Parker Waichman LLP Experienced and Dedicated Long Island Product Liability Lawyers
Products have become safer over time as technology and medicine have advanced. For example, cars are much safer now than they used to be, and we have many life-saving drugs that once did not exist. However, the drive for profit has led many companies to design and manufacture products that have proven to be defective. Whether a defective product is a component of a vehicle, such as an airbag or brakes, or a defective product is a medical device or prescription medication that is linked to serious injuries and death, there is a way to hold a company liable, and that is by filing a Long Island product liability lawsuit.
Defective products are not limited to car parts and prescription pharmaceutical drugs and devices. Many children’s toys, over-the-counter medications, and consumer products, such as baby powder with talcum, have also caused many innocent victims to suffer injuries and death. If a product does not work as intended and instead leads to preventable injuries and deaths, the compan(ies) that designed, manufactured and sold the product should be held responsible. After all, most companies (especially pharmaceutical companies) make billions of dollars each year, and many of them choose to cut corners to make another buck. By cutting corners, such companies are neglecting safety and instead are placing consumers at risk.
The Long Island Product Liability Attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP have represented numerous clients both in Long Island and throughout the rest of New York and the United States, helping them recover for injuries caused by defective products. Because time is limited to file a products liability injury claim, acting quickly to speak with one of our attorneys is essential to preserving your right to file a lawsuit. Our office provides a free, no-obligation consultation and does not earn a fee unless a case is successful. As such, there is no risk to speaking with an attorney about a potential lawsuit.
Parker Waichman LLP Has Obtained More than $2 Billion for Injured Clients
As a nationally-recognized law firm, Parker Waichman LLP is known for successfully representing the rights and interests of injured individuals and loved ones who have lost a family member because of fatal injuries. In addition to handling product liability lawsuits, our firm represents clients who have suffered personal injuries from workplace accidents, auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, construction accidents, and nursing home abuse and neglect, among others. We have obtained more than $2 billion collectively for all clients through settlements and verdicts at trial, and our attorneys continue to advocate for their clients to receive the compensation they deserve.
Additionally, we have received the following positive peer-reviewed ratings, demonstrating our firm’s success and dedication to client satisfaction:
- 8/10 Rating by AVVO (Rating Every Attorney in the U.S.);
- “Preeminent Lawyers” AV Peer Review Rating (Martindale-Hubbell®);
- Highest Ranking of “5 Dragons” Based on Peer Review by Lawdragon; and
- Listing in Best Lawyers Publication Determined by Extensive Peer Review.
To learn about why Parker Waichman LLP is more than positive peer-reviewed ratings, we encourage potential clients to speak with our Long Island legal team to answer any questions they have about how our law firm has been able to help so many clients.
Long Island Product Liability Lawsuits and Settlements
Understanding Long Island Product Liability Claims
There are numerous ways in which a person can sustain personal injuries. Product liability is no exception. However, lawsuits involving product liability are governed by a different set of laws than a general personal injury case that involves an auto accident or slip and fall accident. For example, when pursuing a product liability lawsuit, an injured person does not always need to prove that a company was negligent. Instead, a company can be held what is called “strictly liable” under New York law. A person pursuing a product liability lawsuit must establish certain criteria to move forward to hold a company strictly liable. Such criteria include the following:
- A product was defective at the time a person suffered injuries;
- The person sustained documented injuries and other damages (such as financial loss in the form of medical expenses and lost wages); and
- There is a link between the defective product and the person’s injuries, meaning that the product caused the person to suffer injuries.
Even though an injured person does not need to establish that a company acted negligently when producing and selling a defective product, the injured person still must establish that the product did, in fact, cause injuries. However, injured individuals can allege claims of negligence and breach of warranty in addition to a claim of strict liability, which will be further discussed below.
A Long Island Product Liability Lawsuit May Involve Multiple Defendants
When pursuing a product liability lawsuit, it is not uncommon to file the lawsuit against more than one defendant. The design, manufacture, marketing, and sale of a product often involve multiple companies, and a product may change hands numerous times before reaching the consumer. For example, a product liability lawsuit may be filed against the company that designed the product, the company that manufactured the product (if different from the designer), the company that distributed the product, and the company that sold the product. Because a product changes hands, the product could be defective at any stage, and it takes a thorough investigation by a qualified Long Island Product Liability Attorney to determine in what way a company was responsible for getting a defective product to the market.
