Washington, DC, Products Liability Lawyer
Every year, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) collects reports of more than 400,000 product-related injuries, resulting in an over 14 million injuries. Some of those injuries result from misuse of products. But oftentimes, these injuries are a result of a defective product.
When a defective product causes a personal injury, the victim of the product may be entitled to seek compensation under applicable “product liability” laws. In many such cases, the victim may hold the manufacturer strictly liable—that is, without the victim needing to show the manufacturer acted wrongfully—by showing that the product was defective in one of three ways: in its design, in how it was manufactured, or in its lack of warnings or instructions. In some cases, a victim may also be entitled to hold the defective product’s manufacturer or other parties involved in its sale liable by proving they acted negligently or wrongfully in relation to the product.
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact The Abelson Law Firm online or at (202) 331-0600 for a free consultation.
The Abelson Law Firm’s Results in Products Liability Cases
We have represented several victims who have been injured by defective products. In one case, we represented a young man who was operating a stump grinder when the machine malfunctioned and injured him. In previous accidents with the same machine, the manufacturer claimed workers used the machine incorrectly. But, we were able to achieve a recovery for our client, and ultimately the manufacturer pulled the product off of the market. This is only an example; there is no guarantee of an outcome in any case.
Common Product Liability Injuries
A defective product can cause multiple types of injuries. Here are some of the most common:
- Burns, including chemical burns
- Broken bones
- Scrapes and bruises
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
- Spinal cord injuries
- Illness or other long-term condition or disease
Who Can Be Held Liable in Product Liability Cases?
If you are injured by a defective product, the manufacturer, the wholesaler, and/or the retailer may potentially be held liable. It is not necessarily a matter of choosing one or the other—any entity that takes part in bringing the product to market could potentially be held accountable in a product liability claim.
- This may include a global firm, an individual working from home, or any other party involved in the design or marketing of the defective product. If the product is large and is composed of many individual parts, the manufacturer of the defective part may also be held liable in a product liability suit.
- Wholesaler or distributor. The wholesaler is the middleman who gets the product from the manufacturer and brings it a retailer. Not all products go through a wholesaler or distributor, but if they do, these parties are part of the chain of distribution, so they may be held liable in a suit.
- Retailers may be held liable for damages in a suit even though they did not design or build the product. Selling the product may imply that it is safe for use.
What Kind of Damages Might Be Recovered in a Product Liability Case?
A person injured by a defective product may be entitled to damages in two broad categories: economic damages (sometimes called “specials”) and general damages.
Economic damages have a calculable cash value based on bills, invoices, wage loss statements, or other financial measures, including:
- Medical expenses
- Transportation and rehabilitation services
- Reduction in ability to earn
- Lost wages and future wages
- Expenses relating to household services
- Future bills and expenses
Our firm often consults an economic expert to determine the present-day value of lost future earnings and expected future expenses.
General damages are a powerful component of an injury claim but they can be hard to evaluate. They’re based on an injured person’s feelings about pain, suffering, scarring, disabilities, and how an injury affects their life. We assist our clients in evaluating their general damages by helping them document their thoughts, feelings, and physical limitations throughout their healing process. A general damage claim may seek compensation for:
- Struggles with child care and parental relationships
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Emotional issues related to scars, functional impairments, and disabilities
- Changes in the marital relationship
Finally, in limited cases, a judge or jury may award punitive damages if the responsible persons or companies caused injuries by committing outrageous acts.
What Ways Do Those Liable Try to Get out of Paying Their Fair Share?
In a product liability case, the most common ways manufacturers and others try to avoid liability is by arguing victim was not using the product correctly or was not using the product for its intended purpose. Those who are liable may also claim that the product’s condition was substantially different when the victim used it compared to when the item was purchased.
Defending these unwarranted attacks can be overwhelming at a time when the victim needs to focus on recovery and rehabilitation. A knowledgeable attorney can help victims seek justice, avoid legal pitfalls, and make sure that those who are liable pay their fair share.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost Me?
At The Abelson Law Firm, we understand the stress and uncertainty defective product victims and their families often feel. To help ease that stress, we offer free consultations for victims and their families to help evaluate their legal options. In appropriate cases, we may also agree to represent a client on a “contingent fee” basis in which the client pays little or nothing up front and our fees are paid only out of a final settlement or judgment.
Washington, D.C., Product Liability Attorney
If you suffered an injury because of a defective product in the Washington, D.C., area, The Abelson Law Firm may have the experience to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact The Abelson Law Firm online or at (202) 331-0600 for a free consultation.