New Orleans Product Liability Lawyer
Do you need a personal injury attorney or a product liability attorney? If you were injured due to a default or flaw in a product, you might need a New Orleans product liability attorney to help you sue for damages. Our New Orleans product liability lawyers can help you prepare a claim if you were injured due to a defective or unsafe product. But, let’s first establish which kind of attorney can help you with your claim.
- What to do after an accident
- Understanding Product Liability
- Why Product Liability?
- Injured Due to a Defective Product?
- Strict Liability
- Product Liability Statistics
- Product Liability Cases
- Louisiana Product Liability Laws
Personal Injury Attorney vs. Product Liability Attorney
You might be asking yourself, “Do I need a personal injury attorney?” or “Do I need a car accident attorney?” It can sound confusing, but your claim may depend on your injury and how you were injured.
For example, if you were injured in a car accident by another driver’s negligence, you can hire a car accident attorney from our office. If you were injured driving your car due to defective brakes or a car manufacturer’s defect, e.g., you can use a New Orleans product liability attorney from our firm.
We’ll explore how product liability works to help you better understand these types of cases.
Thousands of people are hurt and injured every ear due to dangerous and defective products. In the United States, there are legal rules that outline product liability laws. These determine who is responsible if a consumer is injured by a damaged or defective product or one that causes an injury.
Product liability typically can fall on:
- The seller of the product.
- The wholesaler.
- The party that assembled or installed the product.
- The store that sold the product.
- The manufacturer that made the product.
Product liability laws require that products are safely tested and can meet the expectations of the public based on how the product should be used. When there’s a default or flaw in the product, it can be unsafe and may harm the consumer.
Why Product Liability is Not the Same as Personal Injury
With claims against manufacturers and sellers, product liability is based on the laws for each state. When you search for a New Orleans product liability lawyer due to an injury from a defective product, product liability isn’t the same as personal injury types of case.
For example, if a neighbor’s dog attacks your child that falls under a personal injury case. If a car hits your car, that’s a personal injury case. But, if a bedroom dresser tips over on a child that falls under product liability. In the case of a faulty product that wasn’t designed correctly, you don’t’ have to prove negligence. The evidence that’s used is the injury and that the product had a defect or flaw. This is referred to as strict liability.
If You or a Family Member was Injured Due to a Defective Product
If you or a family member was injured due to a faulty or malfunctioning product, the injury will need to be documented first. This can be achieved through you or the family member visiting your doctor. If it’s an urgent injury and it requires an ambulance and emergency room visit, then this will be documented in the physician’s medical report.
Documenting an Injury
When you or a family member is injured from a product that was designed with a defect or flaw, it’s important to take pictures and/or video of the damage that was sustained at the time. This can help substantiate your claim.
Filing a Claim and Establishing Burden of Proof
After the injury is documented and the defect or flaw is established, that fulfills the burden of proof portion of a claim. The next step is to file a claim with an attorney who will then shift the burden of proof to the manufacturer or seller of the product. They have to prove that it wasn’t flawed or defective. The next step is establishing which type of strict liability the case can fall under.
Strict Liability for Flawed or Defective Products
Product liability cases are grouped into 3 types of categories:
When a product is designed and the manufacturer fails to warn the public about potential damages, this is a marketing defect. The manufacturer failed to provide enough information about the product to help the consumer.
An example is a cooking pot that doesn’t have a protective handle. The consumer uses it on the stove to cook food and they are scalded by the handle. This is a marketing defect if the manufacturer didn’t include that the handle heats up when in use.
A design defect is an error in the actual design of a product that is not fixed before the product is sold to the public. Flaws may be built-in that the manufacturer is responsible for fixing.
An example is a hoverboard that catches fire when it overheats. The manufacturer would likely know from testing that it prevented a fire hazard.
With manufacturing defects, these might include parts that were not included in the final design that led to an injury.
An example is a dresser drawer that doesn’t include the safety catch to prevent the individual drawers from coming out of the dresser entirely. A consumer opens the drawer and it falls on their foot.
Products Liability Statistics
In the United States there are a few interesting statistics related to product liability based on the U.S. Department of Justice data:
- About 5 percent of personal injury cases were due to product liability.
- Nearly 38 percent of product liability cases were successful at trial.
- 7 days is the average trial time for product liability cases.
- $748,000 is the average median payout for product liability cases.
The findings demonstrate that while the cases pay higher amounts, they are harder to prