Omaha Product Liability Attorneys
Our lives are intertwined with the technology all around us, and in the case of medical devices and implants, even inside of us. Whether it's a mobile phone, personal computer, or a hip replacement, we rely on these devices for certain basic functions to keep our day running smoothly. When the technology that we rely on fails, however, the results can be disastrous, especially with medical devices.
Product Liability Services
Nothing is perfect, and some device failures are caused by unforeseeable errors or flaws. Sometimes, failures are foreseeable and the manufacturer should have known that the product they made had certain flaws or issues that made it unsuitable for people to use. When this happens, and the manufacturer fails to act in the interests of the public, then they should be held accountable for their mistakes.
Proving a product was defective is no easy task. It involves extensive research, expert analysis and testimony, and demonstrations of how the product failed. If you were injured by a defective product, filing a claim is not something you should handle on your own – rather, you should rely on the knowledge of an experienced Omaha product liability attorney. If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective device, call Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 505-8234 to discuss your case and talk about your options in a free consultation.
Product liability refers to a company’s legal responsibility when a device it made injures a consumer. This can include products we use every day, from cell phones to car seats, to more specialized equipment, such as surgical implants and medications. While all products should be thoroughly tested and reviewed before they are sold to the public (or allowed to be used by other corporations), several defective products slip through the cracks and injure people across the country.
Defective products can come in many forms, but there are typically three ways they can be defective:
- Design Defects: The overall quality or nature of the product is such that it is unsafe for use or it will not properly function in most scenarios. A design defect can refer to the general structure of a car that may not hold up well in a crash, such as window that fragment into large shards of glass rather than shattering into small pieces upon impact. Or it can involve a surgical implant that breaks apart and further injures patients rather than healing them. Design defects are typically the result of sloppy, rushed research and development or poor testing, which should catch these errors before a product is mass-produced.
- Manufacturing Errors: During the creation of a product, whether it was made in a factory or a lab, there was an error in the process. For medication, this could mean the formula was misinterpreted and the wrong chemicals were mixed together, creating a dangerous toxin. Or, in the case of faulty auto parts, a component of an airbag may fit incorrectly, letting the airbag randomly deploy at the slightest amount of pressure, even if the driver was not involved in an accident.
- Marketing Errors: Sometimes products are free of dangerous defects and are perfectly safe – if used properly and in the right way. Marketing errors, or “failures to warn,” occur when a company fails to include all the safety risks of a product, such as the risk of a child swallowing it, medical complications of certain drugs, or electrical hazards on household items. While some warnings are obvious, such as the fact that a lighter can cause a fire, others need to be clearly explained to consumers to prevent serious injuries, especially when it comes to medical equipment and drugs.
In each situation, if a defective product caused someone’s injuries, whether directly or indirectly, then that person could pursue a product liability claim against the designer or manufacturer.
Defective and faulty parts come in all shapes and sizes and can occur in any industry. It does not matter if a product is widely used by everyday consumers or specialized for specific situations -- any product can have a defect. Some of those defects can injure and even kill consumers. That is when people should contact an attorney to learn what options are available to them.
At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we can provide strong legal representation in a variety of product liability cases, including:
- Faulty auto parts, including unresponsive brakes, airbags, and steering wheels
- Defective car seats that endanger children
- Dangerous children’s toys
- Dangerous medical devices, including DePuy's pinnacle hip implants, urogynecologic meshes, and Stryker hip implants
- Dangerous pharmaceuticals, including drugs like Elmiron
- Defective military earplugs
- Talcum powder use that led to ovarian cancer
- Juul pods and vaping
This is not a complete list, and there are numerous products that injure people throughout Nebraska. Our team is fully prepared to investigate your case and advocate for proper compensation for your injuries.
Establishing that a product was defective in the first place is only the start of a product liability case. What matters even more is that the defective product was in some way responsible for injuries that you sustained. Proving this can be simple. For example, if a defective cell phone battery bursts into flames in your back pocket and you suffer a serious burn, then you can obviously draw a connection between the two. Most of the time, however, it’s much more complicated.
For example, a medical device inside your body can have numerous interactions with the complex workings of your anatomy. Showing that the product injured you can require a doctor and medical research to demonstrate how injuries occurred.
If you have been injured by a defective product, you have to establish who was legally liable for that injury. Just because you are injured by a medical device, for example, does not necessarily mean the manufacturer is to blame. The device might function properly, but it was implanted improperly by a doctor, causing you injury. In that situation, the doctor is more likely to be liable due to medical malpractice, rather than the manufacturer. However, if the manufacturer did not include proper labels or instructions for the doctor, liability may swing back around.
The first step in a product liability claim is securing the defective product. This can be difficult, especially if you are unaware that the product is defective. This is common in auto accidents where victims are unaware that a vehicle defect caused or contributed to their injuries, so they have the vehicle repaired or scrapped without a second look. But if you do suspect that a defective product caused your injuries, it is important to bring it to an attorney as soon as possible.
At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we have the knowledge and resources to contact experts who can review the defective product to determine how it caused your injuries. This list will vary depending on the product, but it can include medical professionals, auto part specialists, and other investigators. You should also keep a copy of any receipt or invoice that shows you purchased the product or were the recipient of it, which is important to establishing duty of care.
If our expert determines that the product was dangerous and caused your injuries, the next step is showing what caused the defect. Typically, a product liability claim can be based on three legal arguments:
- Negligence: Negligence is a broad term that refers to any careless or reckless action that contributed to someone’s injuries. With defective products, this can refer to a manufacturing error, poor testing, or other flaws that occur during product development.
- Strict Liability: Strict liability refers to situations where manufacturers can be held liable if a product injures a customer, whether or not negligence was involved. This is common for certain safety devices, such as seatbelts, airbags, or medical equipment. Even if the manufacturer was extremely careful during testing or production, a consumer can still receive compensation if the product caused an injury.
- Breach of Warranty: Products have two types of warranties: an expressed warranty and an implied warranty. An expressed warranty is the standard multiple-year warranty you can add on to a product in case it randomly fails, but an implied warranty is more relevant. With an implied warranty, the manufacturer is assuring the consumer that the product will work as intended. If a seatbelt fails during a collision, then that would be a breach of the implied warranty.
Proving that a device has failed, and that the failure has caused a consumer or patient some type of injury, is no small task. Manufacturers of medical devices, auto parts, and even children’s toys have lawyers to represent them in these types of cases to protect their interests and their profits. You need representation of your own to navigate the legal system and ensure that your rights are protected as aggressively as possible.
As you can see, there are a lot of details to figure out in any product liability case. The process of determining if a product was defective or if a medical device caused your injuries requires in-depth research and collaboration with experts. Dealing with all that on top of healing from your trauma can be next to impossible. With an experienced lawyer by your side, however, all of these issues become simpler.
At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we can handle the legal heavy-lifting of your case while you work on healing. With over a decade of experience, we can launch an investigation into your case and hold whoever injured you accountable. Call the legal team at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. today at (402) 505-8234 for a free consultation with an experienced Omaha personal injury lawyer.
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