Consumers have a right to expect that the products they purchase will work as anticipated and not pose a risk to their health or well-being.
Manufacturers have a duty to conduct rigorous testing to confirm that items they sell are not harmful when used as intended. Not all companies take this responsibility seriously.
If you or your loved one was injured by an unreasonably dangerous product, you might be entitled to compensation.
An experienced Arkansas product liability lawyer can help ensure that you do not receive less than what you deserve and need to move forward with your life. The Harris Law Firm personal injury team is prepared to fight on your behalf. We know how to hold negligent companies accountable.
Understanding Product Liability
Product liability is the legal premise that grants consumers the right to file a lawsuit against manufacturers or sellers who introduce defective products into the marketplace. There are multiple types of defective product claims under the umbrella of product liability. Your Arkansas product liability lawyer will determine which one is applicable to your case.
A defectively manufactured product is flawed because of an error that occurred when it was being constructed or manufactured. As a result of the flaw, this product is different from other similar products lining the shelves of retail stores.
Examples may include:
- Incorrectly attached parts;
- Improperly manufactured plastic or other materials used in the construction of the item;
- Missing product components; or
- Incorrectly secured bolts or fasteners.
For product liability law to apply, the defect must have caused injury to the claiming victim. A manufacturer may try to defend itself by asserting that you used the product incorrectly.
This is where an experienced product liability attorney in Arkansas can prove very useful. They will know how to counter any such claim and ensure that you get the help you need to recover from your injuries.
Manufacturers of a product have a duty to design it in a way that makes it as safe as possible for the public to use. A defective design is a substandard design that can make the product inherently dangerous. When this happens, it can mean that the entire line of products is defective even if manufactured properly.
Here are a few examples of defective designs:
- A product is structurally unstable;
- Lack of safeguards on dangerous products like power tools, lawn equipment, or other products that can cause physical damage if touched while in operation;
- Flammability for a product that should not be inherently flammable;
- Children’s toys that pose an unreasonable choking hazard;
- Mechanical design defects on cars make them more prone to operational failures; and
- Products that should be in child-proof containers but are not.
These are just a sampling of design defects that can happen. You must have used the product as instructed, and there must have been no manufacturing defect to satisfy the elements of a defective design claim.
Warning labels may often seem unnecessary to a reasonable person, and many consumers may throw away the instructions as soon as they open the box. But product warnings and instructions are extremely important in the world of product liability.
These types of claims typically involve a danger that is not obvious to the consumer. The manufacturer is responsible for informing the consumer on the proper use of the product, and they must warn people of potential dangers.
Some examples of failure-to-warn include:
- Medication that does not have important side effects listed;
- Corrosive material without safe handling instructions; or
- An appliance that gets hot and does not have a warning not to touch.
To qualify for liability in a failure-to-warn case, it’s vital that the manufacturer knew or should have known of the need to warn consumers of a danger. If the warning was listed, but where the consumer would not easily see it, the manufacturer could still be potentially liable.
When to File a Product Liability Claim
According to Arkansas Code Ann. § 16-116-203, you have three years from the date that the injury occurred or was realized to file suit. But the sooner you file, the better. If you file early, the evidence you need to build your case will be fresh.
That means that you and your Arkansas product liability attorney may spend less time trying to track down evidence. Also, if there are witnesses to the incident, memories fade over time. So it’s always best to contact witnesses when their memory is fresh.
Additionally, companies may change ownership, manufacturers, and employees over time. This adds a layer of complexity to evidence gathering and pinpointing liability. If you think you have a defective product case, contact an Arkansas product liability lawyer right away.
Hiring an Arkansas Product Liability Lawyer
Consumers injured because of a defective product have a right to recovery. Choosing an Arkansas product liability attorney that understands how to navigate this type of claim is crucial to getting the compensation you deserve.
At the Harris Law Firm, PLLC, our personal injury team works on contingency. This means that there are no upfront costs. You don’t pay us unless and until we get compensation for you. So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting us online or calling (662) 335-4171 to schedule your free case consultation.