When you buy a product from someone else, your relationship with them continues well beyond the actual transaction. Even after you pay your money and the seller delivers the product, the seller owes you a legal duty so long as you are using the product. It does not matter what the product is. If a product injures you, and you can prove that the product was defective, you may recover financial compensation.
But these lawsuits are never easy, and they require an experienced lawyer who knows how to take the fight to the biggest companies out there.
The Bakersfield product liability attorneys at Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers have done just that. In one of our major case results, we helped a man recover $3 million after a defective medical device led to a serious infection during open-heart surgery.
If you call today to share your experience with us, we can evaluate your claim for free, let you know if you have a good case, and if so, tell you how we can pursue compensation for you—and by doing so, you can protect other consumers from having to suffer the way you did.
Finances Often Take Precedence Over Safety
Unfortunately, many companies are all about profit. They care about their bottom lines. To the extent that they focus on product safety, they do not want to lose sales or be held responsible in a lawsuit. If companies are selling a product, they will often ignore reports about injuries that it causes or stay willfully ignorant because they want to keep making money. Warning labels and recalls are bad for business, and companies answer to their shareholders.
Companies cannot get away with selling you anything. You can file a lawsuit against them if their products have injured you. This applies to anyone in the chain of commerce for that particular product. It does not matter who you sue. It is up to everyone else to worry about who needs to pay the damages. What is important to you is that you were injured by a defective product and deserve compensation.
Products Can Injure You 24 Hours Each Day
There are many things that you might not think of as products for which you can receive compensation. Anytime you get a physical item from someone else, it’s a product. For example, the medical device that a doctor inserts into your body during a surgical procedure is a product under the law. The lettuce that you buy in the grocery store is also a product.
There is no time when you are not at risk of being injured by a defective product. Given that medications are considered a product, you can even suffer an injury while you sleep. Your best hope is that companies sell you safe products. However, even when they are not, they will go to every length possible to avoid paying for the damages that their product has caused.
What to Do if a Defective Product injured you
If you suspect that a defective product injured you, your first steps are to see a doctor and a lawyer. A medical professional will establish and document your injuries and provide treatment. They will provide you with medical records that form the basis of your claim.
Keep the product. Don’t return it to the store or manufacturer. Don’t try to repair it. Contact Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers. If we take your case, give the product to us to use as evidence.
Our lawyer can investigate and:
- Develop the facts behind your case.
- Come up with the legal basis for recovering financial compensation.
How a Product Liability Lawyer Will Handle Your Case
To establish that a defective product injured you, your lawyer may:
- Hire a scientific or technical expert to review the evidence about the product to help determine whether it is defective. Qualified experts are allowed to give their opinion in court.
- They can review the manufacturer’s records to learn about defects. Your lawyer will work hard to obtain these records during the discovery process. You can take depositions under oath from the manufacturer’s employees to learn more about what happened from the inside.
- Your lawyer can review government and industry standards to see if the manufacturer followed them in making the product. Failure to follow these laws can be evidence on its own of a defective product.
- Reports from similar injuries suffered by others can be evidence of product defects.
- Changes that the product manufacturer made after your injury can show that they took steps to correct a defect and may prove that something was wrong with the product.
Why Product Liability Lawsuits Scare Defendants
Manufacturers and sellers have every reason to fear you when you come forward with a product liability lawsuit. When these cases go to a jury, the jury can hit them with multimillion-dollar verdicts. The chances are that you were not the only one hurt by their product. Now, take a multimillion-dollar verdict and multiply it by hundreds or thousands of injured consumers. For many businesses, this is really “bet the company litigation.” You can be certain that the defendants will spare no effort and expense to defeat your claim.
Your product liability claim begins when you file a lawsuit in court. This lawsuit will give a point-by-point recitation of the facts. It will also include the legal counts that will entitle you to relief.
Your lawyer will first try to prove that the product itself is defective. If they are successful, the defendant will be strictly liable, and they will have very few defenses to your case. This is the last thing that the defendant wants, and they will put up a strong fight to keep from reaching this point, but they do not always win.
The Three Ways to Prove Strict Liability in Your Lawsuit
You can prove three different product defects:
- Manufacturing defects – something went wrong in the manufacturing process, where the product doesn’t fit its specifications and is unreasonably dangerous. For example, there may be a problem with a particular product batch because there was an issue with the assembly line or the particular raw materials used.
