Defective Products & Liability in Illinois | Staver
Product Liability

Defective Products & Liability in Illinois

If you got hurt because a product you used was dangerous, talk with a defective products attorney right away. You should feel safe using the products you buy at the store or online. You shouldn’t have to worry that something is wrong with them. But far too many products make it into homes and businesses with a dangerous defect. When you’re hurt because of a defect, it’s important to work with a lawyer to hold the manufacturer or seller responsible. You can reach Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. through our online form or by calling (312) 236-2900. We offer free, no-risk consultations.

How Can a Product Be Defective?

There are three types of product defects: design defects, manufacturing defects, and warning/marketing defects. If you were injured because of a dangerous product, it’s important to talk with a lawyer right away. You’ll need someone to thoroughly investigate the product to find out whether something was wrong with it and when that defect happened.

A design defect is an inherent problem with the product that makes it less safe than it should be. Every product made based on that design is defective. You can buy it brand new, and it has something wrong with it. But a manufacturing defect means something that went wrong during the creation of the product, whether that’s growing a food item, manufacturing a toy, assembling a vehicle, or packaging a product for store shelves. The design of the product might make it as safe as possible, but a defect can arise from the time the product starts being made and the time it reaches your home or office.

Another possible defect is a failure to warn, which is sometimes called a marketing defect. Some products will always come with risks. You have to be able to use it as safely as possible to avoid getting hurt. But that means you need instructions and warnings. A product is considered defective when it doesn’t come with the necessary instructions or warnings.

What Types of Products Can Be Defective?

Any type of product you buy or receive could be defective in some way. But when certain products are defective, they’re more likely to be dangerous to you and those around you.

Common defective products include:

  • Cars, trucks, and motorcycles: Defects in vehicles can cause crashes or make it difficult for a motorist to avoid a serious crash. Auto defects also might contribute to crash injuries being more serious than they should have been.
  • Medications and medical devices: Prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and medical devices used by physicians should be as safe as possible. But over time, it can become clear from side effects and complications that a drug or device is potentially harmful.
  • Children’s toys and other products: Far too many children’s products are safe for their intended purpose or age group, which puts young children at risk of getting hurt.
  • Household products: Everything in a home, from refrigerators to hairdryers, can be defective. A serious issue with household products is the risk of electrocution or fire as well as poisoning if swallowed by a young child.
  • Pools: Backyard swimming pools are popular in the hot summer months, but small defects like uncovered filters and loose metal can cause significant injuries.
  • Industrial equipment and machinery: Large industrial equipment needs to be as safe as possible to protect workers from harm. But too many tools and pieces of machinery make it to workplaces without the necessary warnings, safeguards, automatic shutoffs, and other important safety features.
  • Food: Food is a product that can cause serious harm when it’s defective, or in other words, contaminated with harmful bacteria or viruses. Food poisoning can lead to hospitalization and serious injuries in some people.

Who Is Liable When a Defective Product Causes Injuries?

If you were injured by a product, talk with a defective product attorney right away. If your lawyer’s investigation uncovers a defect, then the next step is to figure out who is liable. Who was responsible for the defect? It might be the manufacturer of the product, an assembler, or a retailer. Liability could fall on any business involved in the distribution chain for that product.

Why Is Someone Liable for a Defective Product?

There are several ways you can hold a manufacturer, retailer, or other company liable for your defective product injuries. One way is by claiming the business was negligent. You’d have to prove the business was careless or reckless in designing or manufacturing their product. Then you’d have to prove the defective product was the cause of your injuries.

But instead of proving the manufacturer or seller did something wrong, you might be able to hold them responsible under strict liability. To recover compensation, you’ll have to prove the other party manufactured or sold an unreasonably dangerous product. You’ll also have to prove the dangerous defect existed at the time the product left the manufacturer’s control.

Another option is to prove the business breached a warranty. A warranty is a promise, either explicitly made in writing (an express warranty) or implicitly given under the law (an implied warranty). You might argue that the manufacturer or seller failed to uphold an express or implied warranty, which led to the dangerously defective product and your injuries.

Defenses to Defective Product Claims

If you want to bring a product liability claim against a manufacturer or retailer of a product, you have to prepare for how that business might defend itself. A common defense is contributory negligence. The business might claim you didn’t use the product as intended. In other words, you were careless or reckless in how you used the product, and your misuse caused the accident, not a defect.

Illinois follows the modified comparative negligence rule with a 51% bar. If the court finds you also were negligent, you can still recover compensation as long as you were less than half at fault for the accident.

The manufacturer or retail might argue you assumed the risk of using that product. They’ll claim that you knew using the product in a certain way would probably lead to a certain outcome, and you did it anyway.

A possible defense is a lack of causation. If you’re arguing that the manufacturer or retailer was negligent in selling the defective product, then you have to prove the defective product was the direct and proximate cause of your injuries. Your injuries have to be the kind that were foreseeable based on the type of product and its defect. If your injuries weren’t reasonably foreseeable, then a court might find the other party isn’t liable.

Another causation-related defense is that the product was altered, and this change was a superseding cause of your injuries. The manufacturer or retailer might claim that you or someone else who had the product before you changed it, and they could not reasonably have foreseen someone making that modification. The change might have been significant enough to make the product dangerous and cause you harm. They’ll argue the alteration is at fault for your injuries, not their original product.

Did a Defective Product in Chicago Cause Your Injuries?

If you know or suspect the product that caused you harm was defective, don’t hesitate to reach out to Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Our team has years of experience in handling product liability cases. We’ll investigate the dangerous product to find out what went wrong and who is responsible. We’ll fight hard for you to receive fair compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 to set up your free consultation or use our online form.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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