Defective Product Liability Lawyer NYC

Every day, people purchase items to use in their households or at work. They buy these products with the expectation they can use them as described by the manufacturer and they will be able to do so safely. Unfortunately, many manufacturers, or other entities in the supply chain, may not take the duty they are tasked with when distributing products to the public as seriously as they should because they are focused on profits over safety. As a result, people can be seriously injured.

The personal injury attorneys at the Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm are committed to helping victims of defective products receive justice. Our personal injury lawyers won’t hesitate to take on major corporations and their insurance carriers in product liability litigation. To learn more about how we can help defective product victims, contact our Manhattan law office today at 212-268-3222. We’re happy to offer a free consultation or answer any questions you have about a potential defective product liability case.

How Do I Know if I Have a Product Liability Claim in New York?

Public policy dictates manufacturers have the responsibility to ensure the consumer products they are making are safe for consumers to use. Due to this, if a product is defective, strict liability rules apply. This means victims who have used a product as intended do not need to prove negligence against a manufacturer to be compensated for injuries they received.

To take legal action against a manufacturer, a plaintiff must prove an injury was directly related to use of a product when using while intended or that the manufacturer failed to warn of any risks and an injury occurred. In a product liability lawsuit, victims can:

  • Pursue compensation for economic losses, such as lost wages, medical bills, and any costs associated with the injury.
  • Pursue compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress that occurred due to an accident or injuries.
  • File a wrongful death claim if a family member was lost due to an accident caused by a defective product.

Some products injure hundreds or thousands of consumers. As a result, a class-action lawsuit may be initiated. Talking with a New York City experienced product liability attorney can help you determine which course of legal options are best for your situation.

What is a Defective Design Claim?

Defective product design occurs when the product was manufactured and it functioned as it was intended to, but the design contained flaws or was designed without reasonable care, making it dangerous to consumers. When this occurs, it means an entire line of products is impacted, not just a selected number of products.

A well-known example of a design defect occurred in the 1970s with the Ford Pinto. The fuel tank had been designed in such a way it could catch on fire during a moderate-speed rear-end collision which could cause serious injury and death. It later emerged the company was aware of this flaw but sent the design to production anyway because it was more cost-effective than using a more expensive design the company had patented.

Other examples of a defective design claim include structurally unstable products, such as a chair with unequal leg lengths, products designed for children that contain choking hazards, or defects in electrical designs that could burn people or give off electrical shocks.

Can I Sue For Failure to Warn of Danger on a Product?

U.S. law has strict policies in place when it comes to product defects. If a manufacturer is aware of potential hazards or risks consumers may encounter when using a product, they have a duty to warn consumers.

  • Failure to warn in strict products liability lawsuits. In this type of personal injury case, the defendant is held liable for product defects but failed to adequately warn. For instance, failing to warn consumers of weight limitations when using a product.
  • Failure to warn in negligence cases. Less common, this type of liability case involves the plaintiff proving the defendant owed consumers a duty of care and an injury occurs due to failure to warn breached that duty.
  • Intended use or predictable misuse of products. If a consumer uses a product in a way the manufacturer could have predicted but failed to warn, this constitutes negligence. It is not considered negligent if a consumer uses a product in a way that was not predictable.

An appropriate warning can be done through visible labeling, highlighted in user manuals, and through other clear methods of explaining risks. If companies don’t adequately warn consumers, they can be held liable.

Types of Defective Products

Defective products can come in many shapes and forms. From simple household items used to make life easier, to larger purchases, such as a car or other sophisticated machinery. If not made to standards, people become injured. Consumers should be able to buy products confidently without worries they will get hurt. Examples of defective products include:

  • Prescription drugs and OTC medications. Sadly, all too often medicines are approved for use and then later recalled due to unsafe side effects or other problems – some are never recalled.
  • Motor vehicles. Automobiles are complex builds with many parts, and anything wrong in the design or production process can cause a defect. Since vehicles are so powerful, even small defects, such as those in airbags, can cause serious injury.
  • Food products. Consumables are highly regulated but there are many companies involved in production, including production, distribution, and preparation. Any mishandling in this process can result in contamination, resulting in injury.
  • Construction equipment and workplace machinery. Construction equipment is powerful and workers should be assured they can use these products safely. Minor defects can lead to major injuries if manufacturers and designers don’t detect flaws before sending to market.
  • Children’s products. Children's toys and other products can cause serious injury or death if care is not taken in the details. U.S. law has specific standards for children’s products that must be followed very carefully to ensure design, manufacturing, choking hazards, toxicity, and other risks are eliminated.

Other examples of products that can contain defects include tobacco products, e-cigarettes, medical products, medical devices, and products containing asbestos.

What to Do If I Have a Defective Product 

In the event you, or a family member, have experienced problems associated with a defective product and suffer an injury, you want to act as quickly as possible. If possible, save the defective product, along with any instructions, warranty, and packaging. Having as much information as possible helps build a stronger product liability case. Our legal team will ensure the product, vehicle, or machine can be examined and tested by experts which can significantly improve your chances of recovering compensation.

The attorneys at the Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm get results, in part, because we go the extra length to invest in experts who can attest to a manufacturer or a third party’s failure in their duty to distribute a safe product to consumers. Our tenacity and proven abilities during trial get the attention of both defendants and their insurance carriers. They know we will heavily invest ourselves in this process to help our clients receive justice for their injuries.

How Long Do I Have to File a Product Liability Claim in NYC?

Despite strict protocols in place, every year tens of millions of injuries and tens of thousands of deaths occur in the United States each year. Victims of manufacturing defects do have the right to initiate a product liability claim and pursue compensation for their injuries.

Much like other personal injury claims, there is a statute of limitations in NYS. The state typically allows three years to file a product liability claim. It’s important to speak with an experienced product liability attorney as soon as possible to ensure your right to file a claim is not forfeited.

New York Product Liability Attorneys Are Here to Help, Contact Us Today

Injuries caused by product defects are often preventable. Companies should be held to standards to ensure the products they sell to the public are safe. If you, or a loved one, have suffered a serious injury caused by a product defect, we can help. The New York product liability lawyers at Raphaelson & Levine have years of experience and get results.

To receive legal advice or a case evaluation about a dangerous product, call the experienced defective product attorneys at Raphaelson & Levine at 212-268-3222 today. You can also complete our online contact form and we’ll contact you to discuss your legal options.

There are no attorney fees until you win a successful product liability claim.

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Located near Penn Station in New York, NY, our law firm serves Nassau County, Rockland County, Suffolk County, Westchester and all of New York State, including the five boroughs of NYC: Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
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