Birmingham Defective Household Appliance Attorneys
If you were injured by a defective household appliance in Alabama, you have a right to pursue the compensation you’re owed for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The Birmingham defective product lawyers at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can help.
Consumers rely on household appliances to make their everyday lives just a little bit easier. From cooking to cleaning, technology has found a way to infiltrate almost every aspect of our homes. Unfortunately, sometimes, these appliances make life infinitely more complicated. That’s because some companies and manufacturers value profit over your health and safety. They flood the market with the latest and greatest household appliance only for it to, quite literally, blow up in your face.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission collects and tracks data involving consumer products. The agency estimates that defective consumer products cause at least 29.4 million injuries and over 21,000 deaths each year.
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, we know that it may be intimidating to try and seek compensation from a major manufacturer. If you’ve been seriously injured, your main focus is healing and moving on from this traumatic incident. However, companies that negligently put products on the market that can hurt consumers should be held accountable for their actions. Not only could you help save a life by shedding light on the defect, but you deserve to be compensated for your medical bills and time missed from work.
American consumers have the right to expect the products they buy will be reasonably safe. When they aren’t, companies need to be responsible for the consequences of their actions. Don’t let a company get away with hurting you or your family. Contact the aggressive team at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP to fight for you. Call us at (205) 324-1212 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.
What Is Product Liability and How Is It Applied in Alabama?
Defective product claims typically fall under the umbrella of a set of laws known as product liability laws. These regulations are in place so that victims who have been injured by defective products have the ability to seek compensation from the party or parties responsible for the manufacturing of the defective product. There are no federal laws that govern product liability; it is up to each state to determine its own set of standards and regulations. In Alabama, this set of laws is known as the Alabama Extended Manufacturer’s Liability Doctrine or AEMLD.
Under the statutes for the AEMLD, a victim must prove that the product reached them in its original, intended state without alteration and that the victim suffered either an injury or property damage due to the product’s defective performance. The courts must consider whether the product meets the guidelines to be considered reasonably dangerous and, therefore, would fail to meet the expectations of an ordinary consumer when it comes to safety.
The law also stipulates that a victim may bring a claim based on any of the following:
- Breach of warranty
- Strict liability
An experienced attorney will be able to review the circumstances of your particular accident to determine which statutes apply to your case and the best course of action for pursuing compensation. Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible gives you the best chance at building a solid case because they will be able to preserve crucial evidence.
It’s also important to contact an attorney right away because Alabama has a strict time limit on filing product liability lawsuits. The state gives victims only two years from the date of injury, death, or property damage to file a lawsuit in a civil court. If you miss that two-year deadline, you will lose your right to pursue compensation.
Types of Product Liability Claims
There are three different types of product liability claims that a defective home appliance may fall under. Each of the three different categories addresses a particular aspect of the product that may cause it to fail or be considered unreasonably safe. If a defective product falls into one of these categories, you may have a claim against the maker of the product. The categories include:
- Manufacturing defect: A manufacturing defect is a defect that impacts the way a particular part or piece of the appliance was constructed. It is an unintended flaw in a part that may have been the result of a manufacturing line mistake or mishap.
- Design defect: A design defect is an inherent problem or flaw with the design of the appliance itself. The parts may all have been manufactured perfectly, but the actual design of the product may make it dangerous or unsafe to operate. A manufacturing defect may only impact a batch of appliances, whereas a design defect typically applies to the entire product line.
- Failure to warn: A failure to warn “defect” refers to products that may be unreasonably unsafe to use or operate even though there are no design or manufacturing defects. These types of products must carry a warning so that consumers are made aware that the operation of the product may pose a safety risk or hazard. What makes this a defective product claim is when a manufacturer fails to warn consumers of the potential safety risks or fails to disclose that the product needs to be operated in a certain way. This is also sometimes referred to as a “marketing defect.”
Types of Household Appliances That Could Be Defective
Even the most seemingly innocuous household appliance may be hiding a dangerous defect that could jeopardize the health or safety of you or a family member. Regrettably, the item can cause serious injury or property damage before you are even made aware that a problem exists. There are recalls of dangerous or defective products, but these recalls typically don’t begin until victims have already suffered serious consequences.
Some of the more common types of household appliances that may be defective include:
- Pressure cookers
- Coffee makers
- Toaster ovens
- Washing machine
- Space heaters
- Power tools
Injuries That Can Result From Defective Household Appliances
The types of injuries that may occur due to a defective product can vary. One of the most common sources of both injury and property damage due to defective appliances is fire. One spark from a defective consumer appliance may be enough to cause a serious fire, leaving a victim with severe burns and no place to call home. Some defective appliances may cause an incredible amount of property damage due to flooding issues as well.
When it comes to injuries, the most common types of injuries associated with defective household appliances may include:
- Broken bones
- Sprains and strains
- Internal organ injuries
Compensation for Defective Product Claims
The compensation you may be able to receive from a defective product claim can vary. The circumstances of the accident and the severity of the injuries and property damage all play a role in determining how much compensation a victim is entitled to. In general, a victim may be able to seek compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of future income if your injuries prevent you from returning to work
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Alabama’s contributory negligence rule may also play a role in determining compensation. Alabama is one of only a handful of states that follows what is known as the pure contributory negligence rule. This rule stipulates that if an individual is in any way at fault for an accident, they are barred from recovering damages. This means that if a court deems for any reason that a victim’s actions contributed to the cause of the accident or they were in any way at fault, they will be unable to receive damages.
Alabama also employs an economic loss rule that does not allow victims to recover compensation following a defective product accident if the accident only resulted in damage to the product itself. If a person is not injured or only suffers from property damage, in essence, they have no case to be able to recover compensation.
Alabama has several laws on the books that may make it seem challenging to pursue a product liability case. The fact is, it takes an experienced and skilled attorney to navigate the legal framework, build a strong case, and recover the compensation a victim is entitled to.
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, we have a team of attorneys who have the knowledge base and resources to take on large companies and manufacturers. Our attorneys also understand what it takes to build a successful product liability case. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury and serious property damage as a result of bringing a defective appliance into your home, the team at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can help you get justice.
Contact an Experienced Alabama Product Liability Attorney
Extensive hospital stays, huge medical bills, destroyed property – a defective household appliance could significantly change your life. You may be forced to deal with serious physical injuries, expensive medical bills, and repairs to get your home back in livable condition. Should your financial future be put at risk because you bought and used what you thought was a safe product?
You have the right to expect that the household appliances you purchase will be safe to use in your home, around your family, friends, and children. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a defective household product, you may be able to recover compensation from the manufacturer for your injuries.
Turn to the legal team at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP to aggressively pursue a defective product claim on your behalf. You deserve to be made whole again, and we can help. Call us at (205) 324-1212 to set up a no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation.