Experienced Tennessee Product Liability Lawyers
The Johnson City product liability lawyers at The Haynes Firm have decades of experience holding negligent corporations accountable. We understand how complicated and confusing injury from a defective product can be. We are prepared to stand by your side, protect your best interests, and fight for every penny you are due.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are approximately 31 million injuries and 23,000 deaths associated with consumer products annually. When you or someone you love suffers an injury from a defective product, you may be entitled to file a product liability claim to seek compensation for all related damages.
Serving Johnson City and surrounding areas of Tennessee, our defective product attorneys have handled all types of product liability claims. Call us at (423) 928-0165 to schedule your FREE and confidential case review and learn more about your options and rights.
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What Is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to the legal responsibility held by manufacturers, distributors, retailers, or any other entity in the supply chain when their products cause harm to consumers. This area of law ensures that consumers can seek compensation if they suffer injury due to defective or dangerous products. The idea behind product liability is that companies have a duty to provide safe products, and when they fail to do so, they should be held accountable for the consequences.
The Johnson City product liability lawyers at The Haynes Firm have been rated by their peers as being among The Best Lawyers in America® and have been selected for inclusion in the Mid-South Super Lawyers® list in the area of personal injury. Our experience with defective product claims, knowledge of local, state, and federal laws, and unyielding commitment to our clients all work towards the same goals: holding negligent companies accountable and fighting to ensure that justice is served.
Which Types of Products Can Be Defective?
Every product in the market has the potential to be defective. However, certain products, given their widespread use and potential to cause significant harm, are more commonly associated with defect-related incidents. These include:
From brakes to airbags, even the smallest malfunction in a vehicle can lead to severe accidents and injuries. Recalls are not uncommon, with reasons ranging from faulty ignition switches to problems with acceleration. However, a recall does not protect a company from liability when its product causes serious or fatal harm.
Medical devices and equipment are designed to improve health and save lives, but when they malfunction, the consequences can be devastating. Defective implants, pacemakers, or surgical mesh can lead to complications, long-term health issues, or even death.
The gadgets we use daily, like smartphones, laptops, or headphones, sometimes come with risks. Overheating batteries, electrical short-circuits, or software glitches can cause injuries or property damage.
Household appliances, such as ovens, refrigerators, and washing machines, are integral to our daily lives. However, when they malfunction due to defects, the risks can range from minor inconveniences to severe dangers like fires or electrical shocks. Defective appliances can lead to property damage, physical injuries, or even fatalities in the worst cases.
Safety and Building Features
Essential elements designed to ensure safety, like handrails, smoke alarms, or fire extinguishers, can be a hazard if they fail. A malfunctioning elevator or a weak balcony railing can result in accidents with grave consequences.
Toys are meant to be a source of joy and entertainment for children. Defects can transform them into hazards. For example, small detachable parts can be a choking hazard, or the use of toxic materials can pose health risks.
Everyday items like smaller appliances, cleaning agents, or furniture might seem harmless, but defects can lead to fires, chemical burns, or other injuries. For instance, a malfunctioning pressure cooker can explode, or a chair can collapse under normal use.
No matter the type of product, when you suffer injury from a defect, you may be entitled to seek compensation. Our Johnson City defective product lawyers are here to help you understand your rights and legal options. Reach out today for a cost- and obligation-free consultation.
What Are the Three Different Types of Product Defects?
Though there are countless products out there that can cause injury to consumers, they generally all fall under one of three categories of product liability:
These defects exist before the product is even manufactured. They pertain to the design of the product, making it unsafe even when used as intended or in a reasonable manner. For instance, a car model designed with a fuel system that makes it prone to catching fire in minor rear-end collisions would be considered to have a design defect.
Even if a product’s design is safe, errors can occur during its production or assembly. These defects arise when a product deviates from its intended design due to some mishap in the manufacturing process. An example would be a batch of tires that, due to a factory error, lack the essential adhesive between layers, making them prone to blowouts.
These defects relate to the way a product is marketed to the public, such as failures in labeling, insufficient instructions, or inadequate safety warnings. For example, a medication that doesn’t come with a warning about dangerous interactions with other commonly prescribed drugs would have a marketing defect.
Determining what has made a product defective is an important step in assessing liability. Our Johnson City product liability lawyers have experience investigating defective products to uncover where errors occurred and ensure the appropriate party or parties are held to full account. During your complimentary consultation, we can discuss the investigative process in greater detail.
Who Can be Held Liable for a Defective Product?
When a product fails and causes harm, several entities in the product’s chain of distribution may share liability. Identifying the responsible party is essential in securing proper compensation for your injuries.
Parties that may be held responsible for injuries following a defective product accident include:
This is often the first entity that victims think of when a product fails. Large corporations that produce products can be held accountable if their product is found to be inherently dangerous or defective, causing injury.
If a product is composed of various parts and one of those parts is defective, the company that produced the faulty part can be held responsible, even if it didn’t produce the final product.
Assembler or Installer
For products that need assembly or installation, the party responsible for putting it together or installing it could be held liable if their work contributed to the product’s defect.
