How do you know if a product defect caused your injuries if it’s not one of those product liability cases sensationalized by the media? It’s common knowledge that Low T medication can cause heart disease. Frequent TV commercials remind viewers of the causal relationship of asbestos to mesothelioma. a href=”http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-17/huge-u-s-jury-awards-in-2014-may-foretell-trouble-for-carmakers” target =”_blank”>A recent Bloomberg article discussed huge jury awards due to diabetes medication, tobacco, and GM’s auto ignition switch. But what if the defective product that caused your injury has not yet made the headlines?
With the right information, a product liability attorney can help you determine if a defective product contributed to your injuries. But if you don’t even realize that you might be entitled to compensation, you might never see the need for legal consultation. It’s important to know and protect your rights even before you meet with a product liability attorney. Here are a few things to consider.
What is product liability?
Products are goods created, distributed, and sold for profit. The product packaging, instructions for use, or promises that the item is fit for the intended purpose can also be considered in evaluating your case. If any of these components caused or contributed to your injuries, you may have a valid product liability claim.
What if you can’t identify the product manufacturer?
Any entity that participates in placing a product into your hands could be legally liable for your injuries. You may have a valid claim against the manufacturer, importer, distributor, or retailer. Anyone who alters a product from its original configuration might also be held legally responsible for your product-related injuries. If you can identify only one of the entities along the chain of distribution, you can make a claim against them and they will likely place everyone else on notice.
Do you have to own the product to have a valid claim?
If a borrowed or rented product contributed to your injuries or you were hurt while using a product on the job, you may still have a valid product liability claim. In fact, for an employee injured on the job, a product liability claim is often the only recourse for collecting money for pain and suffering.
What if an insurance adjuster contacts you about your claim?
When you contact a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer about your product liability claim, they may turn it over to their insurance company for investigation. Here are a few important things to consider before a liability adjuster contacts you,
- Never admit liability – Your actions might not have contributed to your injuries, but if you mistakenly admit liability, the adjuster will consider your admission when it’s time to settle your claim or deny liability.
- Don’t agree to a recorded interview – If you say the wrong thing, you could destroy your chances of recovering the money you deserve.
- Never give up the product – Getting a defective product is priority number one for a liability adjuster. They’ll want to have it tested by an expert to verify or disprove any defect that you allege, but don’t give it to them. Once you turn a defective product over to someone else, you lose control of it and might never be able to prove your case.
Do you need an attorney to protect your rights?
Product liability claims can get complicated. Presenting a winning case may involve analysis of complex legal theories, complicated issues, and expert tests. A product liability attorney will know how best to protect your legal rights. That’s why it’s important to set up a consultation as soon as possible.