The questions on this page were answered by our team of Virginia Beach & Norfolk personal injury attorneys. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.
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What does a defective product attorney need to prove to be successful in an injury lawsuit?
An attorney can file a lawsuit if one or more of these elements exist:
- There was a defect in the original design of the toy.
- There was a mistake in some stage of the manufacturing of the toy
- The toy was not packaged, transported, or stored properly and this caused a dangerous defect to the product.
- The manufacturer failed to include sufficient warning about any risks or proper instructions on how the toy should be used.
What should parents do if their child is hurt by a defective toy?
Make sure to seek medical attention for your child right away, even if you think it is only a minor injury. It could end up being much more serious than what it appears to be.
Put the toy in a safe place where it cannot be accessed by any other children. Do not throw the toy away as this will be evidence in any product liability case. Collect all receipts, credit card bill, product packaging, and any other information associated with the purchase of the toy. Then contact a defective product attorney.
How often are children injured because of defective toys?
According to data collected by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, a child is injured by a dangerous toy every three minutes. Children under five are more likely to sustain a choking injury while children five and older often sustain injuries from riding toys.
Collisions and falls account for approximately 45 percent of defective toy injuries.
What proof is needed to win a food contamination injury case?
Virginia law recognizes a special "food warranty" that is an obligation on any seller or distributor of foods or consumable or edible products. Food is considered a product and therefore food that is contaminated is considered to be a defective product. Under Virginia’s product liability laws, only strict liability is needed, meaning the victim does not have to prove the negligence on the part of the defendant, only that they put a defective product that was dangerous on the market and that product caused the victim’s injuries.
Who are the possible liable parties in a food contamination claim?
- The company that grew (or sourced) the food.
- The company that refined and/or prepared the food, including bagging the food, canning the food, or freezing the food.
- The wholesaler
- The retailer
- The restaurant or supermarket that sold the food to the victim.
What is the difference between food contamination and food poisoning?
Food poisoning can occur when there is a presence of some type of bacteria (i.e. listeria or salmonella) in the food. Food poisoning is usually caused by the improper handling of the food, such as not cooking the food long enough or not keeping it refrigerated.
Food contamination occurs when food has a foreign object in it, such as glass, chemicals, or any other item that is not supposed to be there.
How can I prove that a defective drug caused my health problems or a family member’s death?
Succeeding with a defective drug claim in Virginia usually requires showing all of the following things:
- The person who used the drug suffered a serious health problem or died,
- The health problem or death can be linked to use of the drug,
- The drug maker failed to warn the patient about the potential health problem or risk of death, and
- The drug maker knew or should have known that the risk to patients’ health or lives existed.
These are the evidentiary standards imposed on failure to warn cases. A smaller number of defective drug cases arise from manufacturing defects. In those cases, a patient experiences a severe side effect or dies because the drug maker or compounding pharmacist used the wrong ingredients; used too much of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, thereby, triggering an overdose; or included harmful substances in the drug product that should not be included.
A drug maker faced with a defective drug lawsuit will argue that its product was safe and that any problems experienced by patients were caused by things other than its product. Working with a dedicated Virginia personal injury lawyer is often necessary to collect, organize and present the evidence that counters the drug maker’s arguments.
Can I file a lawsuit over a severe drug side effect?
Just suffering a severe side effect is almost never enough to justify filing a defective drug lawsuit. First, drug makers protect themselves from legal claims by listing potential problems for patients in product labeling. Beyond that, it is not always clear that a health problem or death can be blamed on using a medication.
Grounds for a defective drug lawsuit in Virginia exist only when one of the following things is true:
- A patient or a patient’s family member can show that the drug maker knew or should have known that a risk existed and failed to warn anyone about that risk; or
- A patient or family member can show that harmful errors were made during the manufacturing process.
What is a defective drug?
A defective drug is one that causes undisclosed, severe side effects. A drug can be defective because its maker failed to warn patients about the risk or because it contains the wrong ingredients.
Examples of defective drugs for which pharmaceutical companies failed to issue adequate warning include Actos (pioglitazone for diabetes, which causes heart failure and bladder cancer) and Pradaxa (dabigatran for breaking up blood clots, which causes life-threating internal bleeding).
Any drug product can have manufacturing defects at any time. Analyzing doses from the batch including the drug used by the patient who suffered a severe, unexpected side effect will be necessary to identify the error.
What are some of the common types of auto defects that can lead to injury and litigation?Some of the most common auto defects that may cause personal injury are steering wheel problems; fuel system problems and leaks; malfunctioning windshield wipers; seats and seat backs that fail; child safety seat defects; wiring system problems; defective brakes and faulty airbags.