Defective Wheelchair Lawsuits Product Liability Lawyers
Kentucky and Tennesee

Defective products are more common than someone might initially think. Whether it be a car or wheelchair, every product that is put into commerce must meet certain safety requirements. Unfortunately, many of the products that may be deemed unsafe and ruled as defective are only identified after an accident has occurred.

A product liability lawsuit is a claim that an injured victim can file against a manufacturer, distributor, or other member of the supply chain of a dangerous product. Defective products can cause serious injuries if an accident occurs. A manufacturing defect, design defect, and/or marketing defect can all be reasons a product is deemed defective. If you are someone you know has been injured due to a defective product, an experienced product liability lawyer can help you prove your case and recover compensation for your injuries.


Call us today at 800-800-4600 for a free case evaluation.

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Elderly man fallen from defective wheelchair

Defective Wheelchair Accidents

Although wheelchairs are supposed to help individuals with disabilities live their life and maintain a sense of independence, it should come as no surprise that defective wheelchairs can cause injuries and could be detrimental to one’s health. There are numerous ways a wheelchair can be ruled defective, and with the number of wheelchair users in the world, there are also many defective wheelchair accidents.

If you or your loved one have been injured due to a defective wheelchair, call 800-800-4600 for a free case evaluation. At Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers, we have a team of dedicated and experienced personal injury lawyers that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Wheelchair Statistics

The CSPC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) reported that 11.7 million people were treated for injuries resulting from consumer products in 2021. The majority of these injuries were caused by common products (TVs, cleaning products, beds, etc.) and occurred mainly in older adults and children.

Some of the most vulnerable individuals, older adults (65+), children, and individuals living with a disability, are more likely to be injured by consumer products. According to the CDC, 26% of adults in the United States have a type of disability, either cognitive or physical. Some physical disabilities can cause individuals to struggle with mobility, resulting in difficulties walking, climbing stairs, and even standing. In fact, 13.7% of US adults have a mobility disability, and according to a 2016 study, it’s estimated that around 3.6 million people over the age of 15 use wheelchairs.

Additionally, of the 3.3 of every 1000 persons in the United States who use a wheelchair, an estimated 3.3% per year have a serious wheelchair-related accident. Although some of these accidents were thought to be unrelated to the functionality of the wheelchair itself, many other incidents may have been prevented if not for product defects.


How do harmful products make it into the market?

Dangerous and defective products enter the market in various ways, putting unsuspecting consumers at risk. When people go shopping, there is a sense of trust between buyer and seller that the product being purchased is safe if used as intended. When someone purchases a vehicle, they expect it to be built according to certain safety requirements that are placed on vehicles of that type. Medical products, mobile phones, power tools, and many other products are sold each day with the assumption they will be safe if purchased and used correctly. However, even with certain requirements and metrics being placed on manufacturers, a number of products end up released in the market and later deemed defective, which can cause serious injuries to consumers. A product may end up recalled due to contamination during the manufacturing process, failing to properly test and/or inspect a product, using inferior materials or ingredients, or failing to assemble a product properly.

Regardless of how a defective good arrives on the shelf, the reason is almost always due to manufacturers cutting costs, lack of oversight, or plain negligence. The products we purchase are required to undergo a rigorous quality control process and be suitable for use or for consumption before ever reaching a buyer. Unfortunately, manufacturers often cut corners and put consumer safety at risk. The result might end in harmful and faulty goods. Injuries or accidents from unreliable household products or vehicles can be fatal, traumatic, and costly.

Dangerous and unsafe products can cause personal injury

All consumer goods must be safe and properly labelled before entering the market, and all manufacturers must guarantee their products are safe to use in their intended way. Unfortunately, some defective items can still slip through and be dangerous or deadly to use. A car may contain defective parts that make it unsafe for the owner to drive. Even your prescription medicine and food could pose serious health risks that were not disclosed on the packaging. Product liability laws can help a person get financial compensation for a serious injury that occurs from a producer’s negligence.


What makes a wheelchair defective?