- Design defects – here, you must prove that the risks of the design outweighed the benefits. These are problems that the manufacturer may have even known about when they were designing the product. Design defects are hard to define precisely. Often, juries know them when they see them.
- Marketing defects – a manufacturer has a legal obligation to provide adequate warnings of the dangers of its products if they knew or should have known about them. In many product liability cases, corporate documents show that companies knew about defects in their products for decades and did absolutely nothing.
The largest verdicts come when companies hide evidence of product defects from the public or do everything that they can to convince the public that the product was safe, even when they knew that it was dangerous.
Many juries take strong action to send a message to these companies. Companies such as
Johnson & Johnson and Bayer had to deal with massive verdicts that included punitive damages when their public statements and actions did not match their private worry and concern about the safety of their products. Makers of paraquat may face similar retribution from juries angry about the continued marketing and sale of a product long associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Other Ways to Get Financial Compensation for Product Liability Injuries
In addition to strict liability, you can also file lawsuits under other legal theories that include:
- Negligence – a company and its employees owe a duty of care to potential purchasers of their products. If anyone was careless in designing or manufacturing the product, the company can be held liable.
- Breach of warranty – products do not meet express or implied warranties that they will do what the manufacturer says they will.
- Fraud – defendants can be liable for fraud when they make representations about their product that they know are not true.
Product liability lawsuits are usually a multi-year process, especially when you are among one of the first people to file the case. It can be years before your case goes to trial because these lawsuits are so evidence-intensive. Your lawyer will spend a long time during your case trying to obtain evidence from the defendant through the discovery process
You may need someone to comb through millions of pages of corporate documents. In some cases, your legal team may even find the smoking gun email that shows that the company knew of the danger of their product all along. This is exactly what happened to defendants like Johnson & Johnson and Bayer, and it led to billions of dollars of legal liability. An aggressive lawyer will put pressure on the defendants at all phases of the case.
Damages in a Product Liability Case
The damages can be considerable in your product liability case. You are legally entitled to receive both economic and non-economic damages when a product has hurt you. Economic damages refer to the money that came out of your pocket or should have come into your pocket. Non-economic damages pay you back for the experience that you endured and other intangible losses.
Your damages in a product liability case can include:
- Lost income – you can be paid for missing time from work or if your earning power suffers from your injury.
- Pain and suffering – the defendant must pay for both the physical pain and the mental challenges that the injury caused.
- Medical bills – all costs to treat your injury, both in the past and future, must be paid back to you.
- Emotional distress – your mental anguish from the injury.
- Wrongful death – if your loved one died from their injuries, your family can be paid back for your losses and injury from losing a family member. This can include what the loved one would have earned during their career and financial compensation for losing their love, support, and guidance.
You have two years from the time that you knew or should have known that you were injured to file a product liability lawsuit. You should not delay because it can take years to get your money. When you call the attorneys at Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers, we will get right to work investigating your injury and developing the basis for your lawsuit. We are not afraid to go up against the most elite law firms in the country when the facts and law are on your side.
Do not let money concerns get in the way of the legal help that you need. We do not ask you to pay us anything upfront. Not only is the initial consultation free, but you do not need to pay us anything unless you win your case. There should be nothing standing between you and the legal help that you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to hire a product liability attorney?
There is no legal requirement to hire a product liability attorney, but the odds of you winning a case against a powerful company on your own are extremely slim. You are often up against some of the top law firms in the country in these cases.
Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers
How long will my product liability case take?
This is where you need to bear down for the long haul. These cases take years from start to finish, especially when you are one of the first ones to file. Companies rarely settle your case immediately because your action can be one of hundreds or thousands that they face. They will only operate as part of an overall legal strategy designed to lessen what they pay overall.
Will my product liability case settle?
Maybe. Most of these cases are not like car accident lawsuits, where only one plaintiff brings a claim. You can expect that the defendant will do everything that they can to get the case dismissed. They will likely fight the first few cases if lawyers consolidate them into multidistrict litigation.
Contact a Bakersfield Product Liability Attorney
If a defective product injured you or your loved one, you are not powerless. You can hold a large company accountable. Not only can you get financial compensation, but you can force change when you come forward. Never go it alone. Call the lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers at (661) 371-3588 or contact us online to set up a time to discuss your case.