Many products cause injuries to people or even death, and this gives rise to product liability lawsuits. Since an injury is involved, the victim’s medical records become extremely important as the resource of valuable medical evidence. Medical record review helps extract this medical proof from a voluminous medical chart. A product becomes legally defective if the plaintiff can prove that it has a certain condition that makes it unsafe for its intended use or reasonably predictable uses.
Here are some important questions regarding product liability cases and answers to those questions.
- What does a person have to do so as to receive due compensation for the injury caused by the defective product?He/she will have to show that the product was defective. It must be established that the defect was already there at the time the product left the possession of the product manufacturer/supplier/retailer. The plaintiff will also have to prove that it was the defect in the product that led to the injury.
- What are the types of product defects to expect?
- Design defect – The product is flawed because of its design.
- Manufacturing defect – The product was designed properly, but the defect occurred during the manufacturing phase.
- Failure to warn – The product is otherwise safe, but the manufacturer failed to warn of a specific danger associated with the use of the product that was known or reasonably knowable to the manufacturer.
- Is there a case if the injured person does not have the equipment or device any longer?Yes, there is. Preserving the defective product is important. However, if for some reason it is no longer available, the injured person can still make a claim.
- What is meant by breach of warranty?A breach of warranty is when the seller or manufacturer makes a promise to the consumer about the product and that promise is broken at a later stage, which leads to injury and harm for the user. Warranties are usually provided verbally or in writing, or they can be implied.
- What are the damages recoverable in a product liability case?The recovery of damages depends on many factors, including state laws, the severity of the injury, and so on. Typically, the plaintiff may be able to recover economic damages such as medical expenses and loss of income; non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental trauma, injury-related disabilities and disfigurement. Punitive damages may also be available, intended to punish the perpetrator.
- Is there a time limit to file a defective product liability claim?Yes. This time or statute of limitations may vary with different states. The moment this time limit begins to run also varies with each state law. In some states the time limit begins on the date of the injury whereas in some others it doesn’t start until the injury is discovered or should have been discovered.
- How to prove that the product that caused the injury was defective?This can be proved through expert testimony. An expert or other qualified person can testify regarding a particular product’s safety.
Medical record analysis helps establish the nature and extent of the injury caused by the defective product. If the claim is to be successful, it has to be proved that a defect existed in the product and that defect caused the injury. The defense side may argue that the product is safe and without any defect, and that its negligent use by the plaintiff caused the harm. A product liability attorney with specialized expertise in the field can provide valuable support to plaintiffs and ensure a successful claim and maximum compensation.