product liability attorney in mobile, alabama

Common Challenges in a Product Liability Case

A product liability lawsuit can be filed when any product that you use fails to live up to its promises and as a result causes an injury. That can include a defective drug, a piece of machinery that fails and injures the user, a car part that fails and injures, or a medical device that harms rather than treats the patient.

As product liability lawyers, it is our job to prove to the court that the product is defective in its design, its manufacturing, and/or that the company failed to warn of its dangers to users.

We will also need to prove that the company breached its promises and that the defective product was the cause of your injuries.

Manufacturers have a responsibility to compensate you when they fail in this regard.  Alabama laws state that you can file a product liability action to protect your rights and seek compensation, but there are limits and challenges.

Product Liability Case Challenges

Statute of Limitations –The state of Alabama gives us two years within which to file a product liability injury or death lawsuit and one year for any actions against the original seller. If you decide to seek the help of an attorney outside of the two years when you knew there was an injury or a death, you can be barred from filing your claim.

This provides a challenge to your case if, for example, you were exposed to a harmful substance and you only became aware of the injury six months later.  

This is a good reason why you should consider consulting with an experienced product liability law firm that understands the laws and various time frame restrictions, so you do not miss the window within which to file your case.

Limits on Damages – Alabama law limits damages in some product liability cases under the state’s pure contributory negligence standard.  If you shared in the fault of your harm, if you were not following instructions on a machine at work, if you were texting while driving and the brakes failed, the defendant will argue you are partially at fault for your own injury and should not be allowed to recover compensation.  

Accidents Will Happen
– In Alabama there is a requirement that manufacturers must provide a Duty to Warn and a Duty of Safe Design.  That does not mean that any product must be 100% accident-proof.  When a product fails, it does not necessarily mean it is defective and that is one of our challenges in a product liability lawsuit.

That places the burden to warn about all of the potential dangers squarely on the manufacturer.  Were the warnings adequate and reasonable? Were the instructions clear as to how to use the product? Was the company responsible to the user in all ways, or were they negligent or reckless in their duty to protect their consumers’ safety?

We might also face a challenge when the learned intermediary, the end user of a product such as a doctor, did not read the instructions.  That makes it difficult to claim a warning failure since the instructions made no difference in that instance.

Proving Liability – On your behalf we must prove there was negligence, a breach of warranty and strict liability.  Under Alabama’s extended manufacturer’s liability doctrine, our challenge will be to show the product reached the user without alteration and that the injury you suffered was due strictly to the product’s inherent defects. 

Under design defect, part of our challenge is to show the manufacturer had an option to choose a safer alternative design. Under manufacturing defect, we must prove that even though the product was safely used, there was an unintended flaw that made it an unsafe product. 

Punitive Damages– Under Alabama Code Title 6, punitive damages will only be awarded in certain limited circumstances. One such instance is if there is a wrongful death filing where there is clear and convincing evidence the defendant knew that the product could hurt or kill and engaged in a reckless, wanton, and malicious way.

Experienced Product Liability Lawyers

When it comes to proving your case in court or negotiating with the other side, you will want to have an experience Alabama attorney on your side that is knowledgeable, aggressive, and will advocate for your best interests. 

Burns, Cunningham and Mackey understands the complications and challenges of product liability law. We will fight for you to prove to a jury or insurance company why compensation is deserved in your case and that the corporation failed in its promise to deliver a safe product.  

We can protect your rights and strongly urge you not to deal directly with the insurance representative for the other side.

Call us in our Mobile office at 1-800-574-4332 so we can discuss your options and how best to proceed.

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