If a defective product injured you, you might have a right to compensation. The designer, the manufacturer, and the distributor could face a lawsuit under the liability laws. You will struggle to navigate product liability laws alone, so you will want to look for a qualified lawyer who can make the complexities easier to understand. Let’s see together some important aspects related to personal injury law, product liability, and the importance of attorneys in such cases.
Statute of Limitations in Defective Product Litigation
All legal cases based on injuries caused by product defects will have a statute of limitations. For instance, Indiana sets its deadline at two years from the date of injury. The state has a 10-year statute of repose.
Having an attorney by your side allows you to file your case quicker to ensure that you file the claim within the statute of limitations. Additionally, an attorney understands how to fill out the claim correctly so that you don’t have it rejected for missing information or incorrect information.
Going further with our Indiana example, you should look for a local law firm versed in defective products law. For instance, Yosha Cook & Tisch law firm in Indianapolis provided skilled representation and dedicated support for cases like this. However, no matter where your case is, you need to find an attorney who has handled many similar cases and understands the complexity of product liability.
Product Liability and Negligence
Anyone involved in the product’s design, manufacturing, or distribution may face a lawsuit for negligence. In addition, anyone involved in the process must provide customers with a safe product. If they fail to exercise reasonable care, you could hold them liable.
Most often, under product liability laws, negligence happens from careless mistakes and design errors in the product’s manufacturing process. In addition, brands must warn customers about the potential dangers of their products. If they fail to do so, they face extreme legal consequences. All manufacturers, distributors, or retailers who fail to warn consumers and provide adequate warnings on a product can be held liable if the consumer suffers an injury from using that product. You see many such cases in defective drugs-related class action lawsuits.
Under product liability laws, you can file if the defective product caused personal injury, damaged property, or death. The difference between negligence and strict liability comes from the fact that you must prove the defendant acted negligently.
In these cases, the manufacturer/retailer may also face punitive damages. In class-action lawsuits with hundreds or thousands of plaintiffs suing the same company, the courts use punitive awards to punish the brands for acting irresponsibly and preventing them from acting negligently ever again.
Strict Liability Under Product Liability Law
As the victim of a poorly designed/defective product, you must prove that the defendant falls under the strict liability doctrine. It means liability regardless of fault and applies to certain circumstances – mostly defective consumer products and drugs or abnormally dangerous activities.
The fact that the product was defective and injured someone will be the center focus of the lawsuit. If the courts determine that the product posed a danger or that the manufacturer/distributor failed to warn about a known danger, they will hold the company liable.
Most product liability lawsuits will fall under strict liability. In these cases, you must prove that you used the product as intended, but it still caused an injury.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Product liability laws require expertise to navigate them effectively. Hiring a product liability lawyer will give you counsel that allows you to make informed choices about your claim.
Defective product attorneys will fight for a fair settlement for you, but if they feel that the other side doesn’t play fair, they will take the case to trial. On the other hand, great product liability lawyers work tirelessly in your favor to win you the best award.
How Much Can You Receive in a Product Liability Case?
Most lawyers search for similar cases to determine their value to evaluate your case. How much you receive depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- Costs of injury or disability (medical bills)
- Economic losses (lost wages, loss of future wages)
- Other medical expenses (physical therapy, for instance)
- Property loss or damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium, etc.
Anyone with a product liability claim should seek a qualified legal professional. Good attorneys ensure the best outcome and will fight to maximize your lawsuit case’s value. But, first, you must understand the full spectrum of the case’s expenses to know how to fight for your rights.
When it comes to educating the public on legal matters, few people are as determined as Michael Hawkins. From discovering issues of interest that concern all of us to offering actionable articles and guides to those in need, Michael is relentless in his journey of helping people make sense of the legal system. With dozens of pieces published in magazines, news outlets, and online journals, Michael is here to translate legalese into plain English so you can understand your rights and make the system work in your benefit.