The Ins and Outs of Filing a Defective Products Claim
When a consumer buys a product from a manufacturer or retailer, they expect the product to function safely and effectively.
Unfortunately, defective products are not uncommon, and when they cause harm or damage, consumers have the right to file a defective product claim.
In such cases, the legal process can be complicated and overwhelming, making it important to understand the basics of filing a claim. Consumers must know the steps involved in documenting and reporting the issue, the evidence required to support their claim, and the role of the manufacturer or retailer in resolving the issue.
What Does a Defective Product Mean?
When using a product or device, individuals assume a certain level of safety. However, accidents can still occur, and when they do, it’s important to understand the legal consequences. In general, for a liability claim to arise from a defective product, specific requirements must be met. These include proving that the product was defective or unreasonably dangerous and that the defect directly caused the injury.
Additionally, it must be shown that the product was being used as intended or in a foreseeable manner. The manufacturer must be proven to have had a duty to make a safe product and breached that duty through negligence, design defect, or manufacturing defect. And to do so, you’ll need to contact Shulman & Hill Law Firm today, to find a skilled attorney for your case.
What Are the Common Injuries Defective Products Can Cause?
These products can cause a variety of injuries, ranging from vision damage to amputation and traumatic brain injuries, and even death. For instance, defects in car airbags have been known to cause fatal injuries during accidents.
Similarly, faulty medical devices can cause nerve damage, infections, or poisoning, leading to permanent disabilities or, in some cases, fatalities.
Most Common Types of Product Defects
Defective products can pose a significant threat to the safety of consumers and workers, often leading to injuries or even fatalities. These defects may arise from various sources, including flawed manufacturing processes, design errors, or defects in marketing materials and instructions.
Here are some of the most common types of product defects.
● Manufacturing defects: Some common manufacturing defects include incorrect installation of components, contamination of materials, poor quality control, and the use of low-quality parts to cut costs. Manufacturers must be diligent in their inspection process to ensure that all products meet specified standards before going to market. However, even with quality assurance measures in place, errors can still slip through the cracks.
● Design defects: Products that suffer from defective design pose a serious threat to consumers as they cannot be made safe through manufacturing alone. In such cases, even when the product is manufactured correctly, its inherent design causes danger to ordinary users.
● Inadequate warnings: A product that is designed and manufactured correctly may still be considered unsafe if adequate warning materials are not included. Manufacturers must ensure that the instructions specify how to safely use the product and include information about any potential hazards that could cause harm during the foreseeable use of the product. Manufacturers must strive to provide clear, concise warning materials that emphasize the importance of proper usage and outline any potential hazards associated with their product to ensure the safety of consumers.
How to File a Product Liability Lawsuit
Product liability cases can be more complex than other forms of negligence cases, requiring the assistance of a specialized product liability lawyer. The legal requirements for filing a manufacturer lawsuit are stringent and require an expert level of knowledge and experience.
A product liability lawyer’s primary objective is to secure an expert witness’s testimony These professionals specialize in analyzing a range of factors that may have contributed to the alleged defect or dangers associated with the product.
Expert witnesses may provide testimony about design defects, product liability related to warnings, and the manufacturing process. In cases where the negligent warning is a significant factor, specific human factors experts may be required to provide insight into the effectiveness of the instructions and warning labels, with a particular focus on whether the warnings were sufficient to protect the consumer.
This specialized expertise may be necessary to establish the validity of the claim, call attention to the magnitude of the defect, or seek recourse for damages incurred.
Once your legal team determines that your case is viable, there will be a written complaint prepared and filed with the court. Officially, this marks the start of the case before proceeding to a trial. Next comes the discovery phase. During the discovery phase, both sides exchange information and evidence that is relevant to the case.
Settlements are often reached during this phase since both parties get a clearer picture of the strength of their case. If a settlement is not reached, the case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will hear it.
However, it’s best to note that the discovery phase and the trial process can be lengthy, which is why it is essential to work with experienced legal counsel who understands how to navigate and fight for your rights in a product liability case.
What Are the Damages that Can Be Recovered?
The lawsuit will demand compensation for the economic losses incurred by the victim, such as loss of income, medical expenses, and loss of financial support if applicable. It is vital to understand the significance of both economic and non-economic losses in these cases and the impact that they can have on the victim or their family.
Apart from the tangible economic losses that can be compensated for, there are non-economic losses that are just as significant. These factors include the following:
● Pain and suffering
● Emotional distress
In some cases, a product may cause the loss of limbs or result in amputations, which can lead to long-term lifestyle changes and a need for ongoing medical care.
When a fatality occurs due to a faulty product, the surviving family members have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of lawsuit demands compensation for the loss of a loved one, along with compensation for any pain and suffering that the deceased experienced before their death.
Filing a defective product claim can be a complex process, but it is essential for protecting your rights as a consumer. With so many product recalls in the last years, it is important to gather evidence, such as documentation of the defect and any injuries or damages caused, and to seek the assistance of a skilled attorney who can guide you through the legal steps involved.