Defective products are common in the current marketplace and many times they cause serious damage or even result in fatalities in certain instances. They have a wide product range and can be difficult to identify without help from the manufacturer when the defective product is a component of another larger product, such as an automobile.
The Consumer Protection Agency maintains an inventory of known defective products which typically have an established protocol for having the problem repaired or for filing typical injury claims for obvious product associations. However, when the cases are involving products that are not necessarily identified by the Bureau of Consumer Protection, the injury claims are regularly defended vigorously by both the manufacturers and their liability insurance companies.
Product liability claims can also be very complicated legal disputes that will always require the legal experience and knowledge of a product liability attorney who understands how the manufacturer will attempt to argue the case.
Potential Damages Available
The financial recovery potential of a defective product claim depends largely on the actual damage caused by the product and the level of personal contribution to the injury in question. One advantage for the plaintiff’s legal counsel is that they do not need to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer or any other company selling the defective product, because of strict liability standards for product developers. They must incorporate potential dangers in the application process when they are designing and manufacturing the product.
Most cases will result in compensatory damages for personal injuries, lost wages, and non-economic pain-and-suffering for the medical problems that remain during rehabilitation. This can result in a high-value claim when the product usage results in long-term or permanent damage to the health of the plaintiff. Punitive damages may also be available in wrongful death claims, but these damages are only awarded by a jury, meaning that the case will largely depend on having an experienced trial attorney who knows how to craft a case to a jury for maximum claim value.
Potential Claim Limitations
Some defective product issues have long been settled and filing a claim on some products does not even require going to court. Asbestos injury damage claims are a prime example of how the system works when products are well-established as problematic. However, difficulties in being compensated usually happen in isolated causes where the manufacturer may think they have a defense, based on how the product is being used when the injury occurs. This is usually a component of a claim where the manufacturer, or their liability insurance company, is using comparative negligence law as a defense. This doctrine effectively holds that those who are largely responsible for their own injuries could be barred from collecting any damages when their degree of personal contribution is beyond the state statute limit. This can be a common and effective defense in states like Nevada that use modified comparative negligence law that bars an injured plaintiff from receiving any damages if their personal contribution is 51% or above regarding injury causation. This is also a determination that must be made by a jury and having an experienced attorney is a must in these legal situations.
It is never a good decision to attempt handling a product liability claim personally, because of potential legal wrangling and the possibility of a trial. Product manufacturers and insurance company legal teams alike are serious about denying these claims because the outcome can be a very expensive ruling.
Having your own professional negotiation team is essential to being compensated fairly and potentially be made financially whole after a case has been settled. Always get an experienced and aggressive product liability attorney who is willing to fight for all your legal rights to collection, including taking the case to trial when necessary.