As consumers, we put our trust in the companies and corporations that make the products we use on a daily basis. When this trust is broken, and we’re injured or worse, those manufacturers should be held responsible for their negligence.
Defective and dangerous products are sold to millions of unsuspecting buyers every day. While there are a variety of reasons these hazardous items slip through the cracks, there’s never an excuse for it. Federal agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), exist to prevent these issues; however, sometimes corners are cut and mistakes are made.
Product liability laws are not set by the federal government and differ by state, so if you find yourself in a situation where you need to file a claim in Illinois, it’s important to understand the intricacies of the laws so you can obtain full and fair compensation. Our Marion, IL product liability lawyers are ready to answer any questions you may have.
Defining Product Liability in Illinois
Product liability refers to instances where a manufacturer or seller made or sold a defective product that caused a buyer harm. You have the right to report a product if you believe one of the following issues exists:
- The product appears to be counterfeit.
- The product appears to be contaminated.
- The product appears to have defective components.
- The product appears to have poor or incorrect packaging.
- The product appears to have questionable stability.
- The product appears to have device malfunctions.
- You are concerned about the product’s label.
Types of Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims typically fall into one of these categories:
A product may have a defective design if it is thought the entire line of products is dangerous. Aside from the design flaw, the product is safe. An example of a design defect in a product might include an issue that causes a specific model of car to lose braking function.
Manufacturing defects are the most common issues brought up with product liability claims. This type of defect occurs when the materials or processes used to produce the product led to the danger. This can be seen when drug manufacturers neglect their equipment and release a tainted supply of medicine to the general public.
Marketing defects happen when manufacturers, distributors, or sellers market a product for a use other than what was originally intended. For example, if a certain vehicle is seen on a commercial driving off-road but in reality it isn’t made for that, there may be grounds for a marketing defect lawsuit.
Failure to Warn or Guard
Sometimes manufacturers fail to warn consumers of the dangers of a product. This happens most often with products that are inherently dangerous, like electric kitchen equipment, medicine, or electronic cigarettes. Failure to guard happens when a manufacturer neglects to take proper safety measures when producing their product.
Proving Product Liability in Illinois
It can be difficult to prove a manufacturer or seller is at fault for your injury, which is where a strong legal team can help. To prove you’ve been injured by a defective product there are certain requirements the product must meet, per Illinois state law. If the defective product meets those requirements, you and your attorney can work together to strengthen your case. Illinois primarily takes negligence and strict liability into consideration with a product liability claim.
Negligence. With the negligence theory, you must prove your claim in the areas of duty, breach, causation, and damages.
- When duty is proven, the manufacturer is deemed responsible for their product and what happens to you as a result.
- Breach is proven when it is shown the manufacturer neglected their duty.
- Causation is proven by the breach, meaning the injury should have been foreseeable and preventable.
- Financial compensation is awarded if you can prove the product caused your injuries.
Strict Liability. In Illinois, strict liability says the manufacturer, distributor, or seller may be responsible for a person’s injuries caused by a defective product. There are three requirements to prove strict liability.
- Your injury occurred because of a defect in the product.
- The defect was reasonably dangerous.
- The defect existed when the product left the manufacturer’s or seller’s control.
In addition to negligence and strict liability, you may want to discuss with your lawyer ways calculate your damages and prove that you were using the product as intended.
Statute of Limitations for Product Defect Claims in Illinois
According to Illinois Statute 735 ILCS 5/12-901, the statute of limitations for a product liability claim is two years for personal injuries and five years for property damage. If you miss these timeframes, your case will be thrown out and you will render yourself ineligible for the compensation you may have otherwise been awarded.
Contact Our Southern Illinois Product Liability Lawyers
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries or damages because of a defective product, you may be eligible for compensation. We’re here to help you recover and hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. At Prince Law Firm, our legal team serves Marion and the surrounding Southern Illinois regions. Contact us today.