Fighting for victims injured by dangerous and defective products in Virginia
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, defective products cause about 30 million injuries and 22,000 deaths annually in the United States. When companies design, manufacture, distribute, and sell consumer products that hurt and kill innocent people, they need to be held accountable for their negligent practices. The Richmond injury attorneys at Phelan Petty advocate relentlessly on behalf of victims in Virginia who have suffered injuries from dangerous and defective products of all kinds.
Get Your Case Evaluation
What is product liability law?
Product liability law is the area of the law that involves holding companies responsible for the injuries their products cause. Product liability laws vary by state. In Virginia, our laws tend to favor manufacturers and put injured victims at a disadvantage. Our state is consistently ranked as a top state for manufacturers and other businesses that revolve around consumer products.
Not only do our laws favor corporations over injured victims, but product liability cases are extremely complex and challenging to handle. That is why it is critical to entrust your defective product case to an experienced attorney who thoroughly understands Virginia product liability law and who knows all the traps and pitfalls that the law creates for injured victims.
Cases we handle
At Phelan Petty, we have successfully handled cases involving a wide variety of products. We have gone up against major corporations and won for our clients because we have the resources, experience, and connections with world-class experts needed to handle the most complex product liability cases. Our co-founding Attorney Michael Phelan is a former chairperson of the Products Liability Section of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, and he is a sought-after lecturer and author on product liability law.
We handle a wide variety of product liability cases, including:
- Defective auto parts
- Defective children’s products
- Defective firearms
- E-cigarette claims
- Explosions and fires
- Roundup cancer claims
Our product liability attorneys can talk to you about these or any type of situation where you suffered injury due to a defective or dangerous product.
Common types of product defects
A product defect means that some element of the product is different than it should be and that element makes it unsafe. Further, defects are broken down into three categories. What category a defect falls into can affect how your case progresses. Our attorneys will consult with you about your accident and how it occurred, launch an investigation and determine what kind of defect caused your injuries.
The three general types of product defects include:
- Design defects. A design defect means the product was faulty from the beginning – from the design process on – and every product will be affected with the dangerous issue. One example of a famous design defect is the Ford Pinto of the 1970s, which had to be recalled due to the gas tank designed to sit in the back of the vehicle, making it prone to fires.
- Manufacturing defects. A manufacturing defect is not built into the design and is usually only found in a small percentage of a factory run. An example of a manufacturing defect would be a swing set sold with a broken chain from a bad assembly line run.
- Warning defects. Many products have obvious hazards, like blenders or power tools, but some products (especially new products, like e-cigarettes) may not have appropriate warning labels. Lack of or improper warnings can cause unintended injury to the consumer.
If you or someone you love was injured by a dangerous product, our Richmond product liability attorneys can help.
How do I prove a product liability case?
Although every product liability case is different, in Virginia, there are two categories under which you can seek compensation:
- Negligence. The word “negligence” in the legal sense means causing harm due to the failure to exercise proper care. If a company or manufacturer designs or causes a product to be unsafe, they could be held liable for any damage or injuries it causes to consumers. And, the negligent party could be anyone in the supply, including the designer, manufacturer, parts supplier or distributor. Negligence and product defects can occur during product design, machine maintenance, facility inspection and product marketing.
- Breach of warranty. When you purchase a product, you typically rely on two warranties. One is the express warranty, which is the safety and product information provided to you by the manufacturer or retailer when you purchase the product. The second is the implied warranty, which is the implied promise that you’re buying a product free of safety hazards and defects. Sellers often put restrictions on what injured consumers may claim in the “fine print,” and our lawyers are prepared to challenge these.
Note: Although some other states handle product liability matters under the theory of strict liability, Virginia does not.
Who is liable for my injuries from a dangerous product?
If you suffer injuries from a defective or dangerous product, you may be eligible for compensation. There may be more than one responsible party, as nearly anyone in the supply chain could be negligent and accountable for a product defect. These parties could include the:
- Manufacturer. Responsible for creating and making the product, the manufacturer can be held liable if the product was dangerous or defective when it left their site. Manufacturers are also usually held responsible for design defects.
- Retailer. The retailer is the store or entity from which you purchased the defective product. A retailer may be held liable if they knowingly sold a dangerous product or failed to remove it from its shelves.
- Distributor. A distributor is like a middleman between the manufacturer and retailer. A product might be shipped to a warehouse, or later to another company who distributes it to retailers. If a product is improperly stored or suffers damage in route, the distributor could be held liable for any consumer injuries that result.
The experienced product liability attorneys at Phelan Petty can determine which party or parties are liable for your injuries and work to ensure they’re held responsible.
Our Richmond product liability lawyers advocate for you
If you or a loved one were injured by a dangerous or defective product, the injury attorneys at Phelan Petty can help. We’re dedicated to protecting consumers from companies who put profit over people, and holding companies accountable. We investigate your case and fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Get in touch with us today to talk about your case.