Boston Product Liability Attorney

Every year, thousands of people are injured, disabled, or killed as the result of defective or overly dangerous products. In Massachusetts, the sellers of defective or unreasonably dangerous products may be held strictly liable for any injuries caused by that product. Sellers or manufacturers can also be held liable if they fail to provide adequate warnings about the risks of using their products.

Products liability litigation usually involves large corporations. Most of these corporations defend plaintiff’s claims rigorously and are reluctant to accept fault for injuries. At Sweeney Merrigan Law, we have the knowledge and expertise required to effectively pursue large corporations and hold them accountable for injuries caused by their products.

A product liability action may be based on a claim of design defect, failure to warn of product risks, negligence, or breach of warranty.If you or a loved on was injured by a product the Boston personal injury attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan, LLP can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for your FREE consultation. 

 

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Common injuries in product liability claims

Who is liable in a product liability case

What damages can be claimed in Boston product liability lawsuits

How long do you have to file a product liability claim in Boston

Steps to take after a product liability accident

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Common Types of Product Liability Injuries in Boston

The types of injuries that can arise from use of a defective product are immeasurable. The wide array of products available in today’s economy is as diverse as the injuries they may cause. Some examples include

  • Toys: choking hazards, sharp edges, contamination, etc.
  • Medical products: surgical screws, medication with severe side effects, hip or knee replacements, breast implants, birth defects, malfunctioning medical devices
  • Automobiles or auto parts: air bag failure, tire blowouts, brakes, seatbelts, baby seats, etc.
  • Boats
  • Motorcycles
  • Household products: chemicals, appliances, power tools, ladders
  • Sports equipment: helmets, goggles, sticks, balls, training tools
  • Food products
  • Industrial machinery
  • Cribs, child seats, household appliances

Who Is Liable in a Boston Product Liability Claim?

Product liability works by holding the creators of a product – or someone else along the supply chain – responsible for an item that contained a defect. Product liability law states that a consumer will have the right to file a claim against a party for allowing a defective product to reach the market and injure a customer. The liable party, or defendant, in your product liability claim, will be the party most responsible for releasing the dangerous or defective product. The average product goes through many different hands before reaching the consumer.

  • Product designer
  • Part supplier
  • Manufacturer
  • Distributor
  • Seller/retailer

The party most responsible for placing a defective product into the stream of commerce will generally be liable for related injuries and damages. A lawyer from Sweeney Merrigan Law can help you identify this party. Most defective product claims in Massachusetts use the doctrine of strict liability. This means a plaintiff will be able to hold a defendant accountable even without proof of negligence. In other words, a product manufacturing company or distribution center could be liable for a defective product even if it was not guilty of negligence.

The strict product liability doctrine is in place to protect individual consumers who have to go up against large and powerful companies in pursuit of compensation for their injuries from defective products. This doctrine makes it easier to collect compensation from major manufacturers. Even if the strict liability rule does not apply to your case, your lawyer may still be able to hold someone liable based on the doctrines of negligence or breach of warranty. The negligence doctrine holds an entity liable based on the assertion that an individual or company owed the victim a duty of care, breached this duty and caused the damages in question. 

Holding someone liable using the negligence doctrine requires proof that the defendant more likely than not caused your injuries and losses. A breach of warranty case, on the other hand, asserts that the defendant failed to meet the promises or expectations laid out in its warranty and that this is what caused the injuries. Our lawyers can help you understand which of the three legal grounds is the right basis for your product liability claim in Boston. Then, we can help you go up against the correct defendant(s).

What Damages Can I Claim in Boston Product Defect Cases?

A product with a defect could wreak havoc on the average consumer. Depending on the type of product and extent of the defect, a victim’s injuries could be severe. A defective vehicle part, for example, could cause a catastrophic or fatal car accident. The compensation you could receive in a Boston product liability case is directly correlated to your specific losses. Our attorneys can provide an in-depth review of your case to help you create a comprehensive list of all compensable damages related to a defective product.

  • Medical bills from past and future required treatments
  • Mileage/travel costs for medical appointments
  • Lost income due to injuries and treatments
  • Lost capacity to earn if you have a permanent disability
  • Any damaged property repairs or replacements
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Diminished enjoyment or quality of life
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • A spouse’s loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

A lawyer can help you demand full compensation for all of your economic and noneconomic losses. The final award granted in a successful case will depend on the extent of the victim’s damages. In general, a victim with more severe injuries and losses will receive greater compensation than someone with minor injuries. This is especially true for pain and suffering damages. A jury will determine the amount of these damages based on how much the incident impacted the victim.

