Frequently Asked Questions About Products Liability

Frequently Asked Questions About Products Liability

When you are faced with personal injury, an attorney who has regularly advised and represented clients in products liability matters can help you to achieve an effective and timely resolution. Call today to schedule a consultation and case evaluation.

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Q: Who is responsible when a product causes an injury?

A: It depends. Manufacturers, wholesalers, and sellers may all be responsible when a product injures someone. If a product is defective or it presents an unreasonable danger, and the defect or danger causes injury, the injured party may have a case. The defendants can be found liable under theories of negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty.

Q: What kind of compensation or damages can be awarded in products liability cases?

A: Depending on the strength and the facts of the case, the plaintiff may recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages might also be available if the defendant acted in a malicious or grossly negligent manner. The level of award possible and its application depends on the state in which the litigation takes place.

Q: If I was seriously hurt by a tool I was using, can I recover from the manufacturer?

A: It depends. If the product was defective, either because of a design flaw or a manufacturing defect, or if the manufacturer failed to provide proper warning/instructions, then you may have a case.

Q: If the product that harmed me had a written warranty, does that affect my case?

A: If the product’s warranty made representations about the performance or safety of the product, the product should have met those standards. If the manufacturer failed to meet its own standards for the product, that could help you show that the product was defective.

Q: What if I threw away the product that injured me before I called a lawyer?

A: Although it is better for your case if you keep the product (so that your lawyer or an expert can explore what kind of defects the product has), it still may be possible to move your case forward without it. An experienced products liability attorney will be able to evaluate how strong your case remains without this evidence.

Q: What if I didn’t read the instructions for a product and then I got hurt?

A: If the instructions were clear and appropriate, and you were hurt because you did not look at them, the manufacturer probably has a defense against a legal action. But, if you were hurt because of a design defect or manufacturing defect, then you may still have a viable products liability case.

Q: Do I still have a case if a recalled product injured me?

A: A product recall should not negatively affect your case. Whether you can use the recall as evidence of the harmfulness of the product or as evidence of what the manufacturer knew depends on the state in which the litigation takes place. If the recall was issued after your injury, you probably cannot use it as evidence of negligence. Sometimes evidence of a recall is inadmissible in court, but it might be used to establish that there was a defect.

Q: What if I modified a product and it injured me after that?

A: Alteration of a product by the user (or another party) can change the outcome of a products liability case. If you modified the product enough that the alteration contributed to the injury, it could potentially reduce or eliminate your recovery. If the modification had no effect on the injury, then it might not harm your case. The specifics vary from state to state.

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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