Kansas City Product Liability Attorneys
As a consumer, you have certain rights afforded to you. First and foremost, you have the right to safety and protection regarding the products and services you purchase. However, big businesses and corporations don’t always look out for the best interests of their customers in pursuit of improving their bottom line.
While nothing can substitute good health and safety, there are actions you can take to receive recompense for their shortcomings and your suffering. If you are in need of legal counsel for a product liability case in Kansas City, MO, contact our experienced and successful Kansas City, MO product liability attorneys at Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet for a free legal consultation and or case evaluation.
Why Choose the Attorneys at Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet?
- Our attorneys have over 25 years of combined litigation and trial experience. We have a deep understanding of Missouri product liability laws and know what is required to successfully prove a lawsuit.
- Our firm is dedicated to recovering full compensation for each of our clients and will not hesitate to go to trial if necessary. We have secured millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts.
- We take all cases on a contingency fee basis to limit our clients’ out-of-pocket costs. You will not be charged any legal fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Product Liability Information and Data
Each year, roughly 7% to 10% of all personal injury cases are for product liability. In fact, they have the second highest median damages award for personal injury cases – roughly $300,000. The majority of product liability cases are related toys, electronics, and baby products, but virtually any consumer product can lead to a legal investigation. For more information on this, speak to a Kansas City personal injury lawyer.
At Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet, we represent clients who have been injured by a wide range of defective products. These items include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Medical devices
- Power tools
- Contaminated food
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- Children’s toys
- Defective auto parts
- Household appliances
- Cleaning products
- Industrial machinery
- Construction materials
- Vapes and e-cigarettes
- Improperly handled chemicals
The Major Types of Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims typically fall under one of two broad, overarching categories: (1) defective design or manufacturing or (2) failure to properly warn. Let’s take a look at each of these and cover common examples.
Defectively Design or Manufacturing
The most obvious and frequent type of product liability claim refers to the original design or manufacturing of a product. If a product is inherently flawed and injures or puts the consumer at risk, it is likely the result of a defect and may allow the customer to file a claim.
Examples of defective designs include the following:
- A skateboard with axels that break while riding downhill, causing bodily harm or emotional trauma to the rider.
- A garage door that randomly closes and causes damage to property or injures people.
- A bag of potato chips containing a dangerous chemical substance that causes illness or even wrongful death.
- A surge protector that fails to guard against electrical damage.
- Essentially, when a product fails to live up to the standards it either claims to meet or should meet, a product liability claim may be brought against the designer or manufacturer.
Failure to Properly Warn
The second major category of product liability claims involves a failure to provide adequate warnings or detailed instructions about a product’s proper use. In most cases, these claims are brought against products that, when operated incorrectly, inflict pain or damage. Examples of failure to properly warn include the following.
- A set of Christmas lights that fail to warn against placing the lights in contact with certain types of wrapping paper.
- An oven mitt that does not include a warning label that it fails to protect against temperatures higher than 700 degrees.
- A container of paint thinner that does not warn against the dangers of inhaling fumes.
- An over the counter medication that does not list potential side effects of using the drug.
Injuries Caused by Defective Products
A defective product can cause serious medical conditions that could radically change your life. From exploding e-cigarettes to carcinogenic medications, a wide range of injuries and illnesses can arise after exposure to a dangerous item.
Depending on the product that you were using, you could experience any of the following:
- Severe lacerations
- Brain injuries
- Third-degree burns
- Broken bones
- Suffocation injuries
- Choking injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Spinal cord injuries
- Electrical shock injuries
- Permanent scarring
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
If you are injured by a defective product, it is critical to seek medical attention right away, even if you do not feel hurt. Some of these injuries or illnesses may not show symptoms immediately, and the sooner you catch them, the better your outcome is likely to be. Go to the doctor as soon as you can and save all of your medical records—these documents will serve as powerful evidence in your case.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Defective Product?
Product manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe to use and include all of the necessary warnings and instructions to help consumers avoid injury. If a mistake happens during the manufacturing process, the manufacturer has a duty to take reasonable steps to make the items safer.
If a product injures a consumer, that manufacturer would be financially liable for any damages that occur. In some cases, the company that sold or distributed the product would also be responsible, depending on whether its handling led to the defect. For example, if the manufacturer’s instructions are to store the product in a refrigerated environment, the retailer could be liable if it stored the product in warm conditions.
