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Product Liability Explained: That Ladder Really Was Bad Luck!

Bad LuckHave you ever heard of the old superstition that walking under a ladder means you will have seven years of back luck? Although Halloween is just around the corner, that ladder should have you more worried about injuries than black cats

Have you ever borrowed or rented a tool or ladder without thinking about the potential risks that could be involved while using it? Many people have done exactly that.

But, if an injury were to occur because of a defective ladder or a poorly maintained machine and it was the fault of the owner or manufacturer, what could you do? Do you think that you might be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties?

Product Liability

Product liability cases arise when accidents occur due to the negligence or wrongful actions of an owner. The negligence of the owner could be as a result of:

  • Poor manufacturing and poor attention to safety standards
  • Failure to keep the ladder or equipment in good working order
  • Knowing there is a hazard, but deliberately refusing to fix or eliminate the risks or hazard

The party may also simply be careless in not warning you about the potential hazard, and not creating safer conditions for using the tool or ladder.

Renting or Borrowing Equipment

If you rented a tool or piece of equipment from a hardware store or tool shop, and you experienced an injury as a result using it, then the owner of the tool or equipment might be liable.

For the owner of the ladder or equipment to be found responsible, a specific condition must be met: the owner would have to know of the defect at the time that the tool was loaned to you.

However, if you borrow a ladder or tool and then fall or sustain injuries as a result of not positioning the ladder correctly, then using the ladder in an incorrect way, or failing to heed any warning instructions labeled on the ladder, then the owner of the ladder or the manufacturer would likely not face liability for your injuries.

Injuries are NOT Uncommon

An injury can occur when you use tools or ladders to remodel or work on a home improvement project very easily. You put yourself at risk when you have to be so high up from the ground.

Therefore, a sudden fall due to a defect in the tool or ladder could cause severe injuries such as a broken bone, fractured spine, or brain injury.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many people go to emergency rooms each year as a result of injuries and accidents sustained from a ladder fall or from using a defective tool. In fact, 130 individuals were injured after falling from a ladder in 2009 alone.

Consult with an Experienced Attorney

Although these cases are quite common, not all attorneys have the experience necessary to litigate them in court. There are several factors associated with these kinds of accidents.

Therefore, an attorney has to prove that the cause of the accident was not your fault. They also must investigate to find out what contributed to the accident.

If you do find yourself faced with this type of situation, then it is time to solicit the legal counsel of a knowledgeable attorney. Don’t delay, as time is of the essence!

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  3. Understanding Product Liability Cases
  4. What is Premises Liability?