Manufacturers are required to perform thorough safety checks on products before distributing them. While not all hazards can be eliminated when designing a product, it is the manufacturer’s duty to label it with a warning.When there is a failure on any of these levels, injuries can occur. If you were injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation through a product liability lawsuit.
In general, when pursuing a product liability cases these four elements must be proven:
You Suffered Injuries
To recover compensation for a product liability claim, you must have suffered actual damages, such as injuries or monetary loss. You cannot bring a defective product claim if you were almost injured by a product or almost suffered a monetary loss.
The Product Was Defective
Product defects can fall into several different categories:
The Defect Caused Your Injuries
Being injured while using a defective product is not enough to win a lawsuit. There must be a direct link between the product’s defect and your injuries. In some cases, this is fairly easy to demonstrate; in others, it can be more complicated.
For example, if you are injured in a car that is prone to rollover accidents and there is evidence that you were speeding when the wreck occurred, the manufacturer could argue that speeding, not the car’s design, caused your accident. It is the job of your product liability lawyer to prove the link between your damages and the product defect with the help of expert witnesses and other evidence.
The Product Was Being Used As Intended
In general, to prove a product liability claim it must be shown that you were using the product as it is supposed to be used at the time the injury or damages occurred.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you must have been using the product exactly to the manufacturer’s specifications. If you were using the product in a way that the manufacturer should expect an ordinary customer might use it, this requirement will likely have been fulfilled.
One major subcategory of liability cases are defective medical devices. The Food and Drug Administration reports 450, 000 cases each year. With the growing competition and the increased demand for faster production and bigger profit margins, medical devices are more likely to be faulty, which can result in a great risk and danger for patients.
Other common liability claims stem from:
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, you have the right to seek compensation from the responsible party for your injuries and the damages they caused. Depending on the nature of the defect and the circumstances of the injuries, the manufacturer, designer, distributor and other parties may be held liable for the product defect and injuries it caused.
Successful liability cases require adept preparation and the experience of a New Orleans product liability attorney, doctors to examine and treat your injury, and engineers and failure analysts to reconstruct the incident and evaluate the faulty product.
Liability insurance will typically cover compensation for personal injury claims in product liability cases. Large corporations, however, are prone to contesting these claims because they have both the legal and financial means to do so and want ensure that their brand and reputation will be preserved. These companies will have attorneys and experts working to protect their interests; you deserve the same level of representation working hard to protect your rights.
At the New Orleans Personal Injury Law Firm of Barrios, Kingsdorf & Casteix, L.L.P., we have a broad network of professionals from various industries and are familiar with the numerous laws and regulations involved with product liability claims. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.