If you are injured as a result of another person's conduct, because of the condition of their property, or because of a machine or product malfunction, you may be able to sue for money damages to compensate you for injuries, pain and suffering, inconveniences and loss of wages.
For example, if another person intentionally or carelessly injures you or your property by striking you, the law gives you the right to sue for damages.
If you should slip and fall and injure yourself on someone's property and the condition which caused you to slip and fall was a dangerous one and was known by or should have been known by the owner or the tenant of the property, you are entitled to sue for money damages to compensate you for your injuries.
If you are injured as a result of a defective machine or as a result of a defective product, you are entitled to sue the manufacturer of that product, the seller of the product, or even the manufacturer of the component parts of that product and recover money damages for your personal injuries. This is called a product liability claim. The law of product liability is not based on negligence on the part of the manufacture or seller as are most lawsuits. The courts in Pennsylvania have instead ruled that the manufacturer and supplier of a product is a guarantor of its safety. The product must, therefore, be provided with every element necessary to make it safe for its intended use.
If you, the consumer, prove that the product at the time it left the manufacturer lacked any element necessary to make it safe for its intended use or contained any element that made it unsafe for its intended use, then the product may be found to be defective and the manufacturer may be responsible for all harm caused by this defect. This principle will apply unless you, as the consumer, use the product in an abnormal, unreasonable or unforeseeable way or the product has been substantially altered prior to the accident. In addition, a seller or manufacturer is under a legal duty to warn of potential hazards associated with the use of the product. If the manufacturer fails to give such a warning, or if the warning is inadequate and an injury results, the manufacturer may be held responsible.
Many lawyers take slip and fall cases, intentional assault and battery cases and product liability cases on "contingent fee" basis. If you and a lawyer agree to a contingent fee, your lawyer will not charge you for his or her services if you lose the case. If you are successful, the lawyer's fees are based upon a percentage of the money obtained by way of settlement or verdict. Some lawyers charge a smaller percentage if the case is settled before the lawyer has to file suit and perform all the work necessary to prepare or participate in a trial. 3/11
If you need an attorney and don't have one, the Lawyer Referral and Information Service can help.