If you were injured by a defective product, you could be entitled to compensation through a product liability claim. However, pursuing financial relief from big corporations with their teams of lawyers can be difficult without aggressive legal representation of your own. The Morgantown defective product attorneys with Robinette Legal Group, PLLC can handle your case while you focus on getting your life back on track.
We are proud to advocate for injury victims in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia. We’re ready to bring our skill and experience to your case. Contact our office today for a free consultation with a Morgantown product liability attorney to find out how you can pursue the money you need for an injury from a defective product.
What Is Considered a “Defective Product?”
A defect in a product is any feature that makes the product unsafe for consumers. Defective products cases typically fall within one of three categories:
- Design defect — A design defect means the product’s design is inherently dangerous. There may be a problem in the product’s basic specifications that makes it unsafe for its intended use. Design defects apply to all products that share a design or specifications.
- Manufacturing defect — Manufacturing defects happen when an error is made in the production process, making the product more dangerous than other products that fully comply with the product’s design specifications. A manufacturing defect may affect only one product or an entire production run.
- Marketing defect — Also called failure to warn or instruct, a marketing defect involves failing to provide consumers with adequate instructions or warnings about the risks of injury. In a marketing defect claim, a consumer may allege that they were injured because they were not instructed on how to use a product or provided adequate warnings about the risk of using it.
Examples of products that have resulted in defective product lawsuits include:
- Enfamil and Similac — These baby formula products have caused prematurely born infants to develop intestinal diseases due to the manufacturer’s failure to warn parents about the risk of feeding cow’s milk-based formula to premature babies and newborns.
- Roundup — Roundup is a weed killer containing an active ingredient believed to cause cancer.
- Philips Respironics CPAP and BiPAP machines — These respirator machines were recalled due to a defective design that allowed toxic insulating foam particles to enter the airflow system. Users then inhale these toxins, causing lung damage, respiratory infections, and cancer.
- Hernia mesh devices — Many mesh products have been accused of having unsafe designs that can cause the mesh to perforate and damage abdominal and pelvic organs.
- Talcum powder — Talc-based products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson are alleged to increase the risk of cancer or contain hazardous substances such as asbestos.
- Zantac — This heartburn medication was recalled when it was discovered that storing tablets improperly could lead to chemical reactions that form a cancer-causing chemical.
West Virginia Product Liability Law
In West Virginia, injured consumers may file a strict liability, negligence, or breach of warranty claim against manufacturers and sellers of dangerous products. Your case’s unique facts and circumstances will determine the type of claim you will file. In some cases, you may file more than one defective product claim against liable parties. Your lawyer will help determine the best legal strategies and methods of recovery to pursue in your case.
Strict Liability Claims
A strict liability product liability claim requires a plaintiff to show that they were injured by a product while using it as intended or in an expected way. They will also need to show that the product is unsafe for use due to a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect. A strict liability claim does not require a plaintiff to prove that the defect was caused by a manufacturer’s carelessness, as is necessary for a negligence-based claim.
It’s also possible to pursue a negligence claim against a manufacturer in a product liability case. A negligence-based product liability claim requires a plaintiff to show that they were injured by a product that the manufacturer or seller knew or should have known was defective. Negligence claims may occur when manufacturers:
- Do not use reasonable care in designing the product, including making unsafe design choices or not predicting reasonable uses of the product
- Do not maintain manufacturing equipment
- Do not conduct reasonable quality assurance inspections and safety testing
- Do not recall a product from the market after learning of potential defects
Breach of Warranty Claims
Some product liability cases come from a breach of warranty. A manufacturer or seller may guarantee the quality or safety of the product or its fitness for the consumer’s purpose. A product that doesn’t live up to these representations of quality, safety, or suitability may warrant a product liability claim based on breach of warranty if a consumer suffers injury from using the product.
West Virginia’s Statute of Limitations
The West Virginia statute of limitations places a time limit on filing lawsuits in a product liability case. West Virginia law gives you only two years from the date that you were injured by a defective product to file suit against a manufacturer or another liable party for losses that you have incurred. If you file a lawsuit after the two-year deadline, your case will likely be dismissed. You may lose your opportunity to seek compensation in civil court.
Building a strong defective product case can take time. If you might have a defective product claim, you should speak to an attorney immediately to get started. Your lawyer can keep track of crucial deadlines and file the necessary paperwork on your behalf.
What Compensation Is Available for Injuries from Defective Products?
If you were injured by a defective product, you could be compensated for financial and personal losses you incurred due to your injuries. The compensation you may be entitled to includes the following:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation for your injuries, including hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s visits, medical equipment, and physical therapy
- Costs of long-term care for permanent disabilities you suffer due to your injuries
- Loss of income if you miss time from work while recovering from injuries
- Loss of future earning potential and job benefits if your injury results in disability and you can no longer be gainfully employed
- Physical pain and anguish from injuries and medical treatment
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Reimbursement for personal property that was damaged in the accident
Why Hire a Defective Product Injury Attorney?
Defective product injury claims often require plaintiffs to take on large manufacturing corporations and insurers. These companies will use their financial resources to deny or minimize your claim for compensation. However, you don’t have to face them alone. A skilled attorney can advocate for your rights and help you seek the accountability and justice you deserve.
When you hire a defective product attorney from Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, you can expect our firm to pursue the best outcome in your case by:
- Investigating the circumstances of the accident, including gathering evidence and working with accident reconstruction and engineering experts to find the defects in the product
- Identifying parties who may potentially have liability for your injuries and losses, including manufacturers, parts companies, or retailers
- Documenting your injuries and calculating your ongoing and anticipated losses to pursue full compensation for the harm you have suffered
- Taking time to answer your questions and explain your legal options, including the types of product liability claims you may have
- Filing legal and insurance claims against the at-fault manufacturers and retailers
- Keeping track of important deadlines in your case
- Aggressively negotiating on your behalf for the fair and full settlement of your case
- Going to trial if litigation becomes necessary to seek the justice and compensation you deserve
Contact Our Firm for Help After You Have Been Injured by a Defective Product
If you were hurt by a dangerous or defective product, you should not have to shoulder the financial burden of your injuries. The trusted attorneys at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Contact our office today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Morgantown defective product attorney.