When an injury victim needs an expert on products liability, an attorney is often their best resource. This is especially true if a victim plans on bringing a claim against a negligent manufacturer or designer, as such cases can be extremely complex and involve multiple defendants. The alarming truth is that many companies fail to perform even basic quality controls and testing on their goods, which passes the risk on to consumers. This is a problem in many industries, and why these claims can involve everything from a child’s toy to a vehicle.
WHAT DO VICTIMS HAVE TO PROVE WHEN THEY HAVE BEEN HURT BY DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS?
Ascertaining liability is something an attorney can determine, but even if it’s clear that the victim was hurt through no fault of their own, they still have to prove it to execute a successful claim. There are four elements to every defective item claim, and they include:
- Proof that the victim was in fact injured, and that these injuries can be demonstrated through medical records. It’s not enough for a victim to experience a near miss or unsubstantiated pain. There has to be demonstrable evidence that the victim was hurt during the incident.
- Proof that the item in question was defective. If the item was not defective at the time of the incident, even if it was a cause of injury, the claim won’t succeed. In some cases, it’s easy to demonstrate defectiveness, as the item in question may be part of a safety recall or an independent expert has provided a thorough examination of the item. In other cases, a victim may need photos and reliable witness testimony to back up their claim.
- Proof that the defect is what caused the incident. There has to be a connection between the victim’s injuries and the item’s defect. For example, if a kitchen knife blade comes loose because of a defective screw, and this blade lands on the victim’s foot and leaves a nasty gash, then the defect is central to the claim.
- Proof that the victim was using the item properly at the time of the incident. Consider the kitchen knife example again. The screw anchoring the blade to the handle comes loose during use, but the victim was attempting to cut through a piece of wood at the time of the incident. The manufacturer will likely claim that the victim was not using the item as intended, and it was for this reason that it failed. This will probably constitute an adequate defense against the claim.
While there is a lot to prove when handling a claim involving a product’s liability, an attorney can help a victim through the process and organize and present all relevant evidence. This will give a victim the support they need to work through the legal process