When a consumer is injured by a defective product, the injured party can seek financial compensation through a product liability lawsuit. However, product liability cases can be very complex and involve many factors -- which is why it is vital to understand your options as soon as you realize you have been hurt by someone else’s negligence.
Whether you were hurt by an unsafe toy, a dangerous food additive, or another type of product defect, understanding your legal rights and responsibilities can help you take action quickly and effectively. This article answers some common questions about product liability cases so that you are prepared if an unfortunate event arises.
What Is a Product Liability Case?
A products liability claim is a cause of action brought by a consumer who was injured by a product that failed to function in a reasonably safe manner. Product liability cases cover a wide range of defective product types and scenarios, but they all have one thing in common: If a manufacturer, supplier, distributor, retailer, or other party failed to follow industry standards for producing or selling a product, and that product caused an injury, that party could be held liable for damages. There are three types of product liability claims: Manufacturing defects, design defects, and marketing defects.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Defective Product?
In order to hold a manufacturer or seller liable for a defective product, you must be able to demonstrate that the product was defective when it left the defendant's possession. In a product liability case, the injured party can sue one or more parties involved in the creation and distribution of the product.
These parties include: Product designers/engineers, product manufacturers, product inspectors/quality assurance testers, and product suppliers. Product distributors, retailers, and other parties who are not part of the production process may also be liable for damages in certain cases. An experienced product liability lawyer like Timothy L. Miles can help you determine which parties are most responsible for the defects in your specific case.
What Constitutes a Defective Product?
A product is considered defective when it does not meet the reasonable standard of safety that a reasonable person would expect under the circumstances. Of course, this can vary depending on the type of product involved. For example, foods and medication have different reasonable safety standards than household appliances. A defective product can create a number of risks for an end user. In some cases, the design of the product itself is the issue -- such as a table whose legs are too short to support its weight.
In other cases, the issue is with the instructions or warnings given with the product -- such as a failure to warn claim that plaintiffs are asserting in the Abbott Baby Formula Recall Lawsuit, the Toxic Infant Formula Lawsuits and the Paraquat exposere lawsuits. In yet other cases, the product's packaging may be the cause -- such as a toy that contains lead paint.
When Can You Pursue a Product Liability Claim?
You should report your injuries to the appropriate government agency as soon as you realize you have been hurt by a defective product. Failure to report the defect could jeopardize your legal rights, as it is important to identify the underlying cause of your injuries and file the appropriate claim as quickly as possible.
You should also contact a top-rated lawyer who is experienced in product liability cases such as Nashville attorney Timothy L. Miles. Product liability cases can be complicated and depend on a wide range of factors, such as the specific nature of the product defect, the extent of your injuries, and the jurisdiction of your case. The sooner you begin working with an experienced in attorney, the more likely you are to find success in your case.
What Damages Can I Recover If I Prevail in A Defective Product Case?
If a plaintiff proves the product was defective, they are entitled to recover damages for: past and future wage loss; past, current and future medical treatment; damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress; and, if the plaintiff can meet the standard, punitive damages (i.e., damages intended to punish the defendant and deter future similar conduct).
How Do I Establish Liability in a Defective Product Case?
You must prove the product was defective and that the defect caused your injuries and damages. You must show that you would not have been injured if the product had not been defective, and you must have been using the product in an intended or reasonably foreseeable way at the time.
What Is a Strict Liability Claim?
This theory of liability makes the manufacture and seller of the product responsible for all defective products that unreasonably threaten the personal safety of a consumer or the consumer’s property, regardless of who is at fault.
What Are the Common Elements of a Products Liability Claim?
Regardless of the legal theory that the lawsuit is brought pursuant to, there are three common elements to all product liability lawsuits, The lawsuit must involve a product, the product must be found to be defective, and the product defect must be found to be the proximate cause of the injury.
If you have been hurt by a defective product, you may be able to seek financial compensation through a product liability lawsuit. Contact Timothy L. Miles today who can explain the process and answer any questions you may have. We take all cases on a contingency basis which means we do not get paid unless we win your case. Call us today (855) 846-6529 and see what a top-rated lawyer can do for you.
Timothy L. Miles
Timothy L. Miles is a nationally recognized shareholder rights attorney raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Miles was recentely selected by Martindale-Hubbell® and ALM as a 2022 Top Ranked Lawyer, 2022 Top Rated Litigator. and a 2022 Elite Lawyer of the South. Mr. Miles also maintains the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, their highest rating for both legal ability and ethics. Mr. Miles is a member of the prestigious Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers: The National Trial Lawyers Association, a superb rated attorney by Avvo, a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by Premier Lawyers of America (2019) and recognized as a Distinguished Lawyer, Recognizing Excellence in Securities Law, by Lawyers of Distinction (2019). Mr. Miles has published over sixty articles on various issues of the law, including class actions, whistleblower cases, products liability, and more.
Timothy L. Miles
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