People are commonly injured in accidents that result from using a product or the failure of a product to function as advertised by the manufacturer. Sometimes the injuries occur in isolated situations, and other times they occur in more common accidents like a vehicle crash. Product liability claims have actually been on the increase in the past few years because of the air bag issues that have triggered recalls of very many car models dating as far back as 2000. The problem is so significant that all auto accident attorneys now look for any sign of airbag deployment as a material evidence in an auto accident injury case because it could easily result in additional damages for their client.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission
When problems are significant and a large number of lawsuits are settled indicating a defective product, the Consumer Product Safety Commission regularly investigates the evidence and issues an official government recall when the problem is severe. Product types registered on the official recall list can be identified by a product liability attorney for potential damage pursuit, which is additional compensation beyond a personal injury claims with a primary distributor of a defective product. Manufacturers, sales outlets, and even employers could also be held liable for selling or using a defective product in their business, with the manufacturer claim being governed by strict liability.
Proving the Claim
Some product liability claims stem from isolated incidents of consumer use or product malfunction, which are cases that can be difficult legal tasks because the product in question has not produced similar prior injuries. Product liability cases are always strongly defended unless the government recall action has forced the establishment of a trust fund for injured victims. Even then, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff legal counsel to prove the injury is related to the use of a particular product. The rules of strict liability exempt the injured plaintiff attorney from proving negligence on the part of the manufacturer because they are liable for their products from the moment they reach the market.
Compensatory damages can range widely in a product liability claim, based on the extent of personal injury and impact on the injured victim’s life. Compensation for loss of income and medical bills are the first items addressed, and potential physical property compensation when an automobile accident results from a part malfunction. Life impact components often include general non-economic damages for pain-and-suffering for the remainder of their life as well. This can be a very large amount in many cases because it can also include future medical bill coverage for long term damage. When cases go to trial, a sympathetic jury may also assign punitive damages meant to serve as punishment for the defendants, which usually results in a claimant being made whole in an award.