Have you suffered because of or been injured by a product that you purchased? If so, the good news is that you have options for getting the justice you deserve.
Product liability cases give you the consumer a recourse against manufacturers, distributors, and merchants who sell faulty or harmful products or make false claims about them. Whether or not the case grabs national attention because of the parties and amount of money involved, know that the law is here to protect your rights.
Keep reading to learn three things you need to know as a plaintiff in a potential product liability case.
Product Liability Cases Don’t Require Negligence
The legal theories that govern product liability cases give you as the injured party many options for fighting back.
For instance, if you can prove that a manufacturer was negligent in how they made their product, you certainly have a case. But it isn’t your responsibility as a consumer to know the safety or quality control procedures at every factory for all the products you buy.
There are several other theories used as the basis for a liability case that may protect you whether or not there was negligence. The most common of these theories, known as strict liability, asserts that the manufacturer is responsible for any product error during the manufacturing process regardless of their level of precaution. It further protects the consumer from any false claims or failure to post proper warnings or instructions on a product.
Know Whom to File a Claim Against
The reason you suffered a product-related injury may determine all the parties who are liable. For instance, you may have an action against the manufacturer who made the defective product that caused you harm and the distributor who sold it to you.
By naming every entity on the distribution chain responsible for the damages you’ve suffered, you stand a better chance of being compensated under a legal theory known as “joint and several liability.” This is why you and your legal team should be aware of any parent companies, subsidiaries, wholesalers, or middlemen who contributed to creating the product in question.
Your concern as the victim should be your own recovery. The defendants who share some portion of the burden for your pain can sort the percentages among themselves.
Understand the Defenses Against Your Claim
Companies do not willingly acknowledge fault just because you’ve been harmed. If you bring a claim against them, expect a vigorous defense.
The most common types of defenses in product liability cases involve the idea that the consumer either assumed risk or was negligent themselves in using the product. Likewise, there may also be a statute of limitations that restricts the amount of time you have to file your claim.
To win your case, you’ll have to be able to prove that you used the product in a reasonable manner that doesn’t run counter to the instructions, warnings, or warranties provided.
Consider the potential defenses as you craft your case. What may work as a defense to strict liability may not work against breach of warranty.
Have You Been Injured Because of a Product Malfunction?
The road to recovery can be long, but you’re not alone. We’re here to help you get the justice you deserve and get back to living life the way you want to.
Each state has its own laws, so it’s important that you find legal help used to winning cases right where you live.