Defective Design

In some cases, a product was inherently defective to begin with. A product could cause serious injury or even death if its design is defective and is unreasonably dangerous. For example, a child safety harness with a poorly designed buckle could fall apart during an accident and cause severe injury.

Companies are obligated double and triple check their products to ensure their designs are functional and safe. They warrant that their products are safe for their intended use. Those who don’t could be held legally liable. If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, then it’s recommended you seek help from an experienced personal injury attorney.

Product Liability Attorney for Design Defects in Chicago, IL

Design defect lawsuits are often extremely technical and complicated. That is why it’s highly advised you hire skilled legal representation. Your attorney can provide you with the legal advice necessary to obtain a monetary settlement for your losses. 

You can contact Susan E. Loggans & Associates, a group of product liability attorneys with years of experience. We have decades worth of collective legal knowledge and we’ll use it to fight for what you deserve. Contact us now at (312) 201-8600 to schedule a free consultation. Susan E. Loggans & Associates accepts clients throughout the greater Cook County area including Chicago, Des Plaines, Skokie, Evanston, Oak Park and Arlington Heights. 

Overview of Design Defects in Illinois

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Examples of Defectively Designed Products in the U.S.

It’s relatively unheard of, but defective products cause significant injuries every year to U.S. citizens. The United States Consumer and Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) released a report stating that approximately three million people were injured by products and nearly 22,000 of them died as a result of their injuries annually. 

  • Pharmaceuticals with unlisted side effects;
  • Medical devices that fail due to unsound design;
  • Structurally unstable furniture;
  • Toys that pose as choking hazards;
  • Children products that contain toxins;
  • Ovens with open wires or that are prone to melting;
  • Cars with an infrastructure that makes them easy to flip over;
  • Sunglasses that fail to protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays;
  • Electric blankets causing third degree burns or electrocution; or
  • Child’s car seat that fails to stay secure when hit with force

It’s important to know in a defective design case that the company is only liable if there was a foreseeable risk posed by the product that could have been avoided if the manufacturer adopted an alternative design. The alternative design must be feasible and be affordable.

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How Do I Prove a Product Had a Defective Design?

If you want to receive a monetary settlement for your injuries, you will have to file a product liability claim stating the product’s design was defective and caused your injury. You will be obligated to prove the product’s design was flawed. One way to do this is by hiring experienced legal representation. A product liability lawyer will assess the case and collect evidence to prove the following elements: 

  • The manufacturer or company designed the product as intended;
  • There was an alternative design that would have made the product much safer;
  • The design was feasible and affordable to the company or manufacturer;
  • This alternative design would not have changed the way the product performs;
  • Despite this, the company or manufacturer chose the initial design;
  • You bought the product and used it as instructed by the manufacturer or company;
  • The product’s design was dangerous for its intended use; and
  • The product’s design’s defect caused your injuries;

If you persuade the court, then you will be granted a monetary settlement to cover your damages. Damages is a legal term for any losses you’ve experienced because of your injury. They can include tangible losses such as bills or intangible losses such as emotional suffering.

Listed below are some damages that may be included in your settlement. 

  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of earning capacity;
  • Rehabilitation costs;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Loss of quality of life; and
  • Loss of consortium

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Other Types of Defects in Product Liability

Defective designs aren’t the only type of product defect cases in personal injury. A manufacturer or company is also liable for warning label defects and manufacturing defects with their products. The following is more information about other types of defects in product liability law. 

  • Manufacturing Defects – In some cases, one product out of a line will have a manufacturing defect that is potentially dangerous, unsafe or unfit for intended use. The defect departs from the initial design and is an anomaly which contrasts with defectively designed products that were a risk from the start. For example, a bike with a improperly installed chain could lead to serious injury.
  • Warning Label Defects – Warning labels exist to notify us of any possible risks or dangers associated with the product upon use. If a company doesn’t have appropriate warning labels, then a person could be seriously injured. For example, toys that are choking hazards to children under the age of 5 should have a warning label.

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Additional Resources 

Product Recalls in the U.S. – Visit the official website for the United States Consumer Product and Safety Commission (USCPSC) to access their recall list. Enter the site to learn what products have been recently recalled, why they were recalled, remedies for consumers and how many units have been returned to stores.

Strict Product Liability Jury Instructions – Visit the official website for the Illinois Courts to access their civil jury instructions for strict product liability law. Access the document to learn what the jury is looking for, elements for design defects, and affirmative defenses.

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Defective Design Lawyer in Cook County, Illinois

If you were injured because of a poorly designed product, it’s time the company or manufacturer is held responsible. You may be legally entitled to compensation because of your injuries. To learn more, contact the experienced product liability lawyers at Susan E. Loggans & Associates.

Call us now at (312) 201-8600 to schedule a free consultation. Our lawyers will examine your case and help you decide what the best step forward is. Our offices are located in Chicago, but we practice throughout the Cook County area including Evanston, Des Plaines and Arlington Heights. 

This article was last updated on May 31, 2019.