What Do You Need to Prove to Win a Product Liability Case?

A product liability lawyer assists those severely injured by a defective product and receives compensation for their damages. A product liability attorney is uniquely qualified to advise those injured by a defective product and help victims make a case for compensation against the responsible party. Every company that sells manufactures, designs, or distributes a product has legal responsibility for its safety once it enters the marketplace. If the product fails, the consumer can hold the responsible party liable for injuries they received when using it. 

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Each year millions of people end up in emergency rooms with injuries resulting from defective and dangerous goods and products sold in the marketplace. Product liability laws are in place to protect consumers and hold companies responsible for selling a defective, dangerous product to the public. It is against the law in Maine to sell any products that are defective or in a defective condition that can pose an unreasonable danger to the user or his or her property. 

In product liability lawsuits, four basic elements of proof must be established for your product liability claim to be successful. A product liability lawyer can help advise you and evaluate your claim, but here’s what you must prove to win a product liability case. 

Your Injury Was Caused By the Product

The first element of your claim is proving that the product caused your injury. You must show that you were visibly injured, harmed, stricken ill, or suffered a loss directly from using the product. You cannot claim that the product’s defect almost hurt you or a loved one. The injuries and damages must have occurred, or you cannot file a product liability claim for your losses. You must be able to provide evidence of your injury, such as eyewitness testimony, medical reports, and police reports, where applicable.  

The Product Must Be Defective

If a defective or dangerous product has injured you, you must be able to prove that the product was defective and that the danger it posed was not in any way obvious to the average person. Defects can be caused by manufacturing errors during assembly, formulation, or fabrication via machine malfunctions or human input errors. The defect could also be related to a flaw in the design or formulation that makes the product unreasonably dangerous for consumers when used or taken.

Another type of defect that can make a product defective is a lack of information. Referred to as marketing defects, these are improper warning labels that fail to adequately alert users of any potential hazards or risks when using the product or poorly written or inadequate instructions. Companies, manufacturers, and distributors have a legal obligation to provide adequate information or appropriate warnings related to the use or consumption of the product. Warning labels and instructions should be detailed and easily understood. Labels must warn of any existing hazards, the effects of the hazard, and how to prevent or avoid them. The label must also inform the consumer of any risks involved when using the product. 

The Product Defect Caused Your Injury

Next, once you have established that the product caused your injury and that the product is defective, you must now prove that the defect and-or lack of proper warnings was the cause of your injuries, illness, or damages. To prove this, you must demonstrate that the defective product directly caused your injuries. Simply saying you were injured when using the product is not enough to prove your claim. You must show that the product’s defect caused your injury. Medical records showing how the nature of your injury was linked to the product or if an accident report stating the defect caused your injury can help you. Your product liability attorney pursues just compensation.

You Were Using the Product As it Was Intended

Finally, the last thing you must prove in your product liability claim is that you were using the defective product as intended when you were made ill or were injured. If you used the product for another application or inappropriately, your claim will be rejected. When a product is not used as intended, a company or manufacturer cannot be held responsible for any injuries or damages. Companies cannot foresee the danger of a product if it is used in an unintended way. They cannot predict the outcome if someone uses their product differently from what it is made for.

Contact Hardy, Wolf & Downing to Discuss Your Product Liability Claim

If you or a loved one has been severely injured or harmed by a defective product, the product liability lawyers of Hardy, Wolf & Downing can assist you in evaluating your claim and determine your eligibility to recover damages. One of our experienced product liability attorneys will meet with you for a free consultation to weigh your options and determine how best to proceed.