Defective products are the source for numerous senseless injuries and even some deaths of people in the United States each year and Smyrna, GA isn’t an exception. Still, manufacturers have an obligation to create products that are safe for consumers and when they fail to do so, their products may cause harm to innocent buyers such as yourself.
If you or a loved one was injured after using a defective product, you can count on the Smyrna product liability lawyers at Diaz & Gaeta to help you determine who should be held liable. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to handle even the most complex cases. Call us today at 678-329-9084 to discuss your legal options with an experienced Smyrna personal injury lawyer.
Georgia Laws for Product Liability Cases
Georgia Code Section 51-1-11 outlines the product liability laws in the state in great detail. The code states that parties injured by defective products are not required to provide proof that they purchased the product to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
In Georgia, you can file a claim on behalf of a loved one or for injuries sustained while using a borrowed product even if it wasn’t you that made the purchase. For the court to rule in your favor in a product liability lawsuit, you will have to prove 4 elements:
- The product had a defect at the time of the injury.
- The defect caused an injury or death.
- The product was essentially in the same condition as it was when leaving the manufacturer.
- The product was used as the manufacturer intended.
In most cases, you won’t be required to prove that the manufacturer was negligent in some way, which resulted in the incident. Georgia’s strict product liability laws hold the manufacturer strictly liable for injuries caused by a defective item, regardless of the question of negligence.
Today, just about anybody injured by a defective product can bring a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia. However, a successful claim requires an experienced product liability lawyer such as those at Diaz & Gaeta in Smyrna, GA.
Common Causes for Legal Action
The 3 main types of defects in a product that can cause harm to a consumer and give rise to a cause of action are:
Defective design means that the product itself is fundamentally flawed in its design. The product is designed in such a way that it isn’t safe and may cause potential harm. The defect itself didn’t occur during manufacturing but the product design is itself dangerous, regardless of whether it was manufactured according to the manufacturer’s standards.
Manufacturing defects mean that the product’s design is safe, but the product’s defect occurred somewhere along the manufacturing line. It means that the product design is fine, but there was a problem or flaw that occurred during the manufacturing process. Other products of the same design that have been manufactured the same way are safe, except for this batch.
Labeling defects mean that the product was designed safely and has no manufacturing defects, but there was a failure to warn or inform the consumer as to the proper handling or consumption of the product and the potential danger is done otherwise. Labeling defects are primarily associated with medicines or appliances.
How Is Liability Determined?
To file a successful product liability claim in Smyrna, GA, you will first need to prove that the product was defective resulting in illness or injuries. To determine liability, you need to prove the following legal grounds:
Strict liability allows you to recover compensation from the at-fault party after proving that the product caused harm and was defective. Strict liability is still applicable even when the at-fault party took reasonable care to ensure that the product was safe to use.
As long as the product is determined to be either unreasonably dangerous or defective when it reaches the consumer, the defendant will be held responsible for the damages associated with its use.
The negligence element focuses on the actions of the defendant. If your claim is based on negligence, any party can be held responsible for damages if their negligence or carelessness made the product unreasonably dangerous and defective.
For the at-fault party in a product liability claim to be held liable for damages on the basis of negligence, you will be required to prove the following:
- The party owed you a duty of care.
- The party breached that duty of care.
- The party’s breach of duty caused your injuries.
- You sustained actual recoverable damages after using the product.
Failure to Warn
Georgia’s product liability law requires manufacturers and suppliers to put easy-to-understand warnings on labels, revealing any dangers that might not be immediately apparent to the end-user. If products fail to provide adequate warning of the dangers or risks associated with their use, it is referred to as failure to warn.
The owner’s manual included in the product’s packaging along with the warning labels on the product are expected to be clear and concise. Furthermore, they need to explain all the potential dangers and risks associated with the use of the product.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for My Damages?
In Georgia, parties that can be held liable for your damages in a product liability case are everyone involved in the product’s chain of distribution, which is the path the product took from the manufacturer to the consumer. This includes:
If the defect occurred during the process of creating the product, the person or company that made it is to blame. If there are multiple manufacturers involved in the creation of the product or its parts, the manufacturer responsible for the defect is liable.
Wholesalers and distributors are key players in the supply chain who play a key role in getting products into the hands of customers. That means it is their responsibility to ensure that those products are safe and can be held liable if they aren’t.
A retailer that advertises an item for sale is impliedly ensuring that it is safe and suitable for use. If a consumer ends up buying a product that’s defective, the seller (retailer), can still be held liable for damages even though they weren’t involved in its manufacture.
In the case of medical products, there are 2 other groups that can be held liable:
Hospital or Medical Clinic
Any medical facility, including a hospital or clinic that was part of the product’s distribution chain, between the manufacturer of the product and you, the consumer, can be held responsible for your injuries or illness.
Medical practitioners that recommended a medical product can be held responsible for their failure to warn you regarding the dangers and risks or to provide sufficient instructions about how to properly use the product.
Contact Our Smyrna Product Liability Lawyers for Help Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries from the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the product. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve, which is why you need the right lawyers representing you.
The Smyrna product liability lawyers at Diaz & Gaeta are highly experienced in this area of personal injury law and know how to negotiate with the insurance company and perhaps even bring your case to trial if necessary.
Call us today at 678-329-9084 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the legal options available to you! We look forward to hearing from you.