If a defective product has injured you, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit. Generally speaking, this applies to products that were new at the time of purchase and were not purchased through a gray market. If the same product injured many people, the product liability lawsuit might become part of a class-action trial.
Types of Product Liability
Product liability cases must fall into one of three categories to be proven in court. To understand if you have a claim, you should review the types of defects.
- Design defects. Under this category, the injuries incurred were a direct result of errors in the design of the product. These types of mistakes are considered latent and are somehow missed during a routine inspection before manufacturing. This can result in a class-action lawsuit since many people will probably be affected by the design defect.
- Manufacturing defects. In this category, the flaw lies in the way the product was produced or manufactured. These cases involve products that were designed correctly, but the manufacturer made an error during production.
- Warning defects. The warning defects category is applicable when an injury is caused by a product that doesn’t have complete or sufficient instructions or warning labels.
Keep in mind that product liability cases can fall under more than one category. If the product is deemed defective in more than one category, this may increase the liability of the company for your injuries.
“A reputable lawyer will advise you to keep out of the law, make the best of a foolish bargain, and not get caught again.”
~ Mark Twain
Damages That May Be Recovered
Following a successful product liability claim, the proceeds may include more than one type of damage. Technically, you may receive up to four different types, depending on your case.
- Compensatory damages. These damages are meant to cover any financial losses that resulted from your injury. This can include lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage.
- Loss of consortium damages. If your injury has affected the relationship you have with your spouse, these damages are meant to compensate for that. Your spouse may even be able to receive these damages, regardless of any injury they did or didn’t receive from the product.
- Pain and suffering damages. These damages are meant to compensate you for any suffering or pain you may have received as a result of the faulty product.
- Punitive damages. In some instances, a judge may order the company to pay out punitive damages. These types of damages are meant to serve as a punishment and to deter similar actions in the future. In most cases, punitive damages are taxable. If you have questions, ask your attorney about the tax implications of your settlement.
If a defective product has injured you, contact a lawyer to discuss your options.
The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.