If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of that product. All companies have a legal duty to ensure their products are safe for consumers before these products are made available on the market. When a company releases a defective product that ends up injuring consumers, those who have suffered these injuries have legal rights – including the right to sue the manufacturer.
At the Cottle Firm, our Las Vegas product liability lawyers help our clients recover damages for injuries caused by defective products. You may be able to recover financial compensation for all damages related to your injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact the Cottle Firm today to learn more about filing a product liability lawsuit.
Types of Product Liability Cases
Product liability lawsuits can be filed for various forms of manufacturer negligence. To have a valid claim, you and your product liability lawyer must prove that the defect directly caused your injuries and that you would not have been injured if it weren’t for the defect. Let’s take a look at the main types of product liability cases.
A product liability lawsuit may be filed based on the defective design if an entire line of products has the same dangerous defect. In these cases, there need not be any error by an individual employee. Rather, those responsible for designing the product made an error that made the product inherently dangerous.
Some examples of design defects that have led to injuries and high-profile product liability lawsuits include:
- A defectively designed SUV that is prone to rolling over
- The Takata airbag case, which resulted in a huge recall for defective airbags, caused at least 16 deaths and hundreds of injuries
- In 2008, GM was sued for product liability for allegedly using a harmful chemical in its Dex-Cool coolant, which led to leaks and engine damage
- The 1998 Dow Corning breast implant lawsuit – the company settled for $3.2 billion after customers reported that their implants ruptured and caused serious injuries.
- Defective medical devices – for example, in 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning regarding complications caused by transvaginal mesh implants
Manufacturing defects occur when an error happens during the creation of a specific item. A common example is a worker making a mistake when assembling a product at a factory. These errors are unique to single products, rather than inherent defects that affect the entire supply of a certain product.
For example, let’s say you were injured in a car accident caused by defective brakes. The defect was present in the brakes in your specific vehicle, but this defect was not common in other vehicles that used the same brakes. In this instance, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit based on a manufacturing defect.
Also known as “failure to warn”, marketing defects occur when a product manufacturer fails to warn consumers about the inherent risks of a particular product. The product manufacturer may only be held liable if the danger was not obvious to consumers. For instance, a manufacturer cannot be sued for failing to warn that a knife is sharp, as this should be obvious to the consumer.
In a product liability lawsuit for failure to warn, the plaintiff must show that the manufacturer failed to provide sufficient warnings or instructions for safely using the product and that this failure directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
What Must Be Proven in a Product Liability Claim?
Most personal injury cases are filed based on negligence, but product liability cases can be more complicated. A product liability claim can also be filed based on negligence, along with strict liability or breach of warranty. Let’s take a look at all three of these reasons for filing a product liability case.
To file a product liability claim for negligence, the plaintiff must show that the manufacturer was reckless, careless, or otherwise negligent in either the design of the product, manufacturing of the product, or both. You must also prove that the product defect directly caused your injuries and led to related damages.
To win the case, you or your product liability lawyer must prove that someone involved in the manufacturing of the product had a duty of care to the consumer and that this duty of care was breached through negligence. Essentially, you must prove that the manufacturer knew or should have known about the defect, but failed to adequately address it.
Nevada is one of several states that follows the strict liability standard for product liability claims, rather than negligence. Under this standard, companies can be held liable for injuries caused by their defective products, even if negligence was not involved.
In essence, strict liability is a type of liability that does not consider fault. To file a product liability lawsuit based on strict liability, you only need to prove that you were injured due to a defect in the product. You do not need to prove that the defendant acted recklessly, carelessly, or negligently in any way.
If your injuries were caused by an inherent defect in the product’s design, manufacturing defect, or failure to warn, you may file a product liability lawsuit in Nevada.
Breach of Warranty
Many products come with warranties or guarantees. If an injury occurs because of a defect that violated the product warranty, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit based on breach of warranty.
Consumers often rely on how the seller represents their product in the warranty. When the product fails to live up to the promises of the warranty and an injury happens, the injury victim may have grounds for a lawsuit.
How Can a Product Liability Lawyer Help?
A product liability lawyer is a personal injury lawyer who represents clients that have been injured by defective products.
Skilled product liability lawyers understand both federal and state product liability laws and how these laws apply to their client’s cases. They must be able to analyze the evidence to determine if their client has a case. In addition, they must have strong negotiation and litigation skills to represent their clients and secure a fair amount of financial compensation based on the damages suffered.
If you have been injured by a defective product, you should strongly consider hiring a Las Vegas product liability lawyer. At the Cottle Firm, our product liability lawyers can help you determine if you have a viable case by investigating the accident, analyzing the evidence, and consulting with experts in related fields. From there, we will help you understand which legal options are available to you.
What Should You Do After an Injury Caused by a Defective Product?
If you have recently been injured by a defective product, there are several steps you should take to protect yourself and increase your chances of success when filing a product liability claim:
- Seek medical care – Like any other type of injury, defective product injuries should be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible. This can help make your injury recovery smoother, along with providing key documentation when filing a product liability claim.
- Gather evidence – You will need evidence to prove that your injuries were directly caused by the defective product. Take photos of your injuries and the product, compile receipts or other forms of proof of purchase, and gather any correspondence between you and the manufacturer, retailer, or any other party that may have been at fault.
- Consider speaking with a product liability lawyer – While you may file a product liability lawsuit on your own, it is usually best to have legal guidance from an experienced product liability lawyer. He or she can evaluate all of the circumstances of your case and help you determine if you should file a lawsuit.
What Are the Steps in a Product Liability Claim?
If a product liability lawyer determines that you have a valid claim, you will likely go through the following steps:
- Filing the lawsuit – Your product liability lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf, which will request a certain amount of financial compensation based on the damages suffered.
- Discovery – During discovery, both the plaintiff and defendant exchange information and evidence related to the case. This may include depositions, written questions, and document requests.
- Negotiation – Both parties may negotiate a settlement after discovery to avoid going to trial. Your lawyer can attempt to reach an agreement on an amount that sufficiently compensates you for damages related to your injuries.
- Trial – If a settlement is not reached, the case may go to trial. A jury will determine if the defendant was at fault and a judge may award an amount that he or she deems fair.
Learn More From Our Las Vegas Product Liability Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, the Las Vegas product liability lawyers of the Cottle Firm want to help you recover the financial compensation you need and deserve. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options.