How to Prove a Kansas City Product Liability Lawsuit
If you were injured by a defective product, you have the right to pursue litigation against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer. By filing a product liability lawsuit, you can recover financial compensation to help pay for damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
To secure a settlement, you will need to show that the defect was responsible for your medical condition. There are four facts that need to be established in a product liability claim:
- You were injured or suffered losses.
- The product was defective.
- The product’s defect caused your injury.
- You were using the product as the manufacturer intended.
You can leverage several pieces of evidence in your lawsuit. For example, your medical records can establish the fact that you developed an injury or illness. You can prove that the product was defective and caused your injury by presenting testimony from expert witnesses like medical professionals and manufacturers.
An attorney from Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet can help you gather this evidence and establish your right to compensation. We can conduct a full investigation into the incident and leverage our network of experts to build a compelling case for your right to compensation.
Compensation Available in Missouri Product Liability Claims
A defective product can cause a lot of damage. You may require extensive, ongoing medical care to treat your injury or illness. You could spend weeks away from work recovering. In some cases, you may be unable to return to your job at all. In these situations, the product manufacturer is financially responsible for the damages that you experienced.
A product liability lawsuit allows you to recover compensation for these losses, which may include the following:
- Medical Expenses: You can recover a settlement to pay for any past and future medical expenses related to the product defect. These expenses may include doctor’s visits, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and physical therapy.
- Lost Wages and Future Earnings: If you need to miss work in order to recover from or receive treatment for your medical condition, you can secure compensation for any wages that you lost as a result. You can also recover compensation for the loss of future earnings if you are no longer able to work because of the injury.
- Property Damage: In some cases, product defects cause damage to the surrounding property. You can recover compensation to repair or replace any property that was damaged by the product. These items may include furniture, clothing, or even your vehicle.
- Pain and Suffering: In addition to the financial impact of your injury or illness, you can recover compensation for the pain and suffering that you endured. Your pain and suffering damages may be physical, such as chronic pain and permanent disability. You can also recover compensation for emotional pain and suffering, such as mental anguish, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
What Is the Value of a Product Liability Settlement?
When you decide to pursue a product liability claim, one of your first questions may be, “How much is my claim worth?” The value of a product liability lawsuit depends heavily on the individual losses that you experienced. Depending on the extent of the plaintiff’s losses, these claims can range from a few thousand to millions of dollars and more.
The only way to determine the value of your product liability lawsuit is to speak with an attorney. Your lawyer from Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet can help you explore all potential avenues to compensation and accurately calculate your potential award.
There are certain factors that could influence how much your claim is worth:
- The severity of your injuries or illness
- Your need for long-term medical care
- The length of time that you spend away from work
- Your ability to work after your injury or illness
- Whether you require rehabilitation or physical therapy
The Statute of Limitations for Defective Product Claims in Missouri
If you suspect that you may have a product liability claim, you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible. There is law known as the statute of limitations that sets deadlines for pursuing certain types of claims. A court will likely dismiss your claim if you fail to file your claim by the deadline.
In Missouri, there is a five-year time limit for filing product liability lawsuits. Unless your claim qualifies for certain exceptions, you will need to file your claim within five years of the date of your injury or diagnosis. To protect your right to recovery, it is important to speak to a lawyer and determine your appropriate filing deadline.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Product Liability Attorney?
There are many people who do not obtain legal representation because they believe they cannot afford it. Financial hardship is common after a sudden injury or unexpected diagnosis. Fortunately, many product liability attorneys understand the financial hardships that their clients face and take cases on a contingency fee basis.
When a firm charges a contingency fee, you will not pay any legal fees unless your attorney recovers compensation on your behalf. If your case is successful, the firm will take a portion of your settlement as payment. Under this arrangement, it is more accessible to hire a lawyer and obtain the support that you need to prove your right to recovery.
Kansas City, MO Product Liability Legal Counsel
When dealing with a situation in which you or a loved one have been injured or hurt by a product, it’s important to determine which type of product liability claim to file. Incorrectly pursuing one type over the other may render your lawsuit invalid and leave you without recompense for your suffering. There are a number of different types of injuries that can result from product liability, some of which include:
Instead of attempting to handle things on your own, it’s important to discuss your options with a qualified Kansas City product liability attorney. Our team of attorneys can help you determine whether you have a case to begin with, how to proceed, and what damages to ask for.
In the end, it’s all about your safety and security. If you believe you have been unnecessarily exposed to harm by using a product that should have been safe, contact an attorney today. It’s your life and you deserve to purchase products without putting your health and safety in danger.