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Chicago Products Liability Attorneys
Companies that design, manufacture, or sell products have a duty to ensure that their merchandise is safe for consumers. Too often, however, these companies put their own profits before the safety of the general public. When these entities fail to fulfill their duties and someone gets hurt, they can be held liable for the victim’s injuries and other losses. The Chicago products liability attorneys at Donald W. Fohrman & Associates, LTD. have recovered millions on behalf of victims who were injured by negligent manufacturers, designers, retailers, and other entities in the distribution chain.
Call: (800) 437-2571
Dangerous By Design: When Manufacturer Negligence Injures Innocent Victims
Despite stiff regulations that govern the manufacture and distribution of everything from toys and children’s items to medications, household chemicals, and even recreational and motor vehicles, millions of people are injured by dangerous products every year in the United States. In many of these cases, the companies that designed, produced, or sold these products knew about the risks involved. Instead of correcting the problems that could put consumers at risk, or warning them about the dangers, however, the companies held their own profits as priority over the safety and wellbeing of their customers. As a result, innocent victims:
- Suffered severe burns
- Had fingers, toes, arms, and legs amputated
- Lost the use of one or both eyes
- Were crushed by objects
- Choked to death
- Were exposed to dangerous chemicals
- Were severely injured in car accidents
- Were shocked or electrocuted
Common Types of Product Liability Cases in Illinois
Some of the most common types of products liability cases involve:
Since defective car or truck parts often cause serious injury or fatality auto accidents, some of the most highly-publicized defective or dangerous products cases involve motor vehicles. In cases like these, defective tires, airbags, steering systems, and brakes are often the culprit. When defective vehicles are sold to the public and someone gets hurt, the vehicle manufacturer, parts maker, and sometimes even the dealership can be held liable for damages.
In the United States, medications are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although these products are required to be extensively tested before they ever become available to consumers, it is not uncommon for test results to be falsified, manufacturing practices to change, products to become contaminated, or warnings to be omitted. When dangerous medications make people in Illinois sick, manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, retailers, doctors, and pharmacists may all be defendants in products liability lawsuits and personal injury cases.
Dangerous medical devices have made headlines in recent years, and for good reason. Surgical mesh products, insulin pumps, infusion pumps, defibrillators, IVC filters, and hip and knee replacements are good examples of medical devices that have caused serious injuries and deaths.
Defective vehicle parts cause countless ATV accidents every year, with many resulting in permanently disabling injuries. When these vehicles rollover, catch fire, or explode because of defective parts or designs, the consequences can be deadly.
Every three minutes, one child in the United States suffers toy-related injuries so severe that he or she requires treatment in an emergency room. World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) publishes a list of the top 10 most dangerous toys each year in December to help protect children from products that can cause disabling or deadly injuries. Dangerous toys often have choking hazards, sharp pieces, the potential for eye injuries or puncture wounds, chemicals that can cause respiratory or skin irritation, and even batteries that can explode or catch fire.
From blenders and toasters to pressure cookers and deep fat fryers, countless small kitchen appliances are recalled each year because they are discovered to be dangerous to consumers. It is common for victims to suffer hand or finger injuries, severe burns, eye injuries, and more.
Theories of Product Liability in Illinois
The courts rely on two primary legal theories in product liability cases in Illinois. They are:
Under the theory of strict liability, manufacturers and distributors can be held liable for injuries and deaths caused by their products regardless of whether they acted negligently. To recover compensation under this theory, you only need to show that:
- You purchased the product
- You used the product in a foreseeable manner
- The product is substantially in the same condition as it was in when it was in the possession of the manufacturer or distributor
- The product caused you to suffer an injury
To recover compensation under the negligence theory of products liability law, you must be able to show that the manufacturer or seller:
- Owed you a duty of care
- Breached that duty by acting negligently or recklessly
- Caused you to be injured because of negligence or recklessness
Additionally, you may be able to recover compensation after suffering an injury caused by a dangerous product if you can prove that the distributor or manufacturer violated an implied or written warranty that guaranteed that the product was safe and free from hazardous defects.
FAQs About Products Liability Cases in Illinois
If you were injured by a dangerous or defective product in Illinois, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and more.
In Illinois, you have just 2 years from the time your injury occurred to bring a claim for personal injuries you’ve endured and up to 5 years from the date of the incident to bring a claim for property damages. However, you must bring your lawsuit within 12 years of the date the product was first sold or 10 years from the date you obtained the defective product or from when it was modified. If the product was under warranty for a longer period of time, you may be able to file a lawsuit and recover damages as long as you do so within that period.
Retailers and others in the supply chain can be held liable for injuries sustained as a result of dangerous or defective products they sell.