It is difficult to determine how long a product liability case may take in Pennsylvania. There are various factors that can affect the adjudication of a product liability case. While it may be frustrating to await compensation after a manufacturer or retailer sold you a faulty product, it is important not to rush through a complex lawsuit. If you or a family member was injured by a defective product, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia product liability lawyer. The legal team at The Reiff Law Firm has over three decades of experience handling complex product liability litigation. Our lawyers explain how long product liability cases take in Pennsylvania.
What is a Product Liability Claim?
Product liability is an area of law that deals with a manufacturer or retailer of goods providing a consumer with a defective product. Manufacturers and retailers have a duty to ensure that all products that reach consumers have been thoroughly inspected and are safe. Unfortunately, not every manufacturer or retailer will practice due diligence when producing or selling products.
Generally, product liability claims fall into three categories: manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to warn.
A manufacturing defect is an issue that causes a certain product to differ from its originally intended design. For example, if a manufacturer missed a screw or used the wrong type of plastic, they may be responsible for the defect if it causes injury or product failure.
A design defect is a flaw that is the result of poor or dangerous product design. For example, a cell phone designed with batteries that overheat and explode can lead to liability.
Failure to warn means that the manufacturer of a product did not give consumers sufficient information about the dangers of a certain product. A common case of “failure to warn” can be a child’s action figure not containing a choking hazard warning. In some cases, the lack of warning on a hot coffee cup may even be actionable. In Pennsylvania, a manufacturer and retailer may even face liability if a consumer was injured while using a product incorrectly.
Other examples of consumer goods that can trigger a product liability claim include:
- Faulty medical equipment (hip implants, surgical mesh, pacemakers, etc.,)
- Defective household appliances
- Faulty car parts like defective airbags or brake lights
- Prescription drugs that cause unlisted side effects
Factors That Can Affect the Length of Product Liability Lawsuit
As mentioned, pinpointing when a product liability lawsuit will end is not an easy task. There are several factors in a product liability case that must be considered before it can be fully adjudicated. These factors will determine whether you can expect to have a long or short case.
One factor you must consider before you receive compensation for your case is the extent of your injuries. The type of injury you suffer in a product liability claim will depend on the type of product that injured you. For example, auto defects causing a car accident, can commonly result in severe brain injury. Defective household appliances or power tools may cause severe cuts or amputation injuries, while defective batteries or gas tanks could cause serious burns.
If a defective product injured you severely and you need surgery or rehabilitation to recover properly, it may be difficult to determine the long-term or permanent effects of the injury. In situations like this, it will be tough to decide on an appropriate compensation amount that will sufficiently cover your medical expenses. Therefore, some cases are better to litigate once the plaintiff has recovered from their injuries completely or as much as possible.
Another issue that may affect the length of your case is determining liability. Product liability cases are often complex, and proving that a product was dangerous will take a substantial amount of investigation. To show that a product was defective, a plaintiff must prove one of two elements:
- It was not foreseeable that the average consumer would notice the product was defective, or
- The average consumer believed the likelihood of being injured outweighed the cost of taking precautions
These are just a few issues that can affect how long your product liability case takes. It is stressful to know that your case may take months or even over a year to complete, but our firm can guide you through the process. If you hire us, we will keep you informed of the status of your case and help conclude your case as smoothly and quickly as reasonably possible.
Our Philadelphia Product Liability Attorneys Will Fight for You
If you or a family member was severely injured because of a defective product, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia product liability attorney. The dedicated attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm will not stand by and let negligent manufacturers and retailers operate without consequences. To schedule a free consultation for your product liability case, call us at (215) 709-6940.