Winning a product liability settlement or jury award means proving that a product had a design or manufacturing defect that directly contributed to your injury and financial damages. Manufacturers and designers naturally defend themselves aggressively to protect themselves from liability. They know that paying one claim potentially will mean opening themselves up to many, many more.
The product liability attorneys of Goza & Honnold have experienced defense lawyers who know the strategies and tactics manufacturers use to defend their designs, packaging and labeling. If you have been injured while using a dangerous product, talk to a Kansas City personal injury law firm with extensive experience in this area of the law. Cases are complex and often involve several levels of liability.
Contact Goza & Honnold to discuss your injury or wrongful death claim with one of our trial lawyers. We tell your story so the jury understands your damages and financial loss.
Why Choose Us
- Thanks to our track record of successful litigation, our attorneys have received some of the most prestigious trial and litigation awards in the United States.
- We are a small firm with impressive credentials. Our clients can expect excellence in our services during each stage of their case.
- Our firm values open and empathetic communication. Our attorneys will take the time to listen to your story and work to better your life using our decades of experience.
What Is Product Liability?
Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe to use. If a product has the potential to cause harm, the manufacturer must properly warn customers about the potential danger. For example, if a toy has small parts that could pose a choking hazard to a young child, the manufacturer must include a warning label on the packaging.
A product liability claim arises when a manufacturer fails to ensure product safety or fails to warn consumers about potential dangers. If a consumer suffers an injury due to the defect, the manufacturer, retailer, and/or distributor may be liable for his or her damages. The injured consumer could file a lawsuit to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and more.
Product Liability Cases We Handle
At Goza & Honnold, LLC, we represent plaintiffs in injury and wrongful death claims resulting from:
- E-Cigarettes and Vape Pens
- 3M Military Ear Plugs
- Talcum Powder
- Auto defects
- Industrial accidents
- Farm equipment injuries
- Defective appliances and power tools
- Dangerous toys
- Improper safety labels and instructions
Types of Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims fall under the legal theory of strict liability. If you suffer an injury due to a product you used, you do not need to prove negligence to receive compensation in your lawsuit. Instead, you will need to prove that the product is inherently defective or dangerous and that you suffered an injury due to the defect.
There are three categories of product liability claims:
- Manufacturing defects: In these claims, the injury-causing product becomes defective due to an error in the manufacturing process. For example, say you took medicine and became seriously ill. An investigation reveals that an employee accidentally tainted a batch of the medicine with a poisonous substance. In this situation, you could file a claim against the manufacturer.
- Design defects: These claims arise when a product’s design is inherently dangerous or defective. Unlike manufacturing defects, design defects are intentional and do not arise from an error or mishap. For example, if you purchase a car that is top-heavy, its design can make it prone to flipping while turning tight corners. If you are in a rollover accident, you could hold the manufacturer accountable.
- Failure to warn: In failure to warn claims, a manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings or safety instructions to its consumers. These claims usually involve products that may not seem obviously dangerous or require special precautions for safe handling. For example, a hairdryer may cause electric shock when it comes in contact with water. If the manufacturer fails to put a warning label on the product and you are electrocuted, you could file a lawsuit.
Common Defective Product Injuries
An accident involving a defective or dangerous product can be devastating. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury, you may sustain permanent, life-altering damage that can impact your ability to go to work, support yourself and your family, and participate in the activities you once loved.
Common injuries in defective product claims include the following:
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries and scarring
- Internal organ damage and organ failure
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Choking or suffocation
- Loss of sight or hearing
- Mangled or amputated limbs
- Face injuries
If you suffer injuries due to a defective product, you have legal options available to you. You can hold the manufacturer, retailer, distributor, or wholesaler accountable for your losses through a product liability claim. Through your lawsuit, you can recover compensation for all medical expenses related to the defective product, including disability accommodations and live-in care.
How to Prove a Product Liability Claim
Although you do not need to prove negligence to secure compensation in a product liability claim, you do need to prove that the defect is the cause of your injury. You and your attorney will need to gather clear evidence to prove the following facts:
- You suffered an injury or monetary losses.
- The product is defective.
- The product’s defect caused your injury.
- You used the product as the manufacturer intended.
Since product liability claims are often complex, proving your right to compensation can be difficult without an attorney on your side. Your attorney from Goza & Honnold, LLC can help you gather the evidence you need to establish these elements and prove your right to compensation.
For example, say that you are in a rollover accident while driving in your new vehicle. Immediately after your accident, you go to the hospital, receive treatment for your injuries, and contact a product liability attorney for assistance. Your lawyer will review your medical records and launch an investigation into your accident.
In this situation, your attorney may ask expert witnesses, such as vehicle design experts and accident reconstructionists, to assist in the investigation. The expert witnesses examine your vehicle and provide a report that explains how the top-heavy design of the vehicle makes it prone to rollover accidents. Your attorney will use this report to establish the vehicle’s defect.
After you file your product liability lawsuit against the vehicle’s manufacturer, your attorney will use your medical records, pay stubs, and other pieces of evidence to establish your injuries and monetary losses. He or she will use the expert witness testimony to prove the vehicle’s defect and police reports, surveillance footage, and witness accounts to establish causation. The surveillance footage and police report can also help prove that you used the vehicle as the manufacturer intended.
How Long Do You Have to File a Missouri Product Liability Lawsuit?
In Missouri, civil lawsuits are subject to a rule known as the statute of limitations. This law sets a filing deadline for various claims, including product liability lawsuits. If you do not file your lawsuit by the time the statute of limitations passes, the court will likely dismiss your claim and you will be ineligible for compensation. You have five years from the date of your injury to file a product liability lawsuit in Missouri.
There are some cases where you could not possibly be aware of the injury until a later date. For example, if you develop cancer after taking a defective medication for several years, you may not be aware of the defect until your doctor diagnoses you. In these situations, you have five years from the date you became aware or should have become aware of the injury.
Class Action Lawsuits
If you have been injured by a defective product, chances are you are not alone. Our firm is a prominent product liability litigation firm that has successfully led class action and mass torts against manufacturers and designers. Contact us today!
Talk to us about your injury. You may be eligible to join a group of plaintiffs seeking significant money damages for your injury or wrongful death claim.
Contact Goza & Honnold, LLC Today
If you have suffered injuries due to a defective product, Goza & Honnold, LLC can help. You may be eligible to hold the manufacturer accountable for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options and discuss your path to compensation.