Product liability claims are a specific class of legal action. They are often complicated and strongly contested for a variety of reasons, and some can be more obvious than others. The range of potentially defective products could include practically anything available for purchase on the market for the typical consumer, but they can also stem from other legal cases involving personal injury. Many times product liability claims can also build over a long period of time when the victim has no idea they are in danger of developing a medical condition due to the process. Regardless of case particulars, it is always vital to have experienced legal counsel like the professionals at Harrell and Harrell personal injury lawyers representing the case for an equitable case settlement. Here are a few questions many victims ask when discussing a product liability case.
Do I have a case?
While this may sound simple, many people actually do not realize they have a personal injury claim against a product manufacturer when they have been injured. Examples of instances when product liability claims exist include:
- Auto parts accident causation
- Medical device malfunction
- Contaminated food
- Children toys
- Car seats
- Industrial chemical exposure
What must I prove?
All personal injuries require the injured victim to prove their injury exists and that there is a correlation with the product in question. That correlation can be either direct or indirect, and the percentage of fault can vary in some cases. As long as it can be established that the product contributed to causing the injury, a product liability claim could exist. The true test of the claim is proving the product did not function as indicated by marketing or that it was defective in design for intended use. The fact that defective product claims are adjudicated by strict liability is an advantage for the claimant, which means your attorney is not required to prove negligence on the part of the respondent manufacturer.
What damages are available?
The standard claimable recovery items from a personal injury lawsuit apply to a product liability case as well. Compensatory damage claims can include financial recovery for medical bills, lost wages when the victim cannot work due to the condition, mental anguish, and general damages for ongoing pain-and-suffering as a result of the situation. However, the most valuable component of many claims is the possibility for punitive damages meant as punishment for gross negligence on the part of the respondent. Punitive damages can only be assigned by a sympathetic jury following a trail, and the court has the authority to lessen the punitive award in some cases. Your product liability injury attorney can also use the possibility of punitive damages as leverage when negotiating a claim to avoid court, which is very common.
Why do I need a lawyer?
Many injured individuals do not realize they have a personal injury product liability claim until consulting with an attorney. Cases commonly stem from car accident cases or injury claims that have specific material case evidence, such as in a work injury due to long-term exposure to chemicals such as asbestos. This is the true reason injured victims should seek advice from an attorney when injured. There may be multiple negligence parties who can be pursued for damages in any injury circumstance, and cases against manufacturers can be very valuable for the injured party. As a result there is no technicality too small for the negligent manufacturers or their insurance providers to use in avoiding payment of a claim. Lawsuits are typically necessary unless the product is already subject to trust establishment for paying the multiple claims coming forward, and these claims are often more difficult than an isolated injury situation.
Never think because your injury is not serious that you have no claim against a product manufacturer. Florida residents should always call Harrell and Harrell personal injury lawyers for comprehensive representation.