What to Do if You’re Injured By a Defective Product
Have you recently been injured by a defective product? What do you do now? Can you sue? Read on to find out.
Our society has reached a point where we don’t often need to worry about experiencing bodily harm from a defective product.
Unfortunately, however, incidents do sometimes occur where someone needs to seek medical and legal aid due to a product malfunction. We all remember the numerous reports by consumers of their Galaxy Note 7 phones catching fire and even exploding.
When a product does not work as intended and injures the user, it’s important to know what steps to take in order to get the proper settlement.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
Get Medical Attention
While the first things on your mind may be the concern about your product no longer working or the amount of money you may have spent on it, you must prioritize your health.
The definition of “defective product” here can be broad. But, there are many common types of devices and equipment that could result in bodily injury to the user. Some of these include:
- Automotive equipment
- Consumer products, such as furniture, smartphones, and other electronics
- Building materials
- Workplace equipment
Thus, getting injured by a malfunctioning product is more likely than you might expect.
Regardless of what injury you received or what source it came from, it’s imperative that you seek treatment. Not only will this ensure that your condition doesn’t worsen, but it also creates documentation that you can use during your case to prove that you were injured.
Without actual injury or monetary loss from using a product that malfunctioned, you have no case. See a medical professional as soon as possible!
Take a Look at The Facts
After you seek medical treatment (but before you get excited about being victorious in a lawsuit), you’ll need to take a step back and look at the situation for what it is.
Nobody wants to make a product liability claim they can’t win. If you were not using the product as intended by the manufacturer at the time of the incident, you can say goodbye to any chance you have of succeeding in court.
For example, most furniture has a listed weight limit in the owner’s manual. If you had a small coffee table that you stacked pounds and pounds of books and trinkets on top of that broke over your foot, you may not have a case.
Thus, it’s very important to understand the circumstances in which the defect happened.
Another common incident is for people to stand on a table or chair to reach the ceiling.
Is this an unusual scenario? It’s not smart, but it’s not unusual.
But, is it the manufacturer’s fault that you slipped and fell? Unfortunately for you, it’s not.
However, if you were injured by a product that you were using as intended, it could be worth pursuing.
Keep The Evidence
This is a step in the process where many people ruin their chances of being awarded any sort of settlement. All too often it can be tempting to clean up the scene and forget to take pictures of what occurred.
If you become injured by a product, leave the area exactly how it is and seek medical attention. Afterwards, you should return to the scene and take as many pictures as you can.
Pictures of the product, the setting in which you were using it, and the harm it caused to you are all crucial to building your case. After all, your claim means nothing without the evidence to back it up.
To help speed up the process in the courtroom, it would be wise to store the evidence somewhere safe, if possible. This will allow people to see firsthand what happened to the product and how it affected you and your surroundings.
It’s also important to preserve as many documents about the product as possible, including manuals, labels, etc.
Once you have everything accounted for, you begin to…
Search For The Right Lawyer
Like with any court case, you’ll want to hire a reliable attorney that you can trust. In order to find one, there are a few characteristics you’ll want to look for.
How long has your potential attorney been practicing law?
While not all inexperienced lawyers are legal professionals who will perform poorly (we all start somewhere), you’ll have a better chance of coming out victorious if you hire someone who’s done cases like these numerous times.
Furthermore, you’ll want to research how many product liability cases they’ve actually won.
This can often be a dealbreaker when looking for an attorney. Some product liability attorneys specialize in cases that result in monetary loss and not necessarily bodily harm.
Thus, you’ll want to make sure that your legal professional is as relevant as possible before you hire them.
Product liability cases can be tough since it puts you and your lawyer up against an entire company. Many of these companies have millions to spend on legal defense.
Unless a solo practitioner has massive amounts of capital and resources, it isn’t very likely they’ll come out on top. A Birmingham defective products attorney who has the backing of a firm is much more likely to be successful.
Injury From a Defective Product Can Be Stressful
But it will help to know that, with the right legal assistance, you’ll be able to get the defective product justice you deserve.
Want to learn more useful legal facts that can help you in the future? Check out our blog.
Or, if you want to know if you may have a case, contact us today!