There is a Seinfeld episode where Kramer buys and sells an old used wheelchair that ends up causing an innocent lady to be injured. Although this wheelchair is definitely defective when it breaks, this doesn’t necessarily categorize it as a defective product. Most defective wheelchairs are ruled defective in some way based on how they were made. Additionally, products such as wheelchairs have a lifespan and warranty period. As time goes on, wheelchair users are expected to replace or repair their chairs in order to ensure they are safe. In Kramer’s instance, the wheelchair he sold was most likely way past its warranty period, in which the manufacturer would not be liable for its defective nature.

If the wheelchair broke within the window of its warranty period, there may be a cause of action since the product didn’t live up to its manufacturer’s warranty, and therefore a part wore out sooner than stated. The implied warranty of a product is based on its intended use; it is implied that it will serve its intended purpose. The length of time that it should service for and its implied warranty differs from product to product and manufacturer to manufacturer. The wheelchair manufacturer will state its intended use and warranty, and if it fails to live up to those standards due to any design defects, marketing defects, or manufacturing defects, then there may be a claim that can be filed. A defective product attorney will be able to tell you whether you have a case or not.

The most common case in which wheelchairs can be ruled as defective is if the ability for the wheelchair to overturn is much easier than it should be. A wheelchair can overturn due to many reasons, including an imbalance of the weight, a part breaking, or a miscalculated center of mass, which makes the wheelchair too top heavy. A simplified analogy of a miscalculated center of mass error is understanding how much easier it is to push over a tall, top-heavy lamp than a lamp that is short and heavy, even if they weigh the exact same. The center of gravity being much higher with the tall top-heavy object makes it easier to push over. The same principal is true for consumer products. The likelihood that the object will tip over and cause severe injuries must be accounted for and therefore disclosed to the consumer by the manufacturer.

Typically, consumer products are evaluated for safety against other manufacturers of the same product. If one company had the ability to ensure their wheelchair will only fall over if pushed beyond normal limits, then all wheelchair manufacturers should be held to the same standard. Other consumer products are inherently more dangerous (for example, fireworks), and the threshold may be significantly lower for safety. Wheelchairs, however, are supposed to be inherently safe, as they transport those who are disabled or have mobility limitations. If the wheelchair doesn’t meet the standards for safety set out by the industry, then it is a defective wheelchair. This is established by a risk-utility test.

The Risk-Utility Standard

Products should typically comply with the risks of use. This can also mean passing risk tests for utility. A risk-utility test assesses if the risk of using a product is worth the utility it provides. The cost-benefit analysis compares the risk of using the product versus the benefit of its own utility. If a consumer is injured due to a defective product, this test is used to determine if the product’s design is defective. The standard identifies defective materials that could lead to more damage and higher risk than the burden of taking appropriate precautions against the potential damage caused. The following factors can be considered in court based on the Risk-Utility Analysis:

  • The usefulness and desirability of the product: the utility of the product to the user and to the public as a whole.
  • The safety aspects of the product: the likelihood that it will cause injury and the estimated seriousness of the injury.
  • The availability of a substitute product that would meet the same need and not be as unsafe.
  • The manufacturer’s ability to eliminate the unsafe character of the product without impairing its usefulness or making it too expensive to maintain its utility.
  • The user’s ability to avoid danger by the exercise of care in the use of the product.
  • The user’s anticipated awareness of the dangers inherent in the product and their ability to be avoided based on general public knowledge of the obvious condition of the product, or of the existence of suitable warnings or instructions.
  • The feasibility of the manufacturer spreading loss by setting the price of the product or by carrying

If after evaluating all of the above factors, the court rules that the risks of using the products outweigh the benefits of using the product, the product can be considered unreasonably dangerous, leaving the manufacturer liable for any injuries derived from its use.

Recalls and consumer safety

There are multiple classes of product recalls:

  • Class I: A recall on a product that could cause serious injuries or death.
  • Class II: A recall on a product that may cause serious injury or temporary illness.
  • Class III: A recall on a product that violates FDA regulations but may not necessarily cause an injury.