Where to File a Long Island Product Liability Lawsuit
Every state creates its own laws, so while product liability law is similar across all states, there may be small variations that make New York law different from another state’s laws. As such, when a person files a product liability lawsuit in Long Island, New York state law will govern the claims. If the compan(ies) allegedly at fault for getting a defective product to the market are New York companies, then a product liability lawsuit may be filed in New York state court.
Product Liability Lawsuits Involve Multiple Claims
As briefly discussed above, an injured person may succeed in recovering compensation by simply proving “strict liability” – that (1) a product was defective; (2) the person using the product suffered injuries; and (3) the defective product caused the person’s injuries. Most product liability lawsuits allege more than a claim for “strict liability.” In addition to filing a lawsuit alleging a company should be held strictly liable for its defective product, a lawsuit may also allege that a company was negligent and that a company breached its warranty that a product was safe for its intended use. The types of claims alleged in product liability lawsuits can be confusing, and it takes a truly experienced Long Island Product Liability Attorney to evaluate a potential claim and move forward with filing a lawsuit.
At the end of the day, regardless of the various product liability claims available to injured individuals, the ultimate goal is to recover compensation from the compan(ies) responsible for getting a defective product into the stream of commerce. If a defective product has, in some way, caused a person to suffer injuries, any product liability claim (strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty) will have the same goal – helping injured victims recover financially for suffering harm through no fault of their own.
Different Ways in Which a Product Can be Defective
Products from all industries have the potential to be defective in multiple ways. Sometimes a product is defective in all respects while in others a product may only be defective in one way. The different types of product defects include the following, all of which may be alleged in a Long Island product liability lawsuit:
- Design Defect;
- Manufacturing Defect; and
- Inadequate Warnings to Consumers/Failure to Warn.
A product always starts with its design. If the design causes a product to be unsafe, then the product will be unsafe regardless of how the product is manufactured and how any warnings about the product are communicated to consumers.
A manufacturing defect is a situation where a product becomes defective during the manufacturing process. While the design may be perfectly okay, something has gone wrong in the manufacturing stage that makes a product defective. For example, if a vehicle was put together using the wrong screws or bolts, and the defect caused an accident that resulted in injuries, this would be considered a manufacturing defect. Had the correct screws or bolts been used, the vehicle may not have been involved in an accident.
Inadequate Warnings to Consumers and Failure to Warn
Warnings are crucial when it comes to any product, whether the product is a pharmaceutical drug or device, a car component, or a children’s toy. If a company does not warn about the risks associated with a product, there is no way for a consumer to know that such dangers exist. Often, companies are aware of risks that they choose not to communicate. This is prevalent in the area of pharmaceutical product liability. For example, if a pharmaceutical company is aware that one of its drugs is linked to heart attacks and decides not to communicate this risk to doctors and patients, that company can be held responsible if a person subsequently suffers a heart attack.
Injuries Sustained Because of Defective Products
The various types of injuries sustained by consumers can be catastrophic and sometimes fatal. Such injuries include, among others, the following:
- Injuries sustained in car accidents resulting from a defective vehicle, such as broken bones, head injuries, neck, back and spinal cord injuries, and paralysis;
- Choking (in the case of a defective toy);
- Severe illness (in the case of contaminated food produced in large quantities); and
Because there are so many consumer products, the type and severity of injuries are endless. Speaking with a Long Island Product Liability Attorney about injuries associated with a product is the best way to find out whether a person’s injuries were sustained because of the product and whether the injuries were preventable.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Long Island Product Liability Lawsuit
While injured individuals have an opportunity to file product liability lawsuits, there are time restraints that can prevent a person from bringing a lawsuit after a certain period of time. It is important for anyone pursuing a lawsuit in New York to be aware of the following statutes of limitations:
- Product Liability – A person has three years from the date he/she sustained injuries because of a defective product to file a product liability lawsuit.
