Macon Product Liability Attorney
When you purchase a consumer product, especially if it is from a name brand you know and trust, you expect that it will work like it is supposed to: the brakes won’t fail in a new car and the airbags will deploy if the car gets hit; canned food won’t be contaminated or spoiled; a child’s toy won’t break into small, sharp pieces; a power saw won’t seize up mid-use; the wheels won’t come off of a scooter. Yet all too often accidents like these and countless others happen because companies failed to design or manufacture their products in a safe manner, or they failed to instruct or warn the consumer about how to use the product safely.
When we buy products, we have every reason to expect they will work and be safe, and we have no way of knowing they are defective until they break and someone gets hurt. Because of this, Georgia law holds manufacturers strictly liable for putting unsafe products on the market. There may actually be several different ways to hold companies liable for injuries caused by unsafe products, but every case is different, and every case is complex and hard-fought by the giant corporations and their insurance companies. Buzzell, Welsh & Hill can help. Call our experienced Macon product liability attorneys today.
Georgia Product Liability Law
Product liability law deals with holding companies liable for injuries caused by their defective products. In many cases, companies are held “strictly liable” for injuries. “Strict liability” under the law means it is not necessary to prove the company was negligent; if they put a defective product on the market, they are responsible for any injuries that result.
Product liability cases should be brought within two years from the date of the accident or when the injury is discovered, and within ten years from the date the product was first purchased by the consumer. Outside of those time limits, the case is too old and the injured victim can’t sue the manufacturer, except that the ten-year limit doesn’t apply to “failure to warn” cases (see types of product liability below). Also, if the product was under a lifetime warranty or other lengthy warranty period, it might be possible to bring a breach of warranty claim after ten years. It is important to call an experienced product liability attorney as soon as possible after an accident, but it is always worthwhile to call a lawyer even if you think your claim period might have lapsed.
Types of Product Liability Cases
Product defects generally fall into one of three categories: design defects, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn defects. The product liability lawyers at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill can help in any of these areas. We take the time to listen, find out what happened, and learn about your needs. We’ll gather all the evidence necessary to prove the product was defective when it left the factory or control of the manufacturer and that your injury was caused by the defective product. Our Middle Georgia injury law firm takes on all the following types of product liability cases, for example:
A product is defectively designed when it is unreasonably dangerous, or when it could have reasonably been made safer but the manufacturer decided not to, usually out of concern for their costs at the expense of consumer safety. Examples of design defects include automobiles designed with a high center of gravity and narrow wheelbase so they roll over too easily, and an unreinforced roof that too easily crushes in a rollover accident. Power tools and electrical appliances such as space heaters and irons that don’t include automatic shut-offs or safety guards might also be defectively designed. Furniture like bookcases that tip over too easily and don’t come with mounting brackets are another common example.
Problems with equipment on the assembly line or mistakes by workers can result in products being made incorrectly so that they either don’t work at all or they start to work and then fail at a critical moment. Examples include a car or truck’s brakes that fail when needed or an airbag that doesn’t deploy in a crash. A ladder that collapses under weight or a power tool that blows up in the user’s face can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries that could have been avoided with quality testing before the product left the factory.
Failure to Warn Defects
Manufacturers must include proper warnings and instructions on their products so consumers can use them safely. Cleaning products and industrial solvents must include warnings if protective gear is needed, or if the product can’t be mixed with other products or must be used in a ventilated area. Warnings should be easy to see and easy to understand. Inadequate or missing warnings or instructions can render a product dangerously defective. This is especially important because manufacturers will often claim their product was misused by the consumer to lessen their liability or avoid it altogether. Our experienced product liability lawyers will work to make sure this doesn’t happen when you are hurt by a defective product.
Maximizing Compensation for Macon Product Liability Injury Victims
Buzzell, Welsh & Hill will work to hold product manufacturers fully accountable for injuries caused by product defects, including pursuing punitive damages when the company knew about the danger but failed to fix it and instead hid that knowledge from the public or government regulators. Punitive damage awards in product liability cases are not limited under Georgia law, enabling us to recover significant amounts that make corporations pay what’s right and set an example to others.
Contact Buzzell, Welsh & Hill Today
If you have been hurt by a defective product or lost a loved one due to a product defect in Middle Georgia, Buzzell, Welsh & Hill can help. Call our experienced Macon product liability lawyers today.