According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries, fatalities and property damage from defective product accidents cost the U.S. more than $700 billion annually. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers have a legal duty to provide consumers with products that are reasonably safe when used in a reasonable manner. Legal cases against product manufacturers are often the only means for the public and government regulators to learn about dangerous consumer products. Over the years, the Sweeney Law Firm had successfully handled a wide variety of product liability cases on behalf of consumers harmed by defective products.
Indiana law recognizes “strict liability” claims against manufacturers who produce and sell a defective product. The most basic premise of strict liability law is that the injured person does not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent (i.e. failed to use reasonable care) in producing the product. The injured party must only prove that the product exposes the user to a risk of harm beyond that contemplated by the ordinary consumer who uses the product.
A product may be defective because it is not equipped with safety features to protect the user from foreseeable accidents. Likewise, a product may be defective due to a design flaw that makes the product dangerous to use or because it does not operate as described by the manufacturer. Many product liability claims involve products that are sold without adequate warnings and instructions. Manufacturers are obligated to market their products responsibly. The product must include clear, visible and concise warnings outlining the danger and its consequence. The failure to provide a reasonable warning can cause the product to be defective.
Under Indiana law, an injured party who sues a manufacturer or seller because the product was defectively designed or contained inadequate warnings must prove that the manufacturer or seller failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances in designing the product or placing warnings and instructions on it.
- Keep the product in a safe place;
- Locate the receipt for the product;
- Secure any documentation about the product including packaging and instruction manuals;
- Take photographs of the product and the accident scene;
- Do not give the product to the manufacturer or seller for “testing.” The vast majority of defective product cases are won or lost in the days and weeks after the accident. A defective product must be secured, immediately. Manufacturers are always on the lookout to secure and destroy evidence.
- Contact a lawyer, such as the defective product attorneys at the Sweeney Law Firm. It is essential that you consult with a skilled lawyer who specializes in product liability cases immediately if you have been injured by a defective product.
The First Step in Pursing a Defective Product Claim
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective product, call the Sweeney Law Firm now at (866) 793-6339 or submit the case form below. The initial consultation is free, and if we agree to accept your case, we will handle your case on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a settlement or recovery of funds. There is no reason to hesitate. Contact us today for a free initial evaluation of your case.