- Personal Injury – A person has three years from the date he/she sustained injuries to file a personal injury claim to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- Wrongful Death – The representative of a deceased individual’s estate has two years from the date of the individual’s death to file a wrongful death claim for fatal injuries sustained because of a defective product, medical malpractice, and any other injuries resulting from an accident.
- Exceptions to the General Rules – There are a few situations where the deadline to file a lawsuit can be extended, however, because such exceptions may not be applicable in every case, it is crucial to discuss time limitations with a Long Island Product Liability Attorney.
Considering a Long Island Product Liability Lawsuit? What You Should Know About the Process
Pursuing legal action is a big decision, so it is important for anyone considering legal action to be aware of the general process. Product liability lawsuits can be more complicated than a car accident or slip and fall case. As such, the defendants in product liability cases will fight tooth and nail to prevent an injured person from obtaining compensation. However, with the help of Parker Waichman LLP, injured individuals will have an even stronger advocate on their side to stand up to large companies whose products have caused unnecessary harm to innocent victims.
Any person filing a lawsuit should expect to go through the following general process from start to finish:
- Case Evaluation – Before a lawsuit can be filed, an attorney must first speak with the potential client and gather initial facts about the alleged defective product and resulting injuries.
- Case Decision – An attorney will either agree to take a case on behalf of a new client or will decline the case and provide a thorough reason for why the case has been declined.
- The Complaint – Once a decision has been made to pursue a lawsuit, a complaint for damages and demand for a jury trial will be filed either in New York state court or federal court.
- Discovery Stage – After a complaint is filed, the plaintiff and defendant(s) exchange “discovery” which includes medical records, company documents, and other documents that allow the parties to investigate the claims and defenses. Depositions are also taken of fact witnesses, experts, and corporate representatives. Experts will also produce reports that support their opinions either on behalf of the injured plaintiff or on behalf of the defendant(s).
- Arbitration/Mediation/Settlement Negotiations – Settlement negotiations may begin during the investigation and discovery stage. However, mediation and settlement negotiations often do not happen until the parties have all of the evidence and information they need to support their side of the case.
- Trial – If a case does not settle through mediation or negotiations between the parties, the case will go to trial where a jury will decide in favor of the injured plaintiff or the defendant compan(ies). Settlement negotiations may continue throughout the trial, and it is not uncommon for a case to settle before it goes to the jury for decision.
- Appellate Process – The losing party at trial may file an appeal to overturn the jury’s verdict. The entire appellate process can take a very long time, and a case could be stuck in court for years. As such, many individuals decide to settle cases before they go to trial to avoid the potential of a case being appealed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Long Island Product Liability Lawsuits and Settlements
Why are experts needed when filing a product liability lawsuit for personal injuries?
While anyone can file a lawsuit, this does not mean a lawsuit will survive in court. For a lawsuit to survive in court, you must have an expert on your side who will testify that a product was, in fact, defective and that the defective nature of the product caused your injuries. Experts are a key part of the case, and they must have the necessary qualifications and experience to stand by their opinions.
Does a case take longer if more than one defendant is involved?
It depends. It is true that some product liability cases take longer because of the number of defendants involved. However, if it is clear that a defective product caused a person’s injuries, the number of defendants involved does not matter. One defendant may wish to blame another defendant for the subsequent harm, and this may create more work, and cause a trial to take longer than it ordinarily would. But, the ultimate goal of recovering compensation for injuries should be the driving force behind pursuing a case, regardless of how many defendants may be involved and how long the process may take.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
Whether you or a family member has sustained injuries from a defective product, you should act quickly by contacting a Long Island Product Liability Attorney to discuss potential legal options.
At Parker Waichman LLP, our nationally-recognized Long Island Product Liability Attorneys advocate for injured clients every day, helping them receive the compensation they deserve. Because time is limited to file a claim, speaking with one of our skilled attorneys after you realize a defective product may have injured you or a loved one is a good idea to ensure you do not miss the deadline to file a lawsuit.
If you would like to speak with one of our Long Island Product Liability Attorneys, contact Parker Waichman LLP today by calling (800) YOUR-LAWYER (968-7529) to schedule your free consultation. We have attorneys and paralegals who speak many languages, including Spanish, to help our diverse client-base.
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