October 23, 2015

Who’s Responsible When a Product Injures You?

Category: Products Liability | Author: | Share:

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a product, you may want to bring a claim against the company responsible. In addition to the pain and trouble caused by the injury itself, you are likely to have surprisingly high medical bills and other expenses.

The Indianapolis product liability attorneys at Price Waicukauski Joven & Catlin, LLC can help victims of these kinds of accidents. We review the facts of your case, advise you on who may be responsible for your injuries and when appropriate, take legal action on your behalf so you receive compensation to cover your expenses or losses. Contact our offices today if you or a loved one has been injured by a defective or dangerous product in Indiana.

A Brief Look at the Indiana Products Liability Act

Generally speaking, products liability laws allow individuals to recover compensation for any injuries sustained as a result of using a defective product. The Indiana Products Liability Act, which provides for the users or consumers who have suffered physical harm, governs such causes of action.

In product liability cases, the law is geared more toward protecting the consumer than protecting the manufacturer or seller. More often than not, liability in such cases is a question of strict liability, meaning if the product is defective and the defect caused the injury suffered, the harmed individual may be able to sue for damages. This will hold true as long as the product was being used for its intended purpose and was not substantially changed from the way it was originally made. The products covered by product liability law include the majority of consumer products, as well as real estate, drugs and food.

Manufacturer Liability

A manufacturer of a product has a duty to make sure a product is safe for reasonable use. If it isn’t, Indiana considers that product to be defective. Further, if the product was defective when it came under your control and you used it reasonably, yet that reasonable use caused your injuries, the manufacturer may be held responsible for your harm.

Defects might include dangerous design, a mistake in assembly of a single item, the use of a defective part in a product or other elements of danger. Failure to provide you with relevant warnings or instructions may also lead to a cause of action for the injured individual.

Seller Liability

While it is more likely that a defective product came directly from the manufacturer, in some cases, the seller (who may be different from the manufacturer) might also be held liable for a defective product.

For example, if a single part in a power tool is found to be defective, but no other power tools had that defect, the seller may not be expected to reasonably know of its existence. In other words, it might be considered a coincidence, so to speak, and the manufacturer might be found to be responsible instead.

On the other hand, if the seller had, as a different example, customized a motorcycle for you and a part was defective, we would likely look to the seller for damages.

Missing labels or instructions, or telling consumers not to worry about warnings, may also lead to seller liability.

Standing Up For You

Manufacturers and sellers are likely to have powerful lawyers on staff who spend their days preparing for the rare instance of a product injury. A classic technique used by many of those lawyers is to blame the victim. They may claim that you used the product incorrectly in the face of instructions, or they may say the product was modified in an unsafe way. They might also argue that you knew about the defect all along or realized it during use, yet you proceeded to use it anyway.

At Price Waicukauski Joven & Catlin, LLC, we help you stand strong in your case and go after the responsible parties for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case.