After class today, I began researching more personal injury laws to prepare myself for post-graduate life. I know that product liability is a large practice area for many personal injury lawyers, so I figured it would be smart to learn more about it. There are many products that can malfunction and injure consumers, and manufacturers must be held accountable for their negligence in these circumstances.
Product liability laws can vary from state to state. Although I’m studying law in California, I figured North Carolina was a good place to research in case I ever want to be a Raleigh or Charlotte personal injury lawyer one day.
Commonly Defective Products
Products malfunction every day but not all defective products warrant a lawsuit. To file a products liability claim and win a settlement, you must suffer damages because of your product malfunction. Electronics, children’s toys, car parts, and pharmaceuticals are some of the most commonly defective products that result in claims.
Proving Liability Against a Product Manufacturer
Although some states recognize strict liability against product manufacturers, North Carolina doesn’t. To win a settlement in your product liability claim, you must use evidence to prove the product was defective and it caused your injuries. Evidence may include an investigation of the product itself and medical documentation.
Recoverable Damages in Your Products Liability Claim
Once you can prove a product manufacturer is at fault for your product malfunction, you can recover both economic and non-economic damages. You may receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and property damage. You may also receive compensation for pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In some product liability cases, the product manufacturer won’t be at fault. Occasionally, you can pinpoint fault on a product distributor, a packaging company, or the store that sold you the product. You may need the support of an experienced attorney to prove your case and receive the maximum settlement.
I think product liability laws are some of the most interesting in personal injury litigation. No one buys a product thinking it’ll injure them, but when one does, it can change their life forever. Whether it’s a one-time occurrence or a company has distributed hundreds of defective products, you must demand justice for your mistreatment and work to change the company’s processes in the future.