An injury or fatality that results in a product liability claim can happen at any time. There typically is an increase in product-related injuries around the holidays when many items are purchased and used for the first time.
When you’re injured as a result of a defective product—around the holidays or anytime—you deserve compensation. That’s true whether your injury is severe or minor.
Keep in mind that an incident that you or others might write off as being caused by a “user error” may actually be due to a product defect. If you or a loved one is affected by a defective or hazardous product, you should contact a product liability lawyer. They can help you understand your rights and pursue fair compensation.
What Is a Product Liability Claim?
Product liability occurs when someone is hurt or killed by a product that doesn’t meet applicable standards. People tend to buy more products at this time of year to give as gifts, and when those items malfunction, injuries can occur. A second reason for the increase in claims is that people travel more frequently around the holidays. When they do, the products they rely on in their travels can be defective and cause an injury or fatality.
Products or components that are commonly the subject of product liability claims include:
- Vehicle airbags and seat belt features
- Vehicle tires
- Vehicle roofs (in the event of a rollover accident)
- Child car safety seats
- Medical devices
- Consumer electronics
- Sports equipment
If you’re hurt by a product failure and seek compensation—as you should—you and your product liability attorney must prove your case meets three criteria:
- The product was defective.
- It was defective when it “left the defendant’s hand,” so to speak.
- You were injured as a result of the defect.
That may sound easy, but the defendant’s insurance company and lawyers will try to prove that one or more of those elements is absent. They may also try to get you to settle for less than the case warrants.
There are many nuances in personal injury cases. If you don’t have a personal injury lawyer advocating on your behalf, you can be denied the compensation you deserve. You can also find yourself in financial distress due to time off of work and injuries that flare up again after the fact.
Determining Liability Related to Defective Products
A defective-product attorney can help you understand product liability law and the three main categories of lawsuits that it governs:
- Defective design. Companies that design and manufacture products must ensure they’re safe for the intended use and users. A good example is toys developed for children. They can’t include small parts that can create a choking hazard.
- Defective manufacturing. Some products are properly designed, but problems occur during manufacturing. Medications are an example. If incorrect or contaminated ingredients are included, the product can harm users and result in a liability claim.
- Failure to warn or marketing defects. Companies have a legal obligation to indicate on product labels who they’re intended for and how they should be used to ensure safety. For example, imagine a company making a household cleaning product that can react dangerously with other chemicals. If they don’t market the product accurately or they fail to caution users about the issue on the label, they can be found liable for resulting injuries.
Getting to the heart of a product issue requires working with a product liability attorney skilled and experienced in this area.
How To Pursue a Product Liability Case
The best way to obtain fair compensation is to work with a product liability lawyer who can serve as a guide in this complicated legal area. Reaching out to an attorney should be one of the first things you do.
Before that, however, you should:
- Get treatment for your injury.
- Write down the specifics of the incident, including when and where it happened, how you were using the product, etc.
- Gather documents related to the item, including a purchase receipt (if available), product packaging and documentation, and marketing materials.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer You Can Trust
Suffering a product injury can be a disorienting experience. That’s why we offer a free, informative Product Liability Guide. We encourage you to download it if you’ve been affected by a product defect. We’re also happy to answer questions about a product liability case and represent you should you decide to seek compensation.
If you have been injured by a malfunctioning product, you’re not alone. Pursuing a product liability case is an important decision—one that can bring justice to you and countless others who have also been injured by the faulty product. Your case can help deter big manufacturing companies from cutting corners and placing unsafe products on the market in the future.
Call Ginnis & Krathen if you need assistance and guidance from an attentive and responsive product liability attorney in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area.