Newport News Product Liability Lawyers

Representing Individuals Injured by Dangerous or Defective Products

Nobody expects for the product they purchase from a retailer to cause serious harm or death; unfortunately, statistics show that millions of people are injured or killed each year due to dangerous or defective products that are on the market.

At Coletrane & Messersmith, we handle product liability claims in Newport News, Hampton, and Hampton Roads, Virginia. Our experienced legal team can help hold manufacturers accountable for the dangerous or defective products they make.

If you have suffered injuries and believe you have a product liability claim, contact our office for a free case evaluation.

What Is Product Liability?

Product liability is an area of law that provides compensation for individuals who have been injured by a consumer product. Many people do not realize that dangerous products make it to American shelves each year. Some contain a design flaw, while others are inadequately labeled or contain misinformation leading to injury or death when used.

A product liability lawyer can help to file a claim against any parties responsible for the manufacturing or distribution of an unsafe product. In some cases, a seller may be indemnified from liability if the product was not inherently dangerous and the danger to consumers was not obvious.

Holding a party accountable through a product liability claim is a complex, challenging legal process. Therefore, you should always consult with a product liability lawyer if you were injured by an unsafe product.

Injury Statistics for Dangerous or Defective Products

Manufacturers may go through great lengths to prevent the public from realizing that their product is dangerous and could cause significant harm. Millions of products get recalled with little notice given to consumers.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Millions of consumers seek emergency medical treatment for product-related injuries.
  • Toy-related injuries result in approximately 250,000 emergency room visits each year.
  • Children between the ages of 0 to 4 have one of the highest product injury rates.
  • In one year alone, cooking ranges and ovens can result in nearly 8,000 injuries to consumers.
  • Cleaning agents resulted in 2,376 hospitalizations last year, an 84% increase compared with the previous year.
  • Everyday household goods can often be some of the most dangerous products on the market.

Holding a negligent manufacturer accountable for their wrongdoing can be difficult without the help of a skilled attorney. If you have been harmed by an unsafe product, contact our Hampton Roads product liability lawyers today for a free consultation.

Who Can Be Held Responsible in a Product Liability Case?

In Virginia, any product that is unsafe when used for its intended purposes or reasonably foreseeable uses may give rise to a product liability lawsuit.

The three basic legal theories of product liability include:

  • Negligence - Negligence occurs when a party (generally a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer) breached the duty of care they owed to a consumer, causing injury.
  • Breach of warranty - An injured party may bring a lawsuit when a product fails an express (written or spoken) or implied warranty.
  • Strict liability - In states that recognize strict liability, a manufacturer or retailer does not have to be negligent in order for an injured consumer to recover damages. The plaintiff must only show that the product contained an unreasonably dangerous defect. *Virginia does not generally recognize claims based on strict liability.

A product liability lawyer from Coletrane & Messersmith can help you understand each of these legal theories and whether you have a valid claim for damages.

Product Defect Cases

In product defect cases, one or more parties may be held liable based on the type of defect. Consumers may be able to bring a lawsuit against a manufacturer or distributor based on a manufacturing defect, design defect, or marketing defect.

What to know about product defect claims:

  • Manufacturing defect - A claim for damages may be brought against a manufacturer if the product departs from its intended design during the manufacturing process causing it to be unsafe for consumers.

  • Design defect - A design defect occurs when the product itself contains a design flaw that makes it dangerous.

  • Warning defect - Warning defects happen when a product causes harm because of the way it was marketed. Warning defects can occur if a product contains an inadequate warning, insufficient instructions, or improper labeling.

If you were injured because of a product defect, contact the Hampton Roads product liability lawyers at Coletrane & Messersmith for a free consultation.

Injuries in Product Liability Claims

Depending on the type of product that caused you harm, you could face serious, life-threatening injuries. Product liability claims can result from dangerous or defective drugs, unsafe consumer goods, malfunctioning auto parts, or other hazardous products that make it to American retailers.

Injuries in product liability cases can include:

  • Burns
  • Electrocution
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Increased risk of cancer or other serious medical condition
  • Blindness or deafness
  • Wrongful death

It is important to seek treatment for any suspected injuries that result from an unsafe or defective product. When a product is not reasonably safe for its intended use or reasonably foreseeable uses, the manufacturer or a liable third party must be held accountable. Dangerous products cause countless emergency room visits every year.

Examples of Product Liability Cases

Product liability cases have made headlines for the multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts they pull in. Some cases also help to shed light on the dangers that lurk in everyday products or automobile parts. Millions of consumer products end up getting recalled after reports of injuries or death.

Famous product liability cases include:

  • Tobacco products (deceptive and misleading marketing)
  • Medical devices (breast implants, transvaginal mesh, hip implants, defective defibrillators, and more)
  • Dangerous drugs (Fen-Phen, Vioxx, Accutane, Invokana, Xarelto, Zantac, etc.
  • Defective auto parts (Takata airbags, faulty ignition switches, tires prone to blowouts, GM gas tanks)
  • Lawn care and fertilizers (Roundup Weed Killer)
  • Beauty products (Johnson & Johnson talc products)
  • Protective equipment (3M earplugs)
  • Asbestos exposure

When you are injured due to an unsafe product, you need an attorney that knows how to win these complicated cases.

What Kind of Damages Can I Get If I am Injured From a Defective Product?

Damages in product liability cases can vary based on the type of injury, the product, how it was being used, any express or implied warranties, and whether the manufacturer or retailer knew or should have known about the danger.

A person injured by an unsafe product may be entitled to compensation for:

  • The cost of medical treatment and future care;
  • Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity;
  • Physical pain and mental anguish;
  • Loss of consortium;
  • Disfigurement; and
  • Punitive damages (*in limited cases and recovery is capped under Virginia statute).

Because of the complex legal issues involved in product liability claims, it is important to consult with a product liability lawyer as early as possible. The manufacturer or their insurance representative may try to blame you for your injuries; without the help of an experienced attorney, you may end up settling for less than your case is worth or nothing at all.

Do I Need an Attorney?

In order to bring a successful claim based on product liability, it is crucial to retain an experienced attorney. A lawyer can help prove your case by showing that you were using the product as it was intended to be used or in a reasonably foreseeable way when you were injured. Liability can be difficult to prove. An attorney knows how to hold parties responsible for their wrongdoing and obtain justice for injured victims.

Product liability cases often involve an in-depth independent investigation, including witness depositions, subpoenaing of internal documents, or obtaining access to pharmaceutical studies and trials. The product liability lawyers at Coletrane & Messersmith know what it takes to win even the most complex cases.

We will fight for you and your family to receive the most significant possible recovery allowed under Virginia law. Never settle for less than your case is worth. Contact us today to discuss your legal options.

Injured by a Dangerous Product? Contact Our Office Today.

If you have been injured by a defective drug, malfunctioning home appliance, or other dangerous product, you need an experienced attorney.

Contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can help you understand your rights and file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for your injuries.

Call (757) 223-4455 today to get the legal advice you need and the representation you deserve. Our lawyers have recovered millions on behalf of our clients in Newport News and the Hampton Roads area.

Injured? Get Help, Fast.

If you have been injured contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call (757) 223-4455 to discuss your legal options. Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no fees unless we win.

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