James T. Nyeste Attorney at Law CoverageLaw.com
If you have ever been injured by a product or have suffered a property or economic loss because a product did not perform as promised, you've probably thought about filing suit against the seller or manufacturer. If you're currently considering such a lawsuit, talking to an insurance coverage lawyer in IL can help you clarify the issues involved and determine whether you have a good claim. It can also help you determine which persons or entities should be sued in order to get the result you deserve. There are four common theories of liability for product claims; understanding each of them can help you proceed properly.
The theory of strict product liability is available for bodily injury or death caused by an unreasonably dangerous product. “Unreasonably dangerous” means that the product is unsafe when put to a use that is reasonably foreseeable considering the nature and function of the product. Negligence or fault does not have to be proved. The manufacturer, distributor, and seller of an unreasonably dangerous product can be held accountable if the product’s dangerous condition existed when the product was in their hands, even if they were unaware or took proper precautions against injuries or accidents. Strict product liability is an emerging area of law that varies from state to state, so be sure you contact an insurance coverage lawyer in IL who is familiar with the strict liability laws in your state.
Proving that a company was negligent is another way to pursue a claim for bodily injury or death caused by a product. Negligence is defined generally as a failure to use proper and reasonable care in either manufacturing or distributing the product that caused your injuries. The negligence theory is generally used when strict liability isn't an option. Proving that the company acted in a negligent manner is a complex process, so you'll need an insurance coverage lawyer in IL who is familiar with your state’s laws surrounding negligence.
Products often come with a written guarantee or warranty that describes what the item is supposed to do. The warranty paperwork is usually included with the purchase but can also be found on advertising or in stores on signage located near a display. If the product does not perform as promised, resulting in injury, property damage, or economic loss, a warranty claim may be available.
Some products don't come with written warranties. Nevertheless, the legal system may automatically place certain warranties on the item in question. The manufacturer or distributor doesn't have to agree with the implied warranty, but they don't necessarily have a choice if it is covered by law. An insurance coverage lawyer in IL can determine whether an implied warranty covers an item you've used. Implied warranties vary from state to state, so it's important to consult with an insurance coverage lawyer in IL if you want to pursue a claim in Illinois.
If a company or distributor deliberately misrepresents or conceals problems with a product from the general public or particular individuals using the item, it is considered fraud. Misrepresentations that do not amount to fraud, which are only negligent or even innocent, can also be sued upon in certain circumstances. Your state’s statutes with respect to consumer fraud and deceptive business practices should also be considered.
Understanding the various forms of product liability is the first step toward recovering compensation for the injuries or damages you suffered. The next step is to contact an insurance coverage lawyer in IL to set up an initial consultation to discuss your case.