If you’ve been injured while using a defective product, you may have a product liability case on your hands. But what does it really take to be entitled to product liability compensation?
Today, we live in a world where more than ever we hear stories of people, including our friends and family members, being harmed by defective products. Each day, manufacturers across the U.S. make and sell millions of products. Not to mention all those other millions of products that cross the American borders from abroad every single day.
Whether you’ve purchased a toy, cookware, car, or any other equipment or machinery, you never know what this specific product may do to you, as cases when consumers suffer injuries or even die from using defective products have been on the rise in recent years.
So what do you do? This is the question we asked our Los Angeles product liability attorney at JML Law to outline what things – or elements, if you may – need to be proven in order to obtain monetary compensation for your injuries, losses and damages sustained while using a defective product.
1. You were injured or suffered losses
Plain and simple. If there is no injury or monetary loss (think: property damage, vehicle damage, etc.), you will most likely not be able to file a product liability claim and hope for any sort of financial compensation – no matter what kind of horrible things COULD HAVE happened to you or your loved ones.
Even if a defective and dangerous product ALMOST killed you or caused the destruction of your apartment (or even the entire house), you will most likely not be entitled to compensation unless you’ve been actually injured or suffered losses.
In this case, it’s vital to be represented by a product liability lawyer who would examine your particular circumstances to come up with a comprehensive legal strategy that would help you prove your injuries, losses and damages.
2. The product is defective
Obviously, you must prove that the product that caused injuries or losses is defective. But our best product liability attorneys in Los Angeles noted that simply proving that the product is defective is NOT enough.
In order to be able to sue the manufacturer, retailer, wholesaler, assembler, installer and other parties in the distribution chain, you must PROVE that the product was defective, faulty or otherwise dangerous BEFORE it left the possession of the manufacturer, distributor or retailer.
The only way to do that is to hire a skilled attorney who can trace the movement of the product all the way up the distribution chain, determine its defectiveness at each stage of shipping from the manufacturer to the consumer, do a thorough examination of similar products of the same manufacturer, and help you obtain an expert’s conclusion.
When proving the product’s defectiveness, your product liability lawsuit will be categorized as either “defectively manufactured,” “defectively designed,” or “defective marketing.” It’s essential to get legal help to know which category your particular case falls into.
3. That defect caused your injury
As absurd as it may sound, proving that you WERE injured and that the product is indeed defective is not enough. Our attorneys at JML Law explain that you must have documented proof and be able to demonstrate specifically that your injury was caused by the defect itself.
4. The product was used in a reasonably foreseeable way
In other words, you used the product as it was intended. A rule of thumb is that you must use a product in a way that the manufacturer instructs you to.
However, if you were injured when you didn’t use the product precisely and exactly as instructed in the specifications, you may still be able to file a lawsuit.
Our Los Angeles product liability lawyers explain that if a manufacturer could reasonably expect a regular consumer to use the product in a way that could cause injuries, then you can still hold the manufacturer accountable for your injuries or losses.
Consult our best attorneys at JML Law about your particular case. Call our Los Angeles offices at 818-610-8800 or send us an email.