Get Legal Help With a Defective Product Injury
The law helps prevent consumers from getting hurt using dangerous and defective products. Specifically, each state has enacted laws to help ensure the safety of consumer products. These laws vary depending on the type of product involved and the type of defect.
Victims can file a product liability claim when a consumer product causes serious injuries or death. Of course, if your loved one died due to a defective or dangerous product, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer and other related parties.
There are three main types of defective product cases. They usually fall into three categories:
- Design defects
- Defects in the manufacturing process
- Marketing defects, such as a lack of adequate warnings or instructions
This article provides you with an overview of defective product lawsuits and how a product liability lawyer can help with your defective product claim.
Has a Dangerous or Defective Product Injured You or a Loved One?
If you injured yourself using a dangerous or defective product, you may have a legal claim against multiple responsible parties. Essentially, all distribution chain members are responsible for putting safe products on the market. If they fail to do that, they may be liable for damages.
These parties may include:
- Retail stores
- Product manufacturers
- Insurance companies
- Manufacturers of medical devices
- Pharmaceutical companies that market prescription drugs
If a defective design caused your injuries, you may have a separate claim against the firm that designed the product. Usually, this is the manufacturer. However, there are times when you need to pursue multiple parties.
Legal Theories Your Product Liability Attorney May Use
In product injury cases, your defective product attorney must sue under a particular theory of recovery. Most personal injury cases require that the plaintiff prove negligence. However, in cases involving a faulty product design or manufacturing defect, there are several theories your defective product lawyer can choose from.
These theories include:
- Tortious misrepresentation
- Breach of warranty
- Strict liability in tort
Regardless of the theory used in your product liability lawsuit, your attorney must prove fault. We will discuss this in more detail below.
What Does Your Attorney Have To Prove in Your Product Liability Case?
To recover damages from the defendant, your lawyer must prove fault. How they do this will depend on their approach in your case. For example, to succeed in a negligence claim, you must prove the following four things:
- The product manufacturer owed you a duty
- They breached that duty
- Their breach of duty was the actual and proximate cause of your injuries
- You suffered actual damages as a result of the defendant's negligent act
Proving negligence takes work. The good news is that with many product liability cases, you can prove fault in several ways. For example, you can prove your claim for tortious misrepresentation if a product manufacturer gave you false or misleading information about a product and that misleading information caused you harm.
If you were injured using a product covered by a warranty, you may have a claim for breach of warranty. Warranties are a type of guarantee a seller gives regarding product quality. Warranties can be either express or implied.
Finally, your attorney can base your case on strict liability. In a strict liability case, you can recover compensation from the manufacturer or seller of the product without showing that either one was negligent. An experienced product liability attorney can help determine which type of lawsuit is most appropriate for you based on the unique facts of your case.
A Product Liability Lawyer Can Help You Recover Damages
The main reason you file a product liability claim is to recover damages. Hiring an attorney can help make that happen. Not only will your attorney help determine fault, but they will also identify the types and amounts of damages you can demand in your lawsuit.
If you only suffered minor injuries or minimal financial losses, spending the time and energy to pursue your claim may not make sense. Attorneys might be less inclined to represent you, as it needs to make business sense for them to do so.
In most product liability lawsuits, you can demand the following types of damages:
- Medical bills and future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Judges are reluctant to grant punitive damages in product liability cases. Punitive damages are designed to punish and deter egregious behavior. The odds of receiving these damages are low unless you're involved in a class action.
How an Attorney Specializing in Dangerous and Defective Product Injuries Can Help
No law says you must hire a lawyer to help with your case. However, there are certain things an experienced defective product attorney can do that you may not be able to handle on your own.
An attorney can help you with any of the following:
- Filing your initial claim with the insurance company
- Negotiating a settlement of your claim if possible
- Gathering evidence to prove fault
- Hiring experts to testify as to your injuries
- Filing a legal claim on your behalf
You'll have a much better chance of recovering damages if you have a legal team helping you. Not only will they help with your claim, but they'll also make sure you file your claim within the statute of limitations.
After any situation involving a dangerous or defective product, you should speak with an experienced attorney who will evaluate your case and thoroughly assess your legal rights. An attorney can explain what to expect at every step of your personal injury case.
Your product liability attorney will also handle the tasks needed to file suit. This includes the following:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Collecting records
- Conferring with expert consultants
- Planning legal strategy
- Negotiating with insurers and opposing counsel
Your lawyer aims to strengthen your position and ensure you receive a fair recovery.
What Defenses Will the Manufacturer Raise?
If you sue the manufacturer or other responsible party for damages, they will deny liability. One common defense manufacturers raise in these cases is that they include a disclaimer on the product's packaging and labels.
A disclaimer is a message in a product's instructions or packaging that attempts to limit or eliminate the manufacturer's liability. The good news is that disclaimers rarely absolve a defendant of legal responsibility.
Another defense the manufacturer or retailer may raise is that they issued a product recall, and the plaintiff failed to respond to the recall. For example, it's common for auto manufacturers to issue safety recalls for defective airbags or seat belts. If they issue the recall and the plaintiff ignores it, the judge may dismiss your case.
You Have a Better Chance of Recovering Damages if You Have a Personal Injury Attorney
You may need to file a personal injury claim if you are hurt while using a faulty product. Most attorneys resolve these claims with the defendant's insurance company. If you have an attorney, the insurance company won't be able to take advantage of you.
Once the insurance adjuster learns you have retained the services of a law office, they will have no choice but to respond to your claim. They will also realize that they cannot convince you to accept a lowball settlement if you have an attorney by your side.
How Expensive Is It To Hire a Product Liability Attorney?
One question people injured by a defective product have is how much it costs to hire a product liability lawyer. They fear that it will cost thousands of dollars to retain an attorney. There's good news. You don't have to pay your attorney anything upfront.
Personal injury lawyers work on something called a contingency basis. They aren't paid until you settle or resolve your claim. They receive their fees out of any compensation you receive.
Speak With an Attorney Experienced With Dangerous and Defective Product Injury Cases
Some victims of dangerous or defective products assume they don't have a case or are simply too intimidated to file a claim. Victims can find out if they have a valid claim by talking to a personal injury lawyer with product liability experience.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.