Construction sites can be very dangerous places, even when all machinery is working properly. You might fall off a roof, trip over something on the ground, or get burned by a chemical. However, defective construction products render construction sites even more hazardous and can cause a serious injury or even death. The defect product lawyers at the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania law firm of The Levin Firm know that most of these construction site accidents could be prevented by more careful design and manufacturing. Our attorneys know that you have a right to recover for all your injuries against the manufacturer or distributor of the defective product that lead to the construction injury.
Whether at work or at home, you use a product probably expecting that it will work a certain way. You certainly don’t expect it to explode in your face, catch on fire, or otherwise injure you physically. When a product behaves in a surprising way, it might be defective. And when a defective product injures you, the person or business responsible for creating the product must pay you for your injuries. Manufacturers can be held legally responsible for the defect in a few situations:
Design defect. Some designs are defective, causing a product to work (or not work) in a dangerous manner. Generally, you’ll need an engineering or design expert to point out what is wrong with the design and how the product could have been designed safer.
Manufacturing defect. Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with how a product is designed. Instead, the product is defective because of a mistake in manufacture. For example, the tires on a forklift might blow up because the materials used were compromised in some way. A witness will probably be necessary to point out what was wrong with the materials used.
Failure to warn or provide instructions. Not every product can be made 100% safe, and the law doesn’t require that they be. For example, a nail gun is a dangerous tool, regardless of how it is designed or manufactured. Nevertheless, the manufacturer must provide adequate instructions or warnings to reduce the danger of using these products. If there are no warnings or instructions—or those that are given are insufficient—then the manufacturer might be legally responsible for your injuries.
The consumer expectations test. A product is defective it is dangerous beyond the reasonable consumer’s contemplation when the product is used normally. For example, you would not expect a forklift to suddenly to into reverse without any prompting, or for a nail gun to explode, sending nails flying everywhere. If these products behave in a dangerous way that you didn’t expect, then they are probably defective and dangerous.
The risk-utility standard. This is an alternate way to prove a product is defective. Essentially, you ask whether a reasonable person would decide that the risk of harm posed by a product outweighed the burden of taking precautions to make the product safer. For example, a piece of equipment might be safer if a $5 piece of plastic is added to it. In that situation, a reasonable person should pay the $5 to make a product safer rather than risk injuring someone, so the product is most likely defective under the risk-utility standard.
What you don’t need to prove: You never need to show that a safety lapse on the manufacturer’s part caused the product to become dangerous. Instead, it’s enough that a defective product was sold and that it has injured you.
Furthermore, the fact that a product was manufactured according to “industry standards” or even to government standards does not mean the product is safe. Industry standards are created by the industry itself, which has an incentive to protect itself from lawsuits. And government standards create a bare minimum of safety which might not be sufficient to protect consumers.
The purpose of a products liability lawsuit is to compensate the victim for their injuries. This compensation can be for economic injuries, such as money spent on health care or rehabilitation, and it can also include money lost because you were unable to work. You can receive a dollar-for-dollar reimbursement of your economic losses. So if you need $6,000 in rehabilitation, then you can get $6,000 from the product manufacturer.
Pennsylvania law also allows victims to obtain general damages for injuries that can’t be measured in dollars and cents. These kinds of intangible injuries can include:
The amount of general damages you can receive will depend on the type and severity of your injury, with more serious injuries generally bringing in more compensation. At The Levin Firm, we carefully assess the entire factual record to determine how much your injuries are worth and what compensation you deserve.
Ideally, the more people you can hold responsible, the more likely you will be fully compensated for your injuries. One defendant might not have enough money to cover all of your damages, but multiple defendants might.
Generally, you can hold manufacturers legally responsible for the dangerous product, but you can also hold several other people along the chain of distribution responsible as well:
Depending on the facts, each of these entities might be legally liable to you for damages if they didn’t warn you of the dangers of the product that harmed you. However, there is an important limitation to your right to sue: you must have used the product in the manner that it was intended. If you didn’t, then none of these entities—not even the manufacturer—will legally owe you money.
It is important to contact an attorney right away if you have been injured by a defective product on a construction site. The construction site and product must be investigated, observed and photographed in the same condition that they were in when you were injured. Property owners may try to fix the dangerous product, or remove it from the construction site. Without this evidence, it can be difficult to win your products liability case. That’s why you need an attorney who will work quickly and efficiently to ensure that you have the strongest case possible so that you can fully recover for your injuries.
Representing clients who were injured in construction site accidents requires a team of aggressive investigators and lawyers all devoting their maximum effort to their clients. At The Levin Firm, our Pennsylvania and New Jersey personal injury attorneys work together with a team of investigators and support staff to investigate every claim so that we may aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results.
Workplace accidents can cause devastating injuries and leave family breadwinners unable to provide for their family. When you need a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or New Jersey personal injury attorney to represent you, a family member or friend who has been in a construction site accident, contact The Levin Firm, who represent every client zealously in order to obtain the best results possible in each case. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers will identify the correct entities to sue and work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 215-825-5183 or fill out our online . Initial consultations are free.
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