Smartphones and Product Liability

There are few people left in America who don’t have a smartphone in their pocket. Every year, exciting new technology is added to these incredible devices, and people line up down the block to receive the latest and greatest. In 2016, this excitement hit a roadblock as owners of the new Samsung Galaxy s7 reported their phone catching fire and even exploding. These phones have been the cause of numerous house fires and injuries, and were recalled by the manufacturer as a result and banned from being taken on airplanes. Such a disaster has left many owners of smartphones wondering if theirs is safe, and what to do if their phone causes them injuries or damage to property.

When a product features a defect that puts the user in danger or keeps the product from being used as intended, the customers can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. In the case of the Samsung phone, the batteries inside the phone featured a design flaw which caused them to heat rapidly and catch fire. Under product liability law, this is a called a design defect and the manufacturer can be held responsible for damages caused as a result of the defect.

Other types of defects that could occur are manufacturing defects and marketing defects. Manufacturing defects are when the product features an abnormal flaw which makes it dangerous or unusable. Marketing defects involve issues with the way the product was sold, such as if the seller advocated a dangerous use of the product. The end result of all of these forms of defect are the same, someone gets hurt or loses property.

With many people carrying their phones in their pockets, we put a lot of faith in phone manufacturers to sell us safe devices. When any kind of defect puts someone in danger of losing their home or their life, the burden for paying for the damages should rest on the company who made the phone.

If you have been the victim of an injury caused by a defect in a smart phone such as the Samsung Galaxy s7, you need to contact an experienced Dekalb County product liability attorney. An attorney who is experienced with product liability will be able to help you build a solid case to raise against the manufacturer of the smart phone, and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Andrew Lynch

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch P.C. for their insight into product liability surrounding smartphones.

Criminal and Civil Liability in Hit and Run Cases

Hit & Run accidents are often portrayed in a wildly dramatic way on TV or in the movies. Someone is driving recklessly and rams into another vehicle or drives onto a sidewalk causing property damage before accelerating off into the distance. But the reality is a hit and run can be any accident where there is property damage or injury and you leave the scene before exchanging information with others involved and contacting law enforcement. In other words, a hit and run charge involves your duty to report. In any accident, you must exchange driver’s license, address, and registration information with other drivers involved and when serious, report the accident to law enforcement. If you are criminally charged with Hit and Run, you should immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Property Damage

In minor accidents the priority is to move the cars out of the way so as to not obstruct traffic and then exchange information with the other driver. In more serious accidents, as in, you cannot just drive away, you must also wait for law enforcement to arrive on the scene.

Personal Injury

If you or the other driver(s) involved, or any of the passengers are injured then in addition to your duty to exchange information and report you also have a duty to assist. This means offering reasonable assistance, contacting help, like the police or an ambulance, and remaining on the scene until injured parties are safely transported and you are given approval to leave.

Unattended Vehicles or Property

If you strike an unattended vehicle then you must make an effort to find the driver. Failing actual contact with the driver then you must leave your personal information for them someplace where they can find it and you must also report the accident to the police if the damage is substantial. If you hit and damage highway property, like signals or signs, then you have to report your accident to the highway or road authority. That information is usually available on the sign.

Criminal and Civil Liability

In cases where there is injury or death you may face criminal penalties. An accident that results in injury is usually considered a class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense; if the injury is considered serious this may become a class 4 felony offense; if the accident resulted in death then there may be a class 3 felony charge. Felony charges mean that you are facing potential jail time so it is vital to seek good representation in such matters.

Fleeing a scene also has civil consequences. Because the act of leaving without performing your duty to assist and report is a crime, this also opens you up to responsibility for civil damages. Leaving is also an intentional act and this could in effect increase the punitive damages you face. Sometimes claims are handled through insurance alone, but it is important to understand how a hit and run makes you liable for civil damages too. As with criminal charges, if you find yourself facing liability for a hit and run accident, contact a civil attorney.


HBThanks to our friends from Hebets & McCallin for their blog contribution and insight into criminal and civil liability in hit and run cases.

What Are Damages?

Whether it be the result of a car accident or slip and fall, in every personal injury case there are generally two things that the victim must prove-liability and damages. Liability means fault, so the first thing the victim must prove is that the other person or company was at fault for the accident. If the victim can prove that the other party was at fault, then the victim must prove their damages.

As a car accident lawyer Delray FL trusts can explain, damages are generally broken down into two different areas – economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are things such as past and future medical, nursing, rehabilitation and supportive care expenses. For example, if someone is injured and can no longer clean their house or maintain their yard, not only are their ongoing medical expenses an economic damage they can recover for, but the cost to have someone take care of their house and yard is also considered to be an economic loss for which they can seek recovery in their personal injury case. If the victim’s injury is significant enough to affect their ability to work, then any lost earnings or loss of earning capacity is also considered to be an economic damage that can be recovered in a personal injury case. Reports or testimony from medical experts are necessary to establish the limitations an injury will likely have on the victim’s ability to work and sometimes a vocational rehabilitation expert will also be hired to discuss how the injury impacts the victim’s employability. The age of the victim is critically important in determining their future economic damages – the younger the victim, the longer they are more likely to live and thus, their future damages are likely to be greater than someone who is much older. A person who is significantly injured at age 25 is going to have more medical expenses and lost wages over their lifetime than someone who has the same injury who is 65. It is often necessary to hire an accountant or an economist to project the economic loss suffered by an injury victim. Such damages usually need to be reduced to “present money value,” meaning the amount of money needed in a lump sum amount today to provide a stream of income over the life of the victim to compensate them for their economic damages.

In addition to the economic damages discussed above, an injury victim is also entitled to recover for their non-economic damages, including any past and future pain and suffering, loss of ability to enjoy life and mental anguish. Just as with economic damages, the non-economic recoverable depend on the significance of the injury and the age of the victim. Obviously someone who has been left wheelchair-bound as a result of an accident has suffered a much more significant impact on their quality of life than someone who has suffered a broken arm. Likewise, someone who is injured while in their twenties has a much longer time to live with the consequences of their injury than someone who is in their eighties, and generally speaking, if the injury is the same, the noneconomic damages recoverable by a younger person will be greater than those recoverable by an older person.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Luckman Law for their insight into wrongful death suits.

What to Do After a Minor Car Accident

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, the United States incurs losses of more than $230 billion owing to the over seven million car crashes annually. This results to over two million individuals injured and a further 40,000 killed. Insurance statistics place minor accidents at a 75 percent threshold, with losses considered as more of property damage as opposed to injury accidents. Such matters are easily resolved, and the following are the steps you can take after being involved in a minor incident.

  1. Keep Calm

The instinctual actions that kick in when you are in an accident include tempers flaring, yelling and engaging in a blame exchange. It is important that when in such a situation, stay calm. Get out of your car and do not confront the other motorist. Instead, determine if yourself or anyone in the other vehicle was hurt and if so, seek medical attention immediately.

  1. Safety First

Before doing anything else, it is wise to inform other road users of the impending danger. Turn on your hazard lights, and put up the caution triangle at a safe but visible distance from the scene.

  1. Document the Accident Scene

This step is important if an accident investigation becomes necessary. In this step, you will want to ensure the following areas and information are documented, possibly with the camera and/or video camera on your cell phone;

  • The two cars’ damaged areas.
  • Your license plate as well as that of the other driver’s.
  • The insurance details of the other driver
  • The surrounding environment. With this, you may find skid marks, signs of a faulty road, or it could be that actual place the first impact occurred.
  1. Get Witness Accounts

At this stage, all the information is critical. You should ask them if they would be willing to make a written or a verbal statement as to the events that unfolded. If they would be willing to talk, get all their contact details. If possible, also photograph and videotape them using your cell phone. All of this helps in making sense of the crash as well as strengthening your car claim.

  1. Get In Touch With the Police

In several situations, accident victims have fallen prey to the thought of not involving the police in the accident. However minor the crash is, get in touch with police. Please note that insurance payment claims are only effected with a police report attached to the claim request.

  1. Call Your Insurer

Get in touch with your insurance provider as early as possible. They can begin the process of documenting the accident and determining liability. They may send a claims adjuster to assess the damage and confirm which party is at fault.

  1. Admission of Guilt

Under no circumstances should you admit any fault in the accident, either to anyone on scene, other drivers who were involved, or even your insurance company. It is the duty of the police and the insurance agents to determine the liable party and not you.

  1. Seeking Medical Assistance

As minor as the crash may seem, you should get checked by a doctor to ascertain that you didn’t suffer any internal or hidden injuries. Do this immediately.

car accident lawyer DC counts on can help you recover your damages from the liable person should your injury be more serious than you initially thought.


Thank to our friends and contributors from The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into car accidents and personal injury cases.