At the personal injury law firm of Serpico, Petrosino, DiPiero & O'Shea, Ltd., we get lots of questions regarding defective products, and what recourse our clients can seek if they believe their injury was caused by a defective product. Here, we answer some of the more commonly asked questions, but if you need more information, don't hesitate to call us at (312) 207-0000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Who do I sue if I'm injured or if a loved one dies from a defective product in Illinois?
Depending on the exact circumstances of your case, it could be anyone along the chain of distribution for a given product, which includes manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and wholesalers.
What products are covered by product liability laws in Illinois?
The category of products covered by product liability laws is very broad and includes many more things than it excludes. Generally speaking, any product produced by a manufacturer and made available to the public could be covered by product liability laws if that product ends up causing an injury to a consumer.
Products that properly function or that do not cause any injury are often not subject to product liability laws.
Can I still sue if the defective product is old?
The answer to this question may depend on the type of product for which you wish to bring a claim. If the passage of time impairs the product in any way and there is a label to identify the same, then you likely cannot sue. For example, some body products have labels identifying the expiration or “use by” date, and if you use it after that date and get a rash or an infection, you may not be eligible for compensation.
Can I still sue if I did not own the defective product?
You do not have to own the defective product in order to be able to sue for an injury. Products on the market must be safe and/or provide warnings so that all consumers are safe when using the product. It is foreseeable that a friend may loan a product to another person or that an item may be resold. However, if the product is modified in some way or misused, then you may not be eligible for compensation.
What should I do with a defective product in Illinois?
If you believe a product is defective, you want to protect yourself in case you file a claim. Follow these instructions.
- Preserve the defective product. The company that made or sold the product may advise you to throw it away or return it, but you should hold on to it if it is safe for you to do so. It will be the single most important piece of evidence to (1) prove it was defective; and (2) link it to any damages you suffer.
- Store the product safely. Many defective products are also products that pose certain risks or dangers, like electrical devices or medicines. Store them away from where someone could access them.
- Gather documents and/or evidence. You may want to prove how you obtained the product or any correspondence you have on the product. Receipts, emails, warranties, prescriptions, invoices (for example, records to show maintenance and repairs), and other paperwork should be gathered and provided to your personal injury lawyer in Illinois.
Will my Illinois defective product lawsuit settle outside of court?
The majority of defective product lawsuit cases end up settling outside of court. Going to trial can be an expensive and time-consuming process for everyone involved, so it is usually in both parties' best interest to find a negotiated settlement amount as opposed to going to court. However, if the defendant in your case is unwilling to offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary to take them to trial to fight for fair and just compensation.
How can I help my Illinois defective product attorney develop my case?
The general rule of defective product cases is that it is far better to end up having too much information than too little. This means that the primary way you can help preserve any case you may have is to document every step of the way, whether that is keeping the defective product, getting copies of medical records, or taking pictures and videos of injuries or the accident scene.
Do I really need a personal injury lawyer in Illinois for my defective product claim?
Product defect cases––whether they pertain to auto defects, household product defects, defective medicines, defective medical devices, cosmetics, agricultural products, and just about anything else––are complex cases that require as much technical knowledge as they do legal skills. Key to winning your case also requires identifying who is responsible for the defect, which can be one or multiple parties. The legal basis for bringing the claim is also critical to the outcome of your case––will your claim be based on one or all of the following: manufacturing defect, design defect, or marketing defect. Depending on the legal basis, you must craft your claim so that the elements of each legal basis are satisfied.
Filing a defective product claim takes work and is best conducted by someone who has the knowledge, resources, and experience. Retaining a lawyer for your defective product claim is in your best interest.
How soon do I need to contact a defective product attorney to represent my case in Illinois?
You should contact Serpico, Petrosino, DiPiero & O'Shea, Ltd. as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. There are statutes of limitations to contend with, and speaking with an attorney quickly helps to avoid issues in this area. Each jurisdiction has its own statute of limitations––your personal injury lawyer in Illinois will advise you of the time constraints in your specific jurisdiction.
Still Have Questions? Contact a Product Defect Attorney in Illinois Today
Through a prompt and thorough investigation, you can get the compensation you deserve. It is crucial, however, that you contact a defective product lawyer inIllinois to help you through the process. Call us at (312) 207-0000 to schedule a free consultation today.