If you have been injured due to a consumer product that has been recalled, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer. Contact our products liability attorney to see if you have a case.

Types of product defects

Almost any consumer product has the ability to have defects, and there are three main categories of defects: Design Defects, Manufacturing Defects, and Marketing Defects. Let’s use wheelchairs as an example. If a wheelchair is top heavy and easily flips over, that is typically a design defect. If a wheelchair part breaks off even though the consumer is using it based on its intended use and it was built based on the design that is a manufacturing defect, in which the wheelchair manufacturer would be held liable. A defect of a wheelchair that would be ruled as a marketing defect would typically be due to an insufficient warnings, unclear instructions, or improper labeling. In some cases, wheelchair accidents can be due to a combination of defects. Experienced defective product lawyers can help evaluate your case and determine which defect (or defects) caused the accident and your injury.

User error vs. defective products

In some cases, a consumer may be injured by a product that wasn’t quite defective, and therefore would not have a case. For example, if a consumer is using a product incorrectly, different from the instructed use on the product’s label, then the user would be liable for any injuries sustained from the product. However, if the user is following all instructions based on intended use, yet they are still injured, there could be a possible defective product injury claim that could be filed. The best way to determine if you have a product liability case or not is to contact a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case.

Box marked defective

Are manufacturers liable for the damages?

If a product manufacturer fails to put a safe product into the market, they can be held liable for the damage they cause, unless the design they were provided is the reason the product is defective. Experienced product liability lawyers will work to show that the manufacturer knew of the defect resulting from a manufacturing error and failed to correct the mistake. A wheelchair with a manufacturing defect could cause serious or even fatal injuries. A personal injury claim may be the only way for an injured person to recover compensation for their injuries. Medical expenses can be extremely expensive if someone has a serious injury, and future medical care expenses must be considered if long-term care is needed following the accident.

Defects can occur anywhere in the manufacturing process. It is important to have an experienced product liability lawyer to prove your defective product claim. After a wheelchair accident, do your research and find a local product liability lawyer who knows how to handle a defective product lawsuit. They will be able to find out where in the manufacturing process a defect happened and can help you get the financial compensation you deserve.

What does a product liability lawsuit look like?

A product liability lawsuit starts with a person who has suffered injuries while using a defective product. After receiving the proper medical care to treat their immediate injuries, it is best to find an experienced product liability attorney to help them through the legal process.

A team of defective product lawyers will get to work investigating and gathering evidence to prove your claim and file it in the appropriate jurisdiction. They will request discovery and documentation from the manufacturer about the defective product. This process could also consist of requests for production documents, clarifications on certain pieces of evidence, and depositions of personnel in the company.

Another important piece of evidence needed to prove your claim is the documentation of the injuries suffered directly due to the product defect. Other than for your own well-being, this is another reason it is extremely important that victims get the proper medical care following an accident.

All of the above elements will be used to file your claim and send a demand letter to the manufacturer’s insurance company is they fail to offer you fair compensation. Our team of product liability attorneys will work hard to get you the money you deserve.

Will my product liability lawsuit go to trial?

Each product liability claim is different, and so is each timeline associated with the claim. Your claim will either be settled out of court or tried before a judge and jury.

If you are injured by a defective wheelchair or product, call our team of experienced personal injury attorneys at 800-800-4600. We will complete a free consultation to determine whether we can assist you or not.

If we take on your case, we will do everything in our power to secure you the financial compensation you deserve without going to trial. However, if the manufacturer or insurance company refuses to grant you a fair settlement, we are more than prepared to fight for you in court.

Recall Notice

Three elements of a product liability claim

Product liability claims have three main elements. While each of these elements have potential exceptions, they are important to consider in proving your injury claim:

  1. Existence of a Defect – whether it be due to the design, manufacture, or marketing of the product, it is necessary that the victim can prove there was a defect with the product they used that caused them to be injured. This element also accounts for if there was a breach of warranty on the manufacturer or seller’s part.
  2. Causation and Damages – the victim must be able to prove that the injuries were caused by the defect in the product. They also must be able to prove that they suffered physical injuries or financial losses due to the defect, so that they can quantify the value of their claim.
  3. Intended Use – the victim must be able to prove they were using the product based on the intended use explained in the instructions on the product. If an injured victim was misusing a product and was injured, their claim may be dismissed.

