Thousands of consumers are injured every year because of dangerous or defective products. When you find yourself in such a predicament, you’ll be entitled to a product liability claim. The claim for the injuries will compensate for the medical bills, time away from work, rehabilitation, pain, and suffering that you’ve had to go through.
The product manufacturer will be held liable for the injuries. You might be aware of your rights but going up against a big insurance company could prove to be a challenging task. Such corporations have experienced attorneys by their side to protect their interests. In this article, we’re going to highlight the rights you have as a consumer and how to go about the process of hiring an attorney for your case.
Product Defect Claims
There are three main types of product defects: manufacturer’s defects, defects in labeling and warning, and design defects. The legal implications will vary from one product defect claim to another. You can see more at Flagler Personal Injury Group.
Defect in Design: An example is with the braking system in a motorbike. If the cables disintegrate when the rider steps on the brake, the manufacturer will be liable for the injuries that come about as a result of the defect.
Defect in Manufacturer: An example is a car with a steering rack that doesn’t fully rotate when taking corners. Such a defect can cause serious accidents and even death in some cases.
Defect in Warning: An example is with space heaters. There should be sufficient labeling and warning for a unit that is prone to overheating if it is left on for extended periods of time.
Legal Recourse for Defective Products
The law will vary from one jurisdiction to another but the underlying principles are the same. There are remedies provided by the law in the case of a defective product. There are two main theories of product defect cases and they include:
Strict liability: In such a situation, the manufacturer will be the one that is strictly liable for the product defect. The onus will be on the plaintiff to prove liability for the product defect in order to be compensated.
Negligence: Proving negligence is the basis of any personal injury case. The plaintiff will need to prove beyond reasonable doubt of suffering damage because of the defects of the product. A good example is with a motorcycle that was not properly inspected. If the wheels come out and result in injuries, the plaintiff is entitled to file a claim for the damages.
Who Should Be Sued
When you’ve been injured because of a defective product, one of the important things you’ll have to figure out is the parties that should be sued. It could be a complicated endeavor to identify the companies that are liable for the injuries. The majority of state laws will require the same type of defendants in a lawsuit that involves a defective product.
The manufacturer of the product will be the source of the distribution chain. The size of the manufacturer could vary depending on the product. It could be an individual working from their garage or a Fortune 500 company with factory outlets across the globe. All the parties involved in the manufacturing process should be included in the lawsuit.
The retailer might not be involved in the manufacturer of the product but they’ll still be liable for selling something that is defective. It should be noted that the defendant is not conveniently chosen. The lawsuit will require that anyone that is involved in the distribution of the defective product should be a defendant in the lawsuit. If you’re figuring out if the retailer should be included in the lawsuit, there will be a couple of things to keep in mind:
You don’t necessarily have to be a buyer: You don’t have to be the buyer in order to file for a claim. An example is when you take painkillers that were given to you by a friend. You can still file for a claim even if you’re not the one that purchased the painkillers from the retail store.
You can recover for used products: The product can still be defective even if you bought it used. That doesn’t exempt the manufacturer from liability.
There are situations where the defendant could be a corporation. The law considers corporations persons that can be held liable in a court of law. You’re still able to sue even if the defendant is a foreign corporation.
The More Defendants, The Better
One of the reasons why you’d want to identify all the defendants is because each defendant will be held jointly and severally liable for the injuries. What this means that even if one defendant fails to pay, another will carry the cross. This is why a personal injury attorney will try as much as possible to identify all the defendants in the supply chain of the product.
Getting an Attorney For Your Defective Product Claim
It can be an extremely complex process to identify all the defendants involved in a defective product claim. That is why it will be a good idea to look for an experienced attorney depending on the nature of your case. To make sure you’re working with an experienced attorney, you’ll want to find how long they’ve been practicing. The more the years, the more the experience. You can also ask for references just to be sure.
It can be intimidating fighting with a big corporation. They have attorneys to safeguard their interests. There is no reason why you’d want to file the claim on your own when you can reach out for help. Most personal injury attorneys will work on a contingency fee basis.
Flagler Personal Injury Group is a law firm that believes in fighting for the rights of motorcycle users. Our attorneys are highly trained and experienced with personal injury law. We’ll help you handle all the legal aspects of filing for a claim so that you’re getting the compensation that you truly deserve.