When you employ a product for its intended use, you have a reasonable expectation that you will not be injured or killed by it. Whether it is a tool, vehicle, chemical, or even your child’s crib, you trust that the products you buy are safe to use. Nonetheless, millions of people are injured every year, some fatally, when a product fails or is labeled incorrectly. Those injured often suffer permanent and debilitating injuries.
If you have been injured by a defective product, you might want to know whether you can recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages from the manufacturer or seller of the product. If you want to know if someone should be held accountable, we can help.
Here at my firm, The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC, I represent clients and their families in North Chesterfield, Richmond, Henrico, and Petersburg, Virginia, who have been victims of defective products. I seek justice for those who trusted their safety to a product that should have delivered it. If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, call or reach out to my office today to schedule a free case consultation.
Virginia law requires that products be reasonably safe for their intended uses and for any reasonably foreseeable uses. Product liability claims typically arise from three separate categories:
Defective Design - Defective designs often render the product inherently dangerous or defective.
Defective Manufacture - The defective manufacture of a flawed product due to error at the factory can often lead to serious injury or harm.
Failure to Warn - If the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings or instructions regarding proper product use, the product itself can be very dangerous to its users.
Product liability claims may be pursued using any one of three legal theories:
Strict Liability Theory - This type of claim allows a plaintiff to recover damages from a product manufacturer and/or the seller of the product without having to prove fault. The plaintiff must have been using the product, unmodified and as intended, but can assert it was unreasonably dangerous.
Negligence Claims - These claims require proof that the defendant owed a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty of care, that breach of care caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and the plaintiff incurred damages as a result.
Breach of Warranty - These claims provide proof that the defendant violated an express or implied guarantee of a product’s quality and reliability. Even without an express (written) warranty, products must meet basic standards including conforming with relevant safety standards, performing at basic levels, packaged and labeled accurately, and meet package level specifications.
Virginia has a statute of limitations of two years for strict liability and negligence-based product liability claims. This means that you have two years from the date of injury to either settle your claim or file a civil lawsuit in the appropriate Virginia court. There may be exceptions if the victim is a child or someone who is mentally incapacitated. The statute of limitations for claims based on the breach of warranty theory is five years from the date of injury.
If successful, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages, including:
Loss of income
Income and healthcare expenses related to long-term disability
Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish
Property damage related to the incident which caused your injuries
Legal fees and court costs
In Virginia, you may also be awarded punitive damages which are intended to punish the defendant. In wrongful death claims related to product liability, families may be able to recover medical, funeral, and burial expenses, loss of future income, and loss of guidance and consortium.
Product liability claims involve a careful and thorough investigation of the product and the circumstances of the event which caused injuries or death. They often require the services of an expert with extensive knowledge of the type of product at issue who can provide testimony regarding liability, negligence, or breach of warranty.
Product liability claims can be difficult to prosecute, but you don’t have to face this challenge on your own. You deserve an experienced and tenacious product liability attorney in your corner to handle your claim. The manufacturer or seller and their insurers will have their own attorneys trying to negate or diminish your claim. You need a lawyer who will fight them every step of the way.
At my firm, The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC, I have spent years working with injured victims and their families across Chesterfield, Virginia, and the surrounding areas to help them fight for the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, don’t wait. Call or reach out to my firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how I can help you with your case.
At The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC, I have been successfully representing clients in civil claims, including product liability, for more than 26 years. I have been a tireless advocate for injury victims in Chesterfield, Richmond, Henrico, and Petersburg, Virginia — and I would be proud to represent you too. If you have been injured or a loved one has been incapacitated or killed by a defective product, call The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC today to schedule a free consultation. The statute of limitations is short, and the investigation takes time, so do not delay. Call or reach out to my office today!