As a consumer, you purchase, use, and interact with many products each day. If one of these products has a flaw that causes you to be injured by it, you should be able to file a claim for compensation. Product liability law is the legal area that handles injury cases involving a product or other object which causes injury. If you believe you may have a case, but still have some questions, we’re here to answer them. Here are some of the most common questions we encounter at Denver product liability attorneys.
What Types of Product Liability Claims Are There?
If you have been injured, your first step (after getting medical care) is to determine what type of product liability claim you will be making. These claims are divided up into three main categories:
- Defectively manufactured: These claims are applicable when the product was manufactured incorrectly, either at the factory, or at some point between the factory and when it was purchased, such as in-store assembly.
- Defectively designed: The product’s design is dangerous, even though it was manufactured correctly according to the design. Typically, these cases occur when an entire line of faulty products is produced and are unreasonably dangerous.
- Inadequate warnings or instructions: The product does not come with appropriate directions for safe use or warning labels, and as a result, a user was injured. These are also known as “defective” marketing claims.
Who is Liable If I am Injured by a Defective Product?
It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly who is at fault for these types of accidents, so it is likely that you will need to include every party involved in the “chain of distribution," or the path a product takes between its creation and its distribution to you.
Typically, the chain of distribution includes the manufacturer, retailers, and possible suppliers, wholesalers, and distributors in between them. Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you may also need to include consultants, contractors, quality-control engineers, designers, and any other party with a connection to the product in question.
What Do I Need to Prove to Win My Case?
The evidence you need to present will depend greatly on the details of your case. You will need to provide evidence to prove 4 basic elements of your claim:
- That you were injured or suffered some kind of damage.
- That the product in your case was defective or lacked proper instructions or warnings.
- That the defect or lack of instructions or warnings was the cause of your injuries or damages.
- That you were using the defective item in the expected and intended manner of use.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
In Alaska, you have 2 years from the date of your injury to file a claim. This is called the statute of limitations. After this deadline has passed, it is unlikely that you claim will be permitted. Alaska does have a discovery rule, which extends this deadline to 2 years past the date your injury was discovered, or should have been discovered.
What Kinds of Compensation Can I Ask For in My Claim?
One of the main aspects of your claim will be determining what types and amounts of damages you have suffered. “Damages” is a term used to define the monetary amount paid to a plaintiff to compensate them for the injuries and loses they suffered in the accident.
Damages fall into two categories: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are meant to repay the plaintiff’s losses and restore them to the state they were in before they were injured by assigning a dollar value to their injuries and losses. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant if they were found to have acted in an especially negligent way and to deter others from acting in the same way.
Typically, you will be seeking compensatory damages, since punitive damages are fairly rare in product liability cases. It is possible that you may be awarded punitive damages, however, if your case goes to court.
Still Have Questions? Call Our Denver Product Liability Lawyers – (888) 711-5947
Have you been injured by a defective product? You may be able to file a claim and recover compensation for your losses. At The Gilbert Law Group, P.C., we’re dedicated to helping injured individuals and their families fight for their rights and ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable for the harm that was caused. Our Denver product liability attorneys are on your side.