When you purchase a product online or in a store, you expect that the manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer have taken steps to ensure that it doesn’t pose an unreasonable risk of harm to you and your loved ones. Unfortunately, in the often blind effort to be the first to market with a product, corners are often cut. If you have been hurt because of the malfunction or breakdown of a product, you may have a number of questions.
Q: What can I base a product liability claim on?
A: There are three different legal theories upon which a product liability claim may be made: that the product was carelessly or negligently designed; that the product was carelessly or negligently manufactured; or that the product failed to include reasonable or adequate warnings of the risk of injury.
Q: Who can be sued for injuries caused by a dangerous or defective product?
A: As a general rule, you can bring a lawsuit against anyone within the chain of distribution, including designers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers. You may also be able to sue engineers, consultants and contractors.
Q: What must I show to a jury to succeed in a product liability claim?
A: There are four requirements to win a product liability claim. You must show that the product involved was defective in some respect—design, manufacture or marketing. You must prove that you were injured or suffered losses. You must demonstrate that the product defect was the specific cause of your injury or losses. You must also show that you were either using the product as intended or as a reasonable person would.
How soon must I file a lawsuit?
A: The statute of limitations, which sets the time period within which you must file a lawsuit, varies for state to state. In New Jersey, it’s two years from the date of your injury. That may be extended, however, if you don’t discover the injury immediately.
At the Law Offices of Gregg A. Wisotsky, I offer a free phone consultation to every prospective client. For a complimentary evaluation of your case, contact my office online or call me at 973-241-7468. I will come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary. All major credit cards are accepted.