You may be entitled to compensation if a product injured you, whether it was defective brake pads, a malfunctioning medical device, or a medication that did not warn of side effects. These types of personal injury cases can be especially challenging, calling for extensive investigative legwork. Often, internal documents from the product or device manufacturer will have to be subpoenaed to prove how the defect occurred and how the company failed to address it. To fight and win the compensation you deserve, you need legal representatives with experience handling cases similar to yours and bringing them to a successful conclusion. Kogan & DiSalvo has the capabilities and resources to take on big car companies, medical device manufacturers, tech companies, or any other business that chooses to put its bottom line over public safety. Key questions our Vero Beach product liability lawyers can help you answer are:
- What is the type of product liability?
- Who is liable?
- What is your potential compensation?
With our network of investigators and expert witnesses, we can gather the hard evidence needed to prove your case and establish the full value of your damages. Compensation in these cases can include medical costs both now and in the future, lost wages or reduced future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. In some cases where the at-fault party’s conduct was especially reckless or egregious, punitive damages may also be available.
Call to schedule a free consultation today to discuss your rights under the law and options for taking legal action against the parties responsible for your injuries.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability law allows injured parties to recover money damages for losses they sustain because of a defective or malfunctioning product. Claims can be made based on:
- Manufacturing Defect: A manufacturing defect could be caused, for example, by a faulty assembly machine in a manufacturing plant that assembles brake pads. The poorly manufactured brake pads then malfunction, requiring longer to brake, which causes an accident.
- Design Defect: This occurs when the product was built to specifications, but the schematics or other aspects of the design are defective, which will result in a product that is dangerous to consumers.
- Failure to Warn: Companies must disclose to customers the known or potential risks associated with using their product – if they do not, they could be liable for a failure to warn. A recent, real-world example includes a treadmill that Peloton did not warn is unsafe for children. The treadmill was tied to one child’s death and several others’ injuries.
Theories of Product Liability
To win your case, your legal team needs to prove liability on the part of the manufacturer, distributor, or other at-fault party. Arguments for liability can be based on:
To legally establish that the defendant was negligent, you must show that:
- The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff, such as making a reasonably safe product;
- The defendant breached that duty;
- The plaintiff suffered an injury; and
- The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused this injury.
If you sue under the theory of “strict liability,” you must prove only that the product was defective and that it hurt you. In strict liability claims, the defendant’s intent or knowledge regarding the defect is irrelevant.
Breach of Warranty
A warranty represents that a product will function in a particular way. If a product is not safe to use or malfunctions, it implies a breach of the manufacturer’s or seller’s warranty. There are different kinds of warranties:
- Express Warranties: These are guarantees that are explicitly made. A manufacturer could state that a car can go from zero to sixty in five seconds.
- Implied Warranty of Fitness: An implied warranty of fitness is a guarantee that a product for a specific use is safe. Violation of this type of warranty could include snow tires that are unsafe to use in the snow.
- Implied Warranty of Merchantability: This implies a guarantee that an item is reasonably safe to use for the purpose(s) for which it is intended. This could include a warranty, for example, that the brakes of your car will work when you hit the brake pedal.
Who Is Liable for a Product Liability Claim?
Liability for an injury stemming from the use of a product can fall on several different parties, including the manufacturer, the distributor, or the retailer. A product liability case can be pursued against multiple defendants simultaneously.
You can pursue a claim against the manufacturer of the product, and/or the manufacturer of a particular part that was used in the product and contributed in some way to the defect.
Distributors are intermediaries between the manufacturer and the retailer. In some cases, distributors can also be held liable despite not designing or creating a defect in the product. For instance, if a defective product was made by a foreign manufacturer that is outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts, plaintiffs may be able to sue the U.S.-based distributor.
Retailers can also be held responsible in product liability cases. When they advertise items for sale, they imply that the products are safe for use.
Compensation in product liability cases will depend on the extent of the losses suffered by the injured party.
Damages can include:
- Medical bills (past, present, and future)
- Lost wages (past, present, and future)
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of quality of life
Should the product cause death, then loved ones of the deceased may pursue a wrongful death claim. Damages in these claims can include loss of companionship and lost wages that the victim was earning at the time of death and would reasonably have been expected to earn in the future.
When you file a legal claim for damages, the opposing side will do everything possible to undermine your claim and underestimate the value of your losses. That’s why it’s so important to consult with a Vero Beach injury lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo. We know how to calculate the full extent of your damages, and we won’t be satisfied with recovering anything less than the true amount that you are rightfully owed.
How Kogan & DiSalvo Can Help
You’ve been hurt through no fault of your own and the responsible parties should pay. Our defective product lawyers in Vero Beach are ready to make this happen for you and your family. We’re not afraid to take on big companies with deep pockets and teams of lawyers. We’ve beaten them before, and we’re eager to put our experience to work on your behalf.
Our goal is to help clients get their lives back on track with minimal disruption or inconvenience. Let us worry about the lawsuit so that you can focus fully on recovery. You can do so with peace of mind, knowing that we will always work in your best interests and keep communication channels open the entire time. You’ll be kept informed about your case every step of the way, and no key decisions will be made without your consent.
Call now for a free consultation; there is no obligation to hire us afterward. Since we work on a contingency fee basis, you will not pay attorney’s fees unless we win compensation on your behalf.