An engineer
- A designer
Determining who is liable in your product liability case can be complex, as several chains of distribution will need to be reviewed. Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident to determine fault and liability. Then, we can help you go up against one or multiple defendants in or out of the courtroom.
What Is the Strict Product Liability Law? How Might it Affect Your Case?
Most product liability cases in Kentucky involve the legal doctrine of strict liability. This law means that a manufacturer, distributor, seller, wholesaler, retailer or any other party responsible for producing and distributing the defective item will be held strictly liable for injuries and deaths associated with the item, regardless of whether the defendant was negligent.
The strict liability law is in place to make it easier for consumers to stand up against large and powerful manufacturing companies for injuries caused by defective and dangerous products. Most personal injury claims require proof of negligence, or evidence that the defendant fell short of the duty of care. A strict product liability claim, however, only requires proof that the item in question contained one of the three types of defects and caused the victim’s injuries.
If the strict liability doctrine applies to your case, this can make it easier for you to obtain financial compensation for your injuries and bills. You or your lawyer will need to show that the item was defective, that you were using it as the manufacturer intended, and that it caused or significantly contributed to your injury. You do not need to prove that the defendant committed an act or omission that fell short of the responsibility of care.
Product Liability Claims Based on Negligence or Breach of Warranty
You may still qualify for financial compensation even without the doctrine of strict liability if you were injured by a defective product. You can base your claim on the legal theory of negligence, for example, like most other personal injury claims in Kentucky. Negligence means that someone fell short of the obligation to exercise reasonable care, such as through a careless or reckless act by the manufacturer.
If you or your lawyer can prove that the manufacturer or distributor (or another party) was negligent and that this resulted in the defective product, this is enough to recover compensation. Winning a case requires clear and compelling evidence of negligence, such as records showing that the manufacturer did not properly safety-test the item or that the manufacturer knew of a safety risk but failed to warn consumers.
Another legal theory that can be used for a product liability claim is a breach of warranty. This means that the product had a warranty that guaranteed its safety when it was, in fact, not safe for consumers to use. An example is a children’s toy that says it is safe for ages three and up that in fact poses a choking hazard to older children, as well.
What Type of Compensation Is Available?
If you or a loved one have been injured due to a defective product, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, we are here to help. Our team will investigate your case and work to secure the compensation you are entitled to, which can include:
- Cost of your current and future medical bills
- Recovery of income lost if you are unable to work
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Punitive damages against a company or manufacturer
We will accurately estimate the value of your product liability case based on the severity of your injuries, your age and income, and many other factors. Then, we will use proven negotiation tactics to go up against a manufacturing corporation or insurance company to demand fair results on your behalf.
How Much Time Do You Have to File Your Claim?
Do not delay in seeking legal advice after being injured by a defective product in Louisville. As a plaintiff, you are subject to Kentucky’s statute of limitations. This is a law that places a strict deadline on your ability to file an injury claim. In Kentucky, the product liability statute of limitations is one year. With only rare exceptions, you must file within one year or give up your right to seek financial compensation. This is one of the shortest deadlines in the country, so be sure to act quickly if you believe you have a case.
Steps to Take Before Filing a Product Liability Claim in Louisville
If you were injured by a product that did not appear to be working correctly or experienced a harmful malfunction during its use, try to remain calm and take certain steps to protect yourself and your legal rights. Here’s what to do:
- Get medical attention immediately. Go to the nearest hospital for professional medical care without delay. Waiting to see a doctor can give an insurer a reason to deny your claim. Follow your doctor’s treatment orders as you recover.
- Keep the product and any packaging. You will need to document the defect by keeping the product (or remains of the product), any packaging and materials that came with it, and your receipt or proof of purchase.
- Take photographs. If the defective product caused any property damage, capture photographs of the physical damage before making any repairs. Take pictures of the item itself and your injuries, as well.
- Document your injury. Keep copies of your medical records, including any x-rays or medical tests performed. Keep evidence of your medical expenses, such as bills and invoices.
- Do not trust an insurance company. If you file an insurance claim, do not trust the adjuster assigned to your case. Do not give away more details than necessary about your incident or injuries, and do not accept the first settlement offered.
- Consult with an attorney. Contact a lawyer in Louisville for advice about your claim before signing anything sent to you by an insurance company. Your lawyer will help you protect your rights.
Do what you can to build your case after being injured by a defective product, but put your physical health first. An attorney can take over your case, launch an investigation and preserve evidence for you. We have years of experience in product liability law and know exactly what a case needs to succeed.
Contact a Louisville Product Liability Lawyer Today
A defective product can cause painful and debilitating injuries, emotional distress, expensive property damage, time taken off of work, and many other losses. If your life has been changed because of a dangerous or defective product, contact the Law Office of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery to discuss your recovery options with one of our experienced and compassionate lawyers. When you need a Louisville product liability attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at (859) 578-4444.