Each day, you use dozens of consumer products: alarm clocks, toothbrushes, clothing, tools, toys, kitchen appliances—even your car. Suppose one of those products is defective: you get a shock when you turn off your alarm clock; you are burned when your blender catches on fire while you make your breakfast smoothie; or the head of a hammer flies off and hits your eye. If any of the products you use causes an injury, you may be able to file an Illinois product liability claim.
In order to win an Illinois product liability claim, you must prove four things:
- You were injured or suffered losses caused by a consumer product. You can’t file an injury claim without an actual injury or death. If your blender catches on fire, but you are able to move away without harm, you don’t have a case. Almost causing an injury is not grounds for a product liability lawsuit
- The product is defective or dangerous. You must show that the product that caused your injury is defective in some way. Common defects include design defects, manufacturing errors, and marketing defects. A product is not considered defective when there is obvious potential danger. An iron must get very hot to work properly, so you must be careful when using it. It is not a defect if you are burned when you touch the base.
- The defect caused your injury. You must be able to show that the defect caused your injury. Sometimes this isn’t easy. Perhaps you were injured in an accident. You are driving a vehicle that is prone to flipping over, but you were also speeding at the time. You need to show that it wasn’t your high speed that caused the accident.
- You were using the product as intended. In order to have a product liability claim, your injury must have occurred while you were using the product in the way that the manufacturer intended it to be used. Suppose a well-meaning Grandma buys your two-year-old a fancy doll for Christmas. The doll is labeled for ages three and up because it has small parts. The toddler tears off the doll’s shoe, puts it in her mouth, and chokes. The manufacturer is not liable because the doll was intended for older children. However, you would have a case if the toy was a stuffed cartoon character from a favorite toddler show and was not clearly labeled for ages three and up.
Proving an Illinois product liability claim isn’t easy. You will need the help of an experienced Rockford personal injury attorney. Call Hupy and Abraham at 800-390-6350 to learn how we can help you.