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Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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Waukegan Personal Injury Law Firm

Protecting the public from harmful products is a joint effort. Responsibility lies with product manufacturers to ensure that the products they send to the market are safe for consumers to use and that any potential hazards they pose are labeled appropriately. Safe product and appropriate packaging guidelines are created and enforced by a group of federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Coast Guard. When a faulty or defective product slips past these barriers and harms a consumer, a personal injury lawyer can help him or her file and pursue a product liability claim. Through this type of claim, an injured victim can seek compensation for all of his or her damages related to the injury, such as lost wages, medical bills, and miscellaneous expenses known as “pain and suffering” damages.

Product Manufacturers are Responsible for their Products

This responsibility is known as product liability. Product manufacturers have the responsibility to thoroughly test their products at multiple stages of production to ensure that they cannot harm consumers through typical, correct use. Through this testing, the manufacturer can catch products that are poorly designed, meaning that they are inherently dangerous due to a bad design or that they suffer from manufacturing defects, which means that although the product was designed well and should not harm users, one or more of the parts used are somehow flawed and can cause the product to be dangerous.

Federal Organizations Exist to Protect Consumers from Harm

Numerous federal agencies exist to ensure the safety of specific categories of consumer product. This is done by testing new products before they enter the market and in some cases, investigating claims of defective products. These federal agencies include:

  • The United States Coast Guard(USCG), which is responsible for all recreational watercraft as well as the parts installed in boats and establishing boat safety guidelines;
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This agency oversees safety procedures and issues related to cars and other passenger vehicles, such as equipment like tires and new safety features;
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees all pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics, and veterinary products. It also issues recalls for potentially harmful food for humans and animals;
  • The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which issues recalls on meat and egg products;
  • The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This agency oversees the safe production and use of products used in homes, schools, and businesses throughout the nation. The CPSC is responsible for more than 15,000 distinct products, including clothing, lighting fixtures, appliances, and furniture; and
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This agency issues recalls on fungicides and pesticides. It also plays a role in motor vehicle transmission testing.

When a recall is issued, the correct procedure for consumers depends on the product. Consumers are urged to return or throw away recalled food products. When a recall is issued for a vehicle part, consumers may have the part replaced or repaired for free by a certified mechanic for their car make. Visit recalls.gov to keep yourself up to date on the latest product recalls.

Retailers have the responsibility to pull recalled products from their shelves to protect consumers. In cases where retailers fail to take this step or distributors fail to isolate recalled products and keep them from reaching consumers, these parties may be liable for the victim’s damages as well.

Product Liability Lawyers Can Help Injury Victims Pursue Dangerous Product Claims

When a consumer is injured because of a hazardous product or a lack of adequate labeling warning of its hazards, he or she can seek compensation for any resulting damages through a product liability claim. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for this type of claim is two years from the date of the injury.

Through your claim, you must demonstrate that your injury and resulting damages were caused by the product’s defect or lack of adequate warning while you were using the product as it was intended to be used. Photographs from the date of the injury showing the product’s defect are an important piece of evidence to submit with your claim. Your medical bills, pay stubs, and any documents showing the expenses you incurred because of your injury are also important pieces of evidence to support your claim. Eyewitness and expert testimonies can also be important pieces of evidence for your claim.

Work with an Experienced Lake County Personal Injury Law Firm

If you or your child have been harmed by a poorly designed or defective consumer product, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages through a product liability claim. Contact our team of experienced Waukegan personal injury lawyers at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today to schedule your initial consultation with us. We are here to help you seek the money you deserve for your damages.

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