Before products reach retail shelves, they typically pass through a series of distributors or wholesalers. If a product’s defect can be traced back to this stage, the wholesaler might be held accountable.
Under certain circumstances in Tennessee, the store that sold the defective product to the consumer can also be held responsible, even if they didn’t manufacture or assemble the product. Retailers have a duty to not sell products they know or should know are defective or dangerous, especially if they’ve had an opportunity to inspect the product prior to sale.
Each product liability case is unique. Working with a knowledgeable defective product lawyer will help ensure the responsible parties are held accountable for their negligence.
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What Are the Different Theories of Liability?
During the investigative process, our Johnson City product liability lawyers will look for indications of:
- General Negligence. Proving the negligence of a party in the manufacturing or sale of a product. For example, the blade on a blender detaches during use because the manufacturer didn’t secure it properly or an electric tea kettle catches fire because it was poorly designed.
- Strict Liability. Holding a party accountable regardless of their degree of care. This can include any malfunction that causes injury, even when a product is designed and manufactured properly, and used as instructed.
- Breach of Warranty. A violation of express or implied promises about a product’s safety or functionality. This includes any promises made by the manufacturer that are inaccurate, misleading, or false.
In some defective product cases, more than one of these issues may come into play. We will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine where the fault should lie.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Seek With a Product Liability Claim?
When you are injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to seek both special (economic) and general (non-economic) damages. Our Johnson City product liability lawyers take time to carefully evaluate each claim, enabling us to accurately calculate the total amount of damages to seek. These may include:
These are tangible costs directly tied to the injury or harm caused by the defective product. They may include:
- Current and Future Medical Bills
- Current Lost Wages and Diminished Earning Capacity
- Property Damage
Anything related to your injury that has an established cost or calculable loss can be included in economic damages. There are no caps on economic damages in Tennessee.
These are intangible costs. They may be harder to quantify, but can be equally impactful on your life. They can include:
- Physical Pain
- Emotional Distress
- Mental Anguish
While harder to calculate, non-economic damages are typically included in defective product claims. These damages are capped at $750,000 to $1 million, depending on the extent of negligence, the severity of the injury, and similar factors (see Tenn. Code § 29-39-102).
These are not tied directly to the injury’s impact. Instead, they are awarded as a means to punish and deter particularly negligent or malicious behavior by the defendant. Punitive damages are rare and typically only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were especially reckless or intentional.
In Tennessee, Punitive damages are capped at no more than 2x compensatory damages or $500,000. This cap can be waived under certain circumstances (see Tenn. Code § 29-39-104).
How Long Do I Have to File a Defective Product Claim?
In Tennessee, victims generally have only one year from the date of injury to file a product liability claim. We strongly encourage you to take action sooner. The preservation of important evidence and accurate remembrance of events can help to strengthen your case. Waiting to file may create unforeseen complications.
Even if you suspect your window of opportunity has closed, however, it is a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced defective product attorney. There are exceptions to the statute of limitations that may still enable you to seek fair compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Defective Product Claim in Tennessee?
You are not required to have an attorney to file a defective product claim. However, having an experienced product liability lawyer on your side will offer several benefits.
An attorney can investigate your claim, examine medical records, and work with various experts to recreate events and establish liability. They will play an important role in ensuring all paperwork is completed and filed on time. They will build a fact-based case with compelling evidence to establish your right to compensation and enter into negotiations with insurance companies to secure what you are owed. If these negotiations fail, a product liability attorney can take your case to court, arguing for justice in front of a judge and jury to help secure the total compensation you are due.
Without legal representation, attorneys and insurance companies for the defense will likely have the upper hand.
Why Choose Our Johnson City Product Liability Lawyers?
At The Haynes Firm, our Johnson City product liability attorneys are more than simply legal professionals. We are fierce advocates, tireless champions, and uncompromising support for each client we represent. We are here to listen to your story, truly understand your needs, and guide you toward the best possible outcome.
Our attorneys bring over 70 years of combined experience to every case we take. We are fully committed to serving our clients with compassion, resolution, determination, and diligence. We do it the right way, not the easy way.
Contact Our Johnson City Defective Product Attorneys Today!
If you or a loved one has been affected by a defective product call The Haynes Firm at (423) 928-0165 to schedule your FREE consultation right away. Our Johnson City product liability lawyers serve victims of corporate negligence in Kingsport and all nearby areas of Tennessee.
I appreciated the time and care the Haynes Law Firm gave to me and to my case. I was in a car accident resulting in shoulder replacement surgery at the age of 26. The insurance misinformed me of what bills they could pay. With my bills piling up and the car insurance being rude, not documenting when we talked, and not giving me straight forward answers, I turned to the Haynes Law Firm. Olen Jr took on my case right away. Just a few months later, we were able to settle with the insurance company for the policy amount. I’m completely satisfied with the empathy and attention my case received. I was able to get responses quickly (even after hours). My questions were answered thoroughly. I highly recommend this law firm for any personal injury case.
I was very pleased with the representation and outcome. Communication was excellent ! I always knew my best interests were center focus . You wont find a more professional, competent, resourceful, thorough, and kind group to represent you and ease your worries than The Haynes Firm. My sincere thanks to all of them