We are customers just about every day, whether we are buying food or clothing, electronic products, medication, or anything else. We trust the companies that create and develop the products that we pay money for, and we trust that they will manufacture goods responsibly and safely. As consumers, we expect car manufacturers to make cars that are safe for use on our roads, and we expect food manufacturers to present us with food that is free from contaminants. But, products can and do fail to meet such expectations, and the results can be dire. Product liability in Georgia is a body of law that has been designed to protect customers from suffering injuries and harm as a result of defective goods. If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one as the result of a defective product, a product liability lawyer at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb can fight to get you the help you need. Don’t go up against the companies with an experienced fighter in your corner.
There are three main kinds of product liability lawsuits that a product liability attorney deals withregularly. Firstly, there are lawsuits based on a defective design. This happens when there is a flaw in the design of a product. The second kind of case is based on manufacturing defects, which occur when a product is going through the assembly process and can involve either a single product or a batch thereof. In this type of case, a consumer might claim that something was flawed or went wrong during the manufacturing process that resulted in his or her injury or a person’s death.
The third kind of lawsuit that a product liability lawyer deals with revolves around the failure to warn consumers. In this case, a manufacturer of an item must inform consumers who use the product of any foreseeable dangerous issues. Failure to warn users occurs when the manufacturer failed to include adequate usage instructions. Under Georgia law, manufacturers must continue warning customers of any dangers.
A few examples of cases that a product liability attorney deals with include:
When it comes to medical devices and pharmaceuticals, defects can occur at any stage, including an item’s manufacture, design, warning, instructions, testing, the physician’s prescription, and even the pharmacist’s distribution. There are times when medication may cause harm if the manufacturer failed to divulge adverse testing results, and there are cases where, during manufacturing, contaminants were allowed into a product. The consequences can be devastating.
To file a lawsuit claiming product liability, a person must prove that the product that they were injured by was defective and that it led to injuries.
A product liability attorney must prove certain criteria in order for a case to be successful. Despite the type of defect, the evidentiary foundations needed to prevail in a court of law apply in just about all product liability cases. There are four core elements to litigating and these include:
There are four legal grounds to bring such a lawsuit, including:
The statute of limitations or time period, during which a person has to bring a lawsuit for product liability in Georgia is two years. It is important to file a case within the time period, as failure to do so could lead to a court refusing to hear the case and compensation not being awarded. A skilled product liability lawyer can assist with filing a personal injury claim against manufacturers for defective products.
For property damage claims, Georgia affords residents four years in which to file a claim. However, the state’s discovery rule states that the time period is measured from when the consumer first discovered or should have at least discovered his or her injury as well as the defective item’s role in causing the injury.
There is also a statute of repose in this state. According to the statute of repose, if an injury occurs outside of the stated time frame, a consumer may not seek damages for the injury. The time frame is ten years and is typically measures from the initial sale of the product for consumption or use. The statute applies to strict liability claims as well as a few negligent claims but is not applicable to accusations regarding a manufacturer’s failure to warn. A product liability lawyer will explain the different statutes and assist with the legal process.
The state’s law further limits damages in certain cases. According to the modified comparative negligence rule, consumers are not permitted to recover damages if they were at least 50 percent or more at fault for causing the property damage or injuries. If they were less than 50 percent at fault, then they can recover damages with the help of a product liability attorney. However, damages might be reduced in proportion to the percentage of blame allocated to the consumer.
Further, there is an economic loss rule in this state, where plaintiffs are not permitted to file a product liability lawsuit if the only damage incurred was to the actual product and not to property or person. But, the law does impose an exception to the rule for calamitous and sudden events that cause a risk of injury to other property or people. There is also an exception for when a consumer relies on a product or manufacturer’s misrepresentation.
A cap is now put on punitive damages. However, the state takes 75 percent of any punitive damages that may be awarded in such cases.
In this state, product liability claims can be based either on negligence or on strict liability. In the latter, a plaintiff is not required to prove fault on the part of the defendant but must show that the defendant was the manufacturer, the product was indeed defective when it left the manufacturer, and the defective condition of the item led to the injury or death.
There are a number of frequently asked questions that a product liability lawyer has to deal with, as outlined below.
If a person suffers any sort of injuries or damages because the product they used was in some way defective, they might be able to file a lawsuit so as to claim compensation for their injuries. Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb can assist with product liability claims.
While there are certainly consumers out there who try to sue for anything and everything they can, consumers can rest assured that these kinds of cases have to be proved in a court of law and there needs to be substantial personal injury before compensation for damages is typically awarded. In fact, there are two main reasons to seek the assistance of a dedicated product liability lawyer and file a case, including:
While there are a broad variety of products that can result in injuries, defective product liability claims are grouped into three categories:
The answer to this question depends on the strength of a person’s case and the facts of their incident. However, a consumer may seek compensation for lost wages, pain, and suffering, and medical bills. Punitive damages are usually made available if it is found that the defendants acted in a grossly negligent or malicious manner.
Sellers, manufacturers, and wholesalers can all be responsible when a product is either defective or presents an unreasonable danger and results in an injury.
A product does not necessarily have to have a warranty in order for someone to bring a product liability case. If, however, there was a warranty and it made representations about the safety and performance of the product, then the product has to meet those standards. If the manufacturer, therefore, failed to meet its own standards, a case can be brought.
This depends on why the product was defective. Factors that a product liability lawyers will consider include if the product had a design flaw or it had a manufacturing defect, or if the manufacturer failed to provide an adequate warning or instructions for the tool.
It will be easier to prove a case with the product in question, but if it has been thrown out, there may still be enough other evidence to make a claim.
A product recall will not affect a case.
If an item’s instructions were relevant and clear, then the manufacturer is likely to have a defense against any legal action brought against them. However, if there was a defect that resulted in injury, the plaintiff might still have a case.
If a consumer modified the product to a point where the alteration contributed to the injury, it could reduce or even eliminate compensation. However, if the modification did not have any effect, it is not likely to harm the case.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a defective product, it is important to contact a skilled lawyer as early as possible to discuss the facts of the case, gather evidence, and ensure that a compensation claim is filed within the state’s statute of limitations. Get the experienced product liability lawyer at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb will be by your side fighting for your rights today.