Product LiabilityWhen to File a Defective Product Liability Claim

April 23, 2014

When a product fails and causes you harm, or monetary loss what are you supposed to do? If you’ve ever been the victim of a faulty product, then you know what a terrible situation this can be. Further complicating this matter, is the public misperception that many such cases are frivolous (i.e., like the McDonald’s Hot Coffee case). After learning the true facts however, it becomes abundantly clear that not only are they not frivolous, they are more than justified.

Understanding Your Case

If you intend to pursue a defective product claim, then you absolutely need a strong, knowledgeable lawyer specializing in these types of cases. However, before you do that check to make sure you even have a case. The laws surrounding defective product claims vary for each state, but what’s important to know is that there are a few basic requirements that will determine whether or not you should even begin this process. In order to make a case, you need to be able to prove the following through solid documentation and evidence:

  • You were using the product in the exact way it was designed to be used
  • The product failed to operate as it was intended to (it was defective)
  • You suffered an injury, or lost a substantial amount of money
  • The product defect was the cause of your harm, or financial difficulties

If you are unable to prove any of the above elements, then you might still consider meeting with a lawyer to see what can be done, but know that road ahead will be difficult. You have to know that companies are prepared for defective product liability claims, so you need to be equally prepared. The Cornell University Law School points out that what you’re trying to do is prove that a product is defective. A product can be found to be defective in three areas: design, manufacturing, and marketing. Feeling overwhelmed? That’s okay. This is just the beginning, but you can rest easy once you’ve found a lawyer you can trust to make sure your needs are met.
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