Proving Your Product Liability Claim or Case
Manufacturers, distributors and retailers of consumer products, medical devices, and prescription drugs have a legal duty to create products that are safe when normally used. Companies that fail in their duty can – and should – be held legally responsible for injuries and other damages suffered by those who use their defective products.
In all defective product cases, your product liability attorney must clearly prove liability of a manufacturer, distributor or retailer, either by some form of negligence or through strict liability.
Personal injury claims for dangerous products can be filed for one (or a combination) of four reasons:
- Design defects
- Manufacturing defects
- Failure to warn of a product’s dangers
- Strict liability (when the product is dangerous to begin with, negligence doesn’t necessarily need to be proved).
A Few Examples of Defective Products
- Vehicles – More than an inconvenience, defective vehicles can produce serious accidents and injuries. Recalls for defective airbags (Takata) and vehicle computing systems have been issued after causing hundreds of serious injuries and wrongful deaths.
- Medical devices – When defective, these can have disastrous consequences for unlucky patients. Moreover, manufacturers can often ignore the problem until it’s too late and many people are tragically affected. Prescription drugs are also a problem, as many FDA recalls are issued every year for defective or substandard drugs.
- Lithium batteries – Laptop batteries and some cell phone batteries (most recently Samsung and some Apple devices) have been recalled due to risks of explosion and overheating which can seriously injure the users of these devices.
- Other products –Dangerous children’s clothing, toys, cribs, walkers and car seats; toxic chemicals and materials; dangerous foods; and other products have been known to injure and kill many consumers.
The seasoned defective product attorneys with Kaplan Lawyers PC understand the nuances of any successful defective product lawsuit and stand ready to help you recover all legal damages from a manufacturer responsible for your injuries or the death of a beloved family member.
Proving Your Product Liability Claim or Case
In all defective product cases, your attorney must clearly prove the liability of the manufacturer, distributor or retailer.
Defective product lawsuits apply only to those products sold in the marketplace, not from person to person.
In order to be compensated for damages from a defective product, your product liability attorney must prove the following:
- You (the plaintiff) bought it from an authorized retailer of the device.
- You used it in a manner intended and kept it in reasonable working order.
- You were then injured during the product’s normal use, either because you were unaware of a defect or due to strict liability.
Sometimes many injured plaintiffs will sue the same manufacturer. These cases are bundled together in order to ease court dockets and streamline the legal process.
There are two ways to go about this:
- Class action lawsuits have one primary injured plaintiff and all the rest “attach” their lawsuits to this one victim. The judgment is then evenly divided between all victims if their claim is successful.
- A mass tort, on the other hand, keeps each individual claim intact but bundles them together in the same trial for procedural purposes. This makes each damage award unique to each plaintiff’s claim.
Your NYC product liability attorney with Kaplan Lawyers PC can clearly explain to you which option is the best route to take toward fair compensation, as well as other factors which could impact your claim or lawsuit.
Your Opponents, the Statute of Limitations, and More
You now know why manufacturers have both legal and moral obligations to safely design and build their products with reasonable care and to warn you of any inherent dangers involved in the use of them. Sadly, however, many manufacturers are under great pressure to keep costs down and increase profits. This practice can often lead them to cut corners at the expense of safety in creating their products, thereby causing consumer injuries and wrongful deaths. In order to remain in business, they must carry some form of liability insurance.
Many manufacturers, unfortunately, make it a common practice to hide behind their insurance company (and lawyers) to either evade liability altogether or to offer “low ball” settlements that do not come close to meeting your needs – or your family’s – when injured by their products.
Damages that can be won by a defective product claim may include:
- All present and future medical and rehabilitation costs
- Lost income (current and future)
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and mental anguish, as well as several wrongful death damages, such as loss of consortium, guidance, affection and support which the deceased would have continued to provide.
The statute of limitations for filing a defective product lawsuit in New York is three years after learning of the injury [NYCPLR § 214-C]. There might however, be some exceptions that could extend that time. If you or a family member has been injured by any defective product, the seasoned and experienced New York product liability lawyers with Kaplan Lawyers PC can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Please contact Kaplan Lawyers PC at 516-399-2364 or fill out our online contact form to arrange a free consultation as soon as possible. You pay nothing whatsoever unless we are able to negotiate a compensation amount that you approve, or we win your case in court.