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Injured by a Defective Product? Get Answers to the Questions You May Have

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There are a number of ways you can be injured by a defective product. You may have a defective tire that caused a car crash in which you were injured. You may have taken medication that caused undisclosed side effects. Or your child may have a toy that malfunctioned and caused injury to your son or daughter. If you have a product that caused you injury, you may choose to file a personal injury claim alleging a defective product. If this is the case, you probably have many questions running through your mind. Getting answers to these questions will help you determine if you have a solid case and what your next step should be. Here are a few frequently asked questions you may have about defective products and personal injury claims.

What Needs to Be Proven in Order to Win a Defective Product Claim?

If you are considering filing a personal injury case because of a defective product, you may wonder if you have a compensable case, or a case in which you can win. In order to win this type of case, you need to be able to prove four different elements.

  1. The first element you must be able to show to win a defective product claim is that you suffered injuries or loss due to the defective product. If the product was defective but you were not injured, you do not have a personal injury claim.
  2. The next element that you have to be able to prove is that the product was defective. For example, if you hit a curb in your car and your tire develops a bubble that causes the tire to burst, this is not a defect. However, if a tire is poorly made and the seams split for no reason while you are driving, leading to an accident, this is a defect. There has to be something wrong with the product that causes it to fail when used as designed.
  3. The next criteria that you need to meet in order to win a personal injury claim is a bit tricky. You have to prove that the defect in the product is what caused your injuries. For example, if you are in a car accident in which an air bag did not go off, you likely can't sue for a broken leg. An airbag likely wouldn't have prevented that injury from occurring. However, if the air bag didn't deploy as it should have and you suffered facial or head injuries that the air bag likely would have prevented, you may have a case.
  4. The last criteria you must prove is that you were using the product as intended and that the product wasn't altered. If you have altered the product or were using it improperly, you may not have a case.

Who Do You Sue When Injured by a Defective Product?

If you feel you can prove the four elements necessary in order to win a personal injury case caused by a defective product, you may be wondering who you should file a lawsuit against. It can be challenging to determine who to bring a suit against, and these cases can involve many different parties. Experts recommend including all parties involved in the chain of distribution in the lawsuit. These includes any companies that produced parts for the product, the company or companies that manufactured the product, and even any companies that sold the product. If a company feels they have no liability in the lawsuit, they can make their case to the judge and asked to be dismissed.

What Should Be Done When You Are Injured by a Product?

If you feel you were injured by a product, it is important to preserve as much evidence as possible. Keep the damaged item, take pictures, and have medical professionals document your injuries. Once you have done all of that, you will want to speak with a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can review the evidence and details you have and give you their professional opinion on whether the case is compensable or not. They can then help you determine the statute of limitations for your case, helping you to ensure you file before the statute expires and you lose the right to bring a case against any parties for your injuries.

Companies that make products are required to test their products and ensure they are safe for the general public. However, sometimes these products are not fully safe. They may have a manufacturing defect, fail to give proper precautions, or contain design flaws that render the product unsafe in certain conditions. If you were injured by an unsafe product, getting answers to the questions you have will help you determine if you have a personal injury case and how to proceed. Contact a personal injury lawyer through a firm like Tarkowsky & Piper Co., L.P.A. to get help.