When a poorly built or designed item hurts someone, they may have grounds to file a claim against the manufacturer or retailers who sold the item. However, these cases are fraught with complexity, and companies work hard to defend themselves against these claims. An attorney can also help the victim understand how to approach their case and can argue for the maximum settlement possible.
WHAT MUST THE VICTIM AND PRODUCT LIABILITY LAWYER PROVE TO WIN A CLAIM?
There are four things that a victim must prove during a case of this type:
- The item in question is defective in some way
- You were hurt or suffered some form of damages
- The item’s defect was responsible for the injury or damage
- You were using the item appropriately at the time of the injury
All four of these must be demonstrated clearly to win a claim. For example, if the item fails and you narrowly escape injury, you will not be able to win compensation for your near miss. If the item has a known defect but is not connected to your injury, then you will likely not win compensation for your claim.
If you crash a vehicle that has a known propensity to roll over, but were driving dangerously or speeding at the time of the crash, then the defendant may use your own negligence as a defense against your case.
The term “defective” can also mean a few different things in this context. An item may be defective either due to a manufacturing mistake or an inherent danger in the item’s design. For instance, if a container of medication is been contaminated with another material, like a toxic substance, it will likely be considered a manufacturing defect. If, however, the medication causes serious side effects that result in health problems, the drug’s design will be to blame.
Poor labeling may also be the basis for a claim. Using the medication example from above, if a person uses a combination of medicines, is injured as a result, and there is no label present to warn the victim of this, then they may be able to file a claim.
WHAT KINDS OF CASES CAN A PRODUCT LIABILITY LAWYER HELP WITH?
In general, a product liability lawyer can help in any case where an item produced for sale causes injury or damages to a person using the item or to a person within a reasonable proximity of the item’s use. In other words, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle may have a claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer if a manufacturing defect was responsible for the driver’s inability to control the vehicle.
WHAT SHOULD A VICTIM DO IF THEY ARE HURT BY A FLAWED ITEM?
Because of the complexities involved in product liability cases, it may be best to consult with an experienced attorney in the event of injury or damage. An attorney experienced in this field is always up to date on trends in multiple industries and can use prior judgments to organize an effective case.