Virginia Product Liability Attorneys
Manufacturers or distributors of unreasonably dangerous or defective products may be financially responsible for injuries or fatalities caused by use of their defective product. The Virginia Product Liability Attorneys of MartinWren, P.C. have experience litigating personal injury and wrongful death claims where the fatality or injury is caused by a defective product.
Generally speaking, Virginia recognizes three types of product liability claims. The first is called a manufacturing defect case, which occurs when a product is damaged in the manufacturing process and that damage then causes the product to malfunction and cause an injury. Design defects are the second type of product liability claim, and these occur when the product has a design flaw that causes the product to be unreasonably dangerous even when it is used as it was intended to be used. The third type of product liability cause of action is called a failure to warn claim, and these claims occur when a manufacturer fails to warn consumers of a product’s defective or dangerous characteristics.
To prevail in a products liability action, the plaintiff’s lawyer must prove that a product left the manufacturer in a defective state, that the product malfunctioned while still in its defective condition, and that the product’s user was using the product as intended at the time of the malfunction. It is possible that a product’s user may have been “misusing” the product when the injury occurred, and this fact alone may not disqualify the user from recovering compensation when the misuse of the product was reasonably foreseeable by the manufacturer.
Product liability claims usually involve several complicated issues that need the help of expert witnesses. Such complicated issues include an engineering or technical analysis of the defective product, the reason the malfunction occurred, and how the malfunction caused the victim’s injuries. These cases involve difficult legal battles, and manufacturers, distributors, and their insurers often take aggressive positions.
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has identified a number of common household products that may pose unreasonable risks of serious injuries and fatalities. Such products include bicycles, toys, automobiles, cribs, Chinese Drywall, products and toys containing lead, playgrounds, and amusement park rides. Other products can include pharmaceutical drugs and other dangerous medications. Among other things, defective products may cause choking or strangulation dangers, cancer, lacerations, suffocations, fall hazards, fire and burn hazards, poisoning, shock and electrocution, or even explosions.
Individuals who have been injured by defective or unreasonably dangerous products may be entitled to compensatory and even punitive damages as a result of the injuries they suffered. Compensatory damages may include past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and inconvenience.
Virginia Dangerous Products Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been injured by an unreasonably dangerous or defective product, please call MartinWren, P.C.’s Virginia Products Liability Attorneys, Robert E. Byrne, Jr. or Jonathan T. Wren. We can provide more information or schedule a free consultation and free case evaluation. We can meet you at your home or the hospital, even on weekends and evenings.
You will not owe any legal fees unless we recover money for you.
Product Liability FAQ: I modified or misused a product and was injured, can I still file a product liability claim?
Whenever someone has been injured by a hazardous product, regardless of what the product is, one of the most common defenses used by the alleged negligent party is that the user “modified” or “misused” the product.
Each Virginia product liability attorney from our firm has handled cases that involved the defense arguing that the plaintiff called the product hotline number or emailed a complaint about the product, and then tried to modify it, or alternatively, misused it afterwards. Regardless of whether or not this is true for your situation, you might wonder if you can pursue a claim for your injuries in the event of misusing or modifying a product.
The short answer is that is may be possible to file a product liability claim after misusing or modifying the product, but this will depend on the circumstances of your case. For example, the foreseeability of risks in the misuse or modification.
Misusing a Product
Misusing a product is exactly how it sounds and involves a user that uses a product for a use different than was intended by the manufacturer. For example, as ludicrous as it might sound, you attempted to use a small vacuum cleaner to dry your hair, and sustained injuries as a result. This would be considered a misuse of a vacuum cleaner, and you would likely not be successful in pursuing a claim.
That said, when misuse of a product is raised in reasonable situations, for example using a blowdryer to dry clothing rather than hair, it may be considered valid.
In general, whenever misuse is involved in a claim, the court will review the case and determine whether or not the misuse was unreasonable. A Virginia product liability attorney can evaluate your case to determine if you have a valid claim.
Modifying a Product
Modifying a product is different from misusing a product in that the user has made a modification which allegedly, according to the defendant, is the sole cause of the injury. One of the most common situations seen by our Virginia product liability attorneys involves a plaintiff who took off a safety mechanism on a device. For example, removing a safety lock from a power tool.
Like misuse, modifying a product only helps the defendant when they can show that the modification was unreasonable and/or unforeseeable. For example, the plaintiff knew that taking off the safety lock would be dangerous, but still did so. On the other hand, if the safety lock was easy to remove, the court might rule that the removal was foreseeable and favor the plaintiff in pursuing a claim.
Whenever misuse or modification of a product is an element in a product liability case, it is important to consult a Virginia product liability attorney. These cases are typically very complex and require in-depth research into the injuries and case as a whole.
Do You Believe You Have Been Injured Because of a Product Defect?
If you feel that your injuries are the result of a defective product, it is prudent that you get advice from a Virginia product liability attorney as soon as possible. Call MartinWren, P.C. now.