At Sweeney Merrigan Law, our lawyers know how to argue for maximum compensation on behalf of an injured client. We can estimate how much we believe your case is worth based on an overview of your accident, injuries and losses. From there, we can use aggressive legal tactics to force an insurance company to offer a reasonable amount. We can even take your product liability case to trial in Boston if we think that will lead to a better outcome. Contact us today to discuss the value of your defective product claim.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Boston Product Defect Claims?

If you wish to file a product liability lawsuit, mass tort claim or class action because of a defective product, you have a limited time in which to do so. Massachusetts has statutes of limitations that determine how long plaintiffs have to file claims after the date of the cause of action. Missing the statute of limitations is usually synonymous with giving up the right to file. Most courts will not consider hearing a case that has been filed past the deadline. The statute of limitations on your product liability case will depend on the type of case you are filing.

  • Personal injury: three years.
  • Property damage only: three years.
  • Wrongful death: three years from the date of death.
  • Medical product liability: seven years (medical malpractice).
  • Asbestos-related claim: three years from the date of illness diagnosis.

Three years is the most common statute of limitations on a product liability case in Massachusetts. Your deadline could be longer or shorter, however, depending on the situation. Most statutes of limitations have a discovery rule exception. This rule tolls (extends) someone’s deadline to file to the date he or she discovers the injury rather than the date of the accident if they differ. If you did not discover your product-related injury until later, your date of discovery will be when the clock starts ticking on your statute of limitations. Contact our lawyers as soon as you can to take legal action before your time runs out.

What to Do If You Have an Accident Due to Product Liability in Boston

The things you do after an accident involving a defective or dangerously designed product can help you bring a claim to damages. It is important to take certain steps to show an insurance company that you did your part in mitigating losses. Your goal should be to give the insurance company receiving your claim as few reasons as possible to deny coverage. Since insurance companies often do not treat clients fairly, partnering with an attorney is the best way to ensure a just outcome. Your lawyer can help you with all the steps of recovering compensation for a defective product in Boston.

  1. Save evidence. Take photographs as soon as possible after your accident. Take pictures of the defective product, your injuries and any property damages. Hold onto the defective product and all of its original packaging, if possible. Write a description of the accident while it is still clear in your mind.
  2. Document the accident and your injuries. If you were at work, report your accident immediately to a supervisor. If you have severe injuries, call 911 to request help and an accident report. Telling others about the incident can help you document it for later.
  3. Save your purchase receipts. You may need to prove that you purchased the item and were using it as the manufacturer originally intended. Save your original purchase receipt, if you still have it, as well as any communication back and forth between you and the company.
  4. See a doctor. Go to a hospital in Boston right away for injury treatment. Explain what happened and what you believe caused your injuries. Keep records of your medical treatments, doctor’s notes, prescriptions and treatment plans.
  5. Contact the company. You will need to obtain the insurance information of the production company that released the defective product. Start by contacting the company and saying you wish to file a complaint of injury. The company should give you its insurance information;
  6. File a claim. File an injury claim with the manufacturing company’s insurance provider. Then, contact Sweeney Merrigan Law for assistance. Do not accept a settlement until you have talked to our lawyers about the value of your case. You could be at risk of accepting a lowball offer.

The insurance claims process in Massachusetts is easier to navigate with legal representation. Your product liability lawyer will not allow an insurance company to take advantage of you. Your lawyer will negotiate for full compensation for your past and future losses while you and your family focus on the future. Reaching out to an attorney early in the process is wise. Your lawyer can connect you to great doctors in Boston, answer all your legal questions, help you gather evidence, hire experts and take other steps to help you build a strong claim to damages from the very beginning. 

CONTACT US FOR BOSTON PRODUCT LIABILITY CLAIMS

If you believe that you have a product liability claim, it is important to preserve the specific product that was the cause of your injury. The defective product itself is often the most important piece of evidence in a product liability case. Do not discard or modify any products that you believe have caused you injury. This will increase your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries.

Additionally, product liability claims in Massachusetts are governed by a statute of limitations. This means that there may be a limited amount of time for you to file a suit. If you have suffered an injury from any type of product, protect your rights by calling the experienced Boston personal injury lawyers at Sweeney Merrigan Law as soon as possible.        

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