Defective products, especially motor vehicles, can cause serious personal injury or even death to innocent people. Sometimes, even after manufacturers are aware of critical flaws in their products, they do not properly warn the public. In many cases, a product is not recalled until there are several reported cases of serious injury or death related to the defect. At Reiner, Slaughter, McCartney & Frankel, LLP in Redding, California, a product liability lawyer can help affected consumers hold the manufacturers liable for injuries caused by defective products.
What Is Product Liability?
Every day we all use numerous products which assist us in our daily lives. These products range from consumables like toothpaste, shampoo, paper towels and vitamins, to durable goods like furniture, household appliances, toys, work tools, and even automobiles.
We often purchase these products “new” from local retailers. However, many of the products we have come to us in a “used” condition. Regardless of how we obtain these products, we have a reasonable belief that they were safely designed and manufactured before they were put into the American stream of commerce. We expect that if the products are used as recommended, or in a foreseeable manner, that they should perform safely and not expose ourselves or others to serious injury.
Unfortunately, life has taught us in the last few years that not all products purchased in America are safe. Today we are inundated with inexpensive products flooding into our nation from around the world. Almost daily we are hearing about “product warnings” or “recalls” being issued where products have injured or killed people. Despite these occurrences, we hear “press statements” from the manufacturers stating that the “recall” is a “preventative step,” and not an indication that the products are unsafe. As more and more products are being shipped into the United States from foreign soils, it is becoming increasingly clear that product safety is no longer a primary concern.
If you have been injured, contact our personal injury lawyers today and schedule a complimentary consultation and case review.
What Makes a Product Defective?
A product can be dangerous in several ways. It can be dangerous because its design exposes the user to an unreasonably high risk of injury. You may recall the Ford Pinto cases of several years ago where the gas tank and filler cap were found to be defectively designed because their location allowed gas to pour into the passenger compartment when the vehicle was struck from behind at low to moderate speeds. The defective design made the product dangerously defective.
Products can also be defective because of manufacturing flaws. This means that while the product may have had a good design, it was not manufactured in conformance with those designs. To determine if a manufacturing defect exists generally requires a comprehensive engineering analysis of the design specifications and criteria, and a comparison of the product as it was built.
A product can also be dangerous because the risks associated with its use are not fully accounted for in its Instructions for Use, or because it does not provide an adequate and understandable Warning about the dangers associated with its use. This includes not adequately advising the user about the side effects associated with its use.
What Should be Done if You or a Loved One is Injured by a Defective Product?
When a person has been injured by a defective dangerous product, it is very important that the product and all of its component parts be preserved. This includes securing any instructional materials or warning tags. Because of the complexities associated with preserving the evidence and determining if the product is defective, we recommend that the injured person or their loved one immediately contact the product liability lawyers at Reiner, Slaughter & McCartney. We will immediately work to preserve the necessary evidence and quickly obtain an expert assessment of the product.
Product manufacturers are often large companies that can afford the costs associated with representation by defense attorneys, private investigators and panels of experts. At Reiner, Slaughter & McCartney, we believe that you deserve the same level of legal representation. Our product liability lawyers have vast experience in handling the most complex product liability cases. With this team, our product liability lawyers have successfully represented clients against several of the world’s largest manufacturers, including: Ford, GMC, Chrysler, Nissan, Volkswagen, Toyo Tire International, Clark Equipment, John Deere, Beall Corporation and Columbia Helicopters. Put our experience to work for you; contact a Redding personal injury lawyer today.
Automotive Product Liability
It seems that each month motor vehicles are being recalled for everything from defective tires to improperly functioning airbags, to rollover hazards. While some recalled vehicles have only minor defects that create inconveniences, other vehicles have major mechanical defects that may cause auto accidents and serious personal injuries, including burn injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
For over twenty years, our firm has been recognized nationally as one of the leaders in automotive safety. We have successfully represented clients in practically all aspects of automotive product liability against some of the largest manufacturers such as Ford, GMC, Chrysler, Nissan, and Volkswagen.
Crashworthiness refers to how well a vehicle protects its occupants during an accident. Inclusion and proper functioning of features such as seatbelts, airbags, crumple zones, headrests, and side impact protection increase a vehicle’s crashworthiness. When challenging a vehicle’s crashworthiness, our product liability, and rollover accident lawyers will prove that the occupants of the vehicle could have fared better if the vehicle had additional or better working safety features. (See our Results)
It is believed that proper seatbelt use was responsible for saving about 15,000 lives in the United States in 2003. In fact, the percent of people who wear a seatbelt in the U.S. is at its highest point (approximately 80 percent). Seat belt failure, however, has caused numerous injuries that could have been prevented. In fact, in 20 percent of all rollover accidents, seatbelt failure contributed to serious injuries. Our experienced lawyers are aware of the signs of seatbelt failure, including a torn or ripped seatbelt, serious injuries of a belted occupant, windshield contact by a belted occupant, and serious seatbelt injuries in an accident with minimal vehicle damage. If you believe that a defective seatbelt contributed to your injuries, or those of your loved one, you should discuss the case with one of our Northern California rollover and product liability lawyers.
Seatback failures can cause the front seat to malfunction and collapse or fall on a backseat passenger. This failure tends to occur in vehicles with bucket seats. Many cases of seatback failure involve children in the back seat being struck and injured by a malfunctioning front seat. In most cases, seatback failures take place during an auto accident, however, there have been instances in which seatback failures were caused by improperly installed seatbelts.
Contact an Experienced Redding Product Liability Lawyer
Product manufacturers, especially vehicle makers, are often large companies that can afford the costs associated with representation by defense attorneys, private investigators, and other experts. At Reiner, Slaughter & McCartney, we believe that you deserve the same level of legal representation that these corporations receive. To provide this, we offer a contingent fee payment system. Instead of asking you to pay the hourly rate for a product liability or rollover lawyer, we’ll use a set percentage of your recovery as payment. This means that you do not have to worry about upfront attorney fees, and if we are unable to obtain compensation for you, you owe us nothing.
To learn more about working with a skilled Redding product liability or rollover lawyer, or to schedule a free case consultation and case review, contact our Redding California injury law firm today.