Product Liability Attorneys in Birmingham, AL
Every year, defective or unsafe products injure and kill people throughout Alabama. When manufacturer error, product defect, or distributer negligence creates a product unsafe for use, accidents occur. Product liability laws are in place to protect citizens from defective products, and these laws make it possible for victims to recover compensation for damages. If you or a family member have suffered an injury from a defective product, contact our team of experienced Birmingham, AL product liability lawyers for an initial legal consultation.
What is Product Liability?
Manufacturers have an obligation to create products that are safe for consumers. When they fail in this obligation, severe injuries and death can occur. Defective products can include medical products, birth control products, unsafe drugs, consumer products, mechanical parts, and building materials. Any product that does not function as it should, causing an accident or injury, is known as a defective product.
Due to strict federal liability laws, the victim does not need to prove the manufacturer was negligent to make a claim. The victim needs only prove the product caused the injury. When a manufacturer’s product causes an injury or damages property, the law holds the manufacturer strictly liable. This makes it substantially easier for a plaintiff to receive compensation than in an ordinary personal injury case.
There are no federal product liability laws – these laws vary state by state. In Alabama, the product a manufacturer releases to consumers must meet the ordinary expectation of the consumer. Therefore, if the consumer did not ordinarily expect the product to cause an injury, the manufacturer is responsible. Product liability claims are based on the theories of breach of warranty, strict liability, and negligence.
Who Is Responsible?
Determining who is responsible for an unsafe product isn’t as easy as simply knowing the manufacturer. The courts must investigate the product to discover the source of the malfunction and pursue the defendant from there. Product defects can stem from the manufacturing line, where an employee put a product together wrong to the manufacturer of the components of a product.
If it’s unclear what part of the product caused the dangerous malfunction, a lawyer can conduct an in-depth investigation into the product and discover the source. For product liability to come into play, the product must have at some point been sold in the marketplace. In most states, the person who was injured doesn’t have to be the one who purchased the product to recover damages for injuries.
The investigation may uncover three types of product defects – design flaws, manufacturing error, and warning defects. Design flaws are an unsafe aspect of a product that’s existed from day one of the product’s existence. Examples include a fan with a safety guard designed to have a gap large enough to fit someone’s fingers. The guard was not designed to provide for the safety of the consumer and thus falls under product liability.
Manufacturing errors include defects occurring during the product’s assembly. Even though the manufacturer did not intend for the product to be built with a defect, the courts will hold them responsible for the error, because it is their duty to create a safe product. Warning defects occur when a manufacturer is aware of a product hazard but fails to adequately warn users or instruct them for use.
Knowing where the negligence occurred is not the victim’s responsibility – he or she will receive compensation regardless. However, the court will need to know where the negligence came from to identify the correct defendant.
Legal Help from a Birmingham, AL Product Liability Lawyer
For expert product liability lawyers in Birmingham, you can trust The Mitchell Law Firm, LLC, with your case. With more than 10 years of experience in the area and a successful track record of case results, we understand local and state laws regarding defective products and can give you confidence during a lawsuit. We believe no one should suffer in silence when a defective product causes an injury. Contact us today for legal advice.