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Product Liability Lawyers in Grand Rapids, MI

When you purchase a product, you don’t expect to be hurt by a flaw in the instructions or the product itself. Unfortunately, manufacturers sometimes release products with defects that cause injury or even death to consumers. If a product has injured you, you may experience significant medical bills or time off from work. You may need to file a personal injury claim for product liability to recover the compensation you deserve to cover your lost wages and medical bills. The knowledgeable team at Goodman Acker is here to help with your product liability claim.

What Is Product Liability?

Product liability means that the manufacturer or seller of a product can be held liable for putting a defective product into the hands of consumers. The product must meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer as stated by law. When a product has a defect or flaw, it no longer meets those ordinary expectations, making the seller and manufacturer responsible for any damages caused by the product. Liability for injuries is placed on sellers in the distribution chain of that product. Product liability claims fall under state laws regarding strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty.

Some products are inherently dangerous, such as an electric knife. It’s understood that with such products, consumers and users are equipped to minimize risks. The manufacturer provides proper labeling and instructions and the risks associated with the product so that the consumer is adequately informed and can decide whether or not to purchase the product.

Who Is Responsible for Product Liability?

Liability for a product defect or flaw could fall anywhere along the product distribution chain, including on the:

  • Manufacturer of the product.
  • Manufacturer of parts that comprise the product.
  • Person(s) responsible for assembling or installing the product.
  • Wholesaler.
  • Retail store where the product was purchased.

For strict product liability to apply, the product must be sold in the regular course of business; thus, someone selling items at a garage sale would not be included in the distribution chain. You also don’t have to prove you were the initial purchaser or user of the product as long as you used the product the way it was intended. The manufacturer might be liable for injuries caused by defects or flaws if the product causes injury at any time.

What Are the Types of Product Defects?

In a product liability case, it’s the plaintiff’s responsibility to demonstrate that the product was flawed or defective and that the flaw or defect made the product dangerous, causing injury. Three types of product defects may cause injury, including:

  • Manufacturing defects. These types of defects or flaws occur during the product’s original manufacture or assembly.
  • Design defects. These defects are present even before the product is manufactured. Something in the original design is flawed or defective, causing the product to be unsafe.
  • Marketing defects. This refers to any flaws or defects in the way the product is marketed, including vague instructions, mislabeling, or inadequate safety warnings.

Examples of Product Liability Defects

Product liability can happen with any product; however, some of the most recent examples include:

The attorneys at Goodman Acker have over 150 years of combined experience with personal injury claims and will use that expertise to get you the best settlement possible. We also work to protect your rights against large corporations. Product liability cases are on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you win.

How Do You Prove Negligence?

For a product liability claim, you must be able to show that a company failed to test its products correctly or that they failed to provide consumers with proper instructions for its use. It’s imperative to keep the product and any paperwork or instructions that came with it to be successful in a product liability case. If you can locate the original packaging and receipt, that will also be helpful. If any repairs were done to the product, a repair record would also be beneficial.

Enlist the help of a skilled product liability attorney to increase your chances of success in a product liability claim. The team at Goodman Acker fights to get you compensation and create incentives for manufacturers to develop and produce safe products with sufficient warning of any potential dangers.

What Are My Options for Filing a Product Liability Claim?

You’re not required to hire a product liability attorney to file a product liability claim. However, it’s important to note that your chances of success as well as the possible award both increase when you hire a skilled products liability lawyer. Product liability is a complicated area of the law, and product liability attorneys are well-versed in the complex aspects of these cases. Hiring a product liberty attorney will help reduce the stress of the paperwork and documentation process while increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome.

What Are the Steps Involved in a Product Liability Claim?

If a defective product has injured you, there are a few key steps to keep in mind:

  • Keep the product. When your case goes to court, the product will be a key piece of evidence in your product liability case. If you’re unable to keep the product, take as many pictures of the defective product as you can to share with the court.
  • Document everything. Keep proof of all medical visits, medical records, medications, diagnosis, and bills. If you have to miss work, keep documentation of that as well. Pain and suffering can also be included in a product liability claim, so if you’re experiencing fear, anxiety, depression, or other signs of pain and suffering, document that too.
  • Hire a product liability attorney. Although not required, a product liability attorney may be the best decision you make when it comes to your product liability claim.
  • File the claim. Your attorney will file the claim with the court clerk, who will send copies to the defendant. Be sure to ask for a copy for your records as well. Once the claim is filed, you’ll wait for either negotiations or a court date to take place with your lawyer.

It’s important to note that Michigan has a three-year statute of limitations on product liability claims, so contact a knowledgeable product liability attorney as soon as possible. You can reach the team at Goodman Acker 24 hours a day, seven days a week by phone, or via our secure online messaging system. Schedule your free consultation today.