Injured by a Defective Product in Alabama
Every day, we come into contact with thousands of goods and products that we expect to work as they were designed and intended. Unfortunately, products often contain defects and issues that make them dangerous to consumers. If you’ve been injured by a defective product in Alabama, learn about product liability law and your right to file a lawsuit in pursuit of financial compensation.
Common Defective Products in Alabama
Every year, products are released only to be recalled by the manufacturer or a safety organization, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission. A recall means that a product is discovered to have a defect and must be taken off the shelves. Common recalled and defective products include:
- Children’s toys
- Cleaning products
- Industrial equipment
- Medical devices
- Motor vehicle parts
- Weedkillers (such as RoundUp)
A defective product can cause serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, burn injuries and broken bones. In the most severe cases, a product defect can cause wrongful death. Defective Takata airbags, for example, killed 19 people in the U.S. before being recalled.
Three Types of Product Defects
The three main types of product defects are design flaws, manufacturing errors and marketing mistakes. A design flaw is something wrong with the design of a product that makes it inherently dangerous even if used correctly, such as a bicycle that is missing its chain. A manufacturing error means that something went wrong while the product was being made, resulting in a defect. An example is a batch of spinach that gets contaminated with E. coli. A marketing mistake is an issue with how a product has been advertised or labeled, making it dangerous to consumers – such as a medication with the wrong label.
What Are the Basics of a Product Liability Claim?
If you get injured by a defective product in Alabama, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the manufacturer, distributor or seller of the item. A product liability claim aims to hold the entity that created or distributed the defective item accountable by making it pay for a victim’s losses. The basic elements of a product liability claim are:
- You (the plaintiff) suffered an injury.
- The product you were using contained a defect.
- The product was the proximate (main) or actual cause of your injury.
- You were using the product as it was intended.
- The defendant was involved in creating or selling the product.
You generally do not have to prove that the manufacturing company was negligent or failed to use reasonable care. Instead, it is enough to demonstrate that the item contained a defect and caused your injuries. This is what is known as a strict product liability lawsuit, and it makes it easier for injured consumers to bring claims against major manufacturing corporations.
What Types of Compensation Are Available?
If your lawyer succeeds in proving the elements of your product liability case in Alabama using evidence, you and your family could receive financial compensation for several past and future losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost capacity to earn
- Scarring, disfigurement or disability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Death benefits
The value of your case will depend on the losses that you suffered because of the defective item, among other factors. It is important to consult with an attorney before you accept an insurance settlement, as insurance companies are known for offering too-low amounts.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim After Being Injured by a Defective Product?
If you wish to file a lawsuit for a defective product in Alabama, you must do so before the state’s statute of limitations. This is a legal deadline on civil claims. In Alabama, you have no more than two years from the date that you suffered the injury, death or property damage for which you are filing a product liability claim to bring your cause of action. If you wait longer than two years, your claim will most likely be unsuccessful. The sooner you contact a product liability lawyer in Alabama about a possible lawsuit, the better.