Strict liability is a legal term used to explain the liability of a manufacturer or seller for injuries caused regardless of whether it was a negligent act. Most product liability lawsuits are not because of one person’s negligent actions and are therefore qualified as a strict liability offense. The adaptation of this term was intended to ensure that, even without negligence, manufacturers could be held liable for the damage and injuries they caused. Strict liability states that the product was inherently defective, and therefore caused injuries.

Product liability lawyers can work with you to prove all of the above elements of your claim and get you the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you’ve been injured due to a defective product, call Hughes & Coleman at 800-800-4600 for a free consultation.

What damages can I recover from a personal injury claim?

In personal injury claims, there are two types of damages that can be recovered: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages usually refer to measurable losses that can have a monetary value assigned to them. Examples of these types of damages include:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Future treatment and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages


Non-economic damages refer to those other ‘non-measurable’ losses suffered due to the accident. Some examples of these include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Punitive damages (damages assessed to punish the defendant for their negligence)


Serious injuries caused by a wheelchair accident can leave a victim feeling hopeless and scared of the financial burden that was unwillingly stowed upon them. Medical bills and other medical expenses associated with severe injuries are often very expensive, and insurance companies tend to offer a low amount to cover them. Most people cannot afford pay for these kinds of medical expenses out-of-pocket. That’s why hiring a product liability attorney is so crucial in the process of getting you the compensation you deserve.

Our team of product liability attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you will not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for our services. We only get paid if you do, so if we don’t win or settle your case, you won’t owe us a dime.

Why hire a product liability attorney?

Handling a product liability case without an attorney could be difficult or nearly impossible for the average individual. Because laws on defective products and personal injury claims vary by state, the litigation process can be confusing for those not well-versed in injury law. Additionally, manufacturers and insurance companies will often do everything they can to give you as little compensation as possible, and may even deny your claim outright. Our team knows how to handle uncooperative insurance companies and fight every day to get the compensation our clients deserve.

Finding an experienced defective wheelchair liability lawyer

There are many attorneys who would be willing to take on a defective wheelchair case, but not many who have the experience to deal with the complexity of it.

At Hughes & Coleman, we’ve been handling serious injury cases for over 35 years, and we have the experience to take the necessary steps and get you the compensation you deserve. If you were injured by a defective wheelchair or any other defective product, give us a call at 800-800-4600. Upon your call, one of our team members will complete a free consultation with you to determine how or if we can assist. Serious injuries from defective products deserve serious defective product attorneys. Contact us today for your free defective wheelchair case consultation.

Get In Touch Today!

We offer free consultations 24/7 and there will always be someone here to take your call. Call our personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation or fill out this form and we will contact you.

We serve clients across Tennessee and Kentucky and we have several offices throughout both states. See all of our locations and contact us today.

Kentucky Locations


1256 Campbell Ln #201

Bowling Green, KY 42104

Phone: (270) 782-6000



2110 N Dixie Hwy #102

Elizabethtown, KY 42701

Phone: (270) 737-0640



5004 Poplar Level Rd

Louisville, KY 40219

Phone: (502) 585-4025



3618 Dixie Hwy

Louisville, KY 40216

Phone: (502) 585-4693



211 E New Circle Rd

Lexington, KY 40505

Phone: (859) 260-1722


Tennessee Locations


446 James Robertson Pkwy #100

Nashville, TN 37219

Phone: (615) 255-9100



1501 Memorial Blvd

Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Phone: (615) 907-0687



323 N Riverside Dr #100

Clarksville, TN 37040

Phone: (931) 546-7200



622 W 7th St

Columbia, TN 38401

Phone: (931) 505-7040



126 W Eastland Ave

Gallatin, TN 37066

Phone: (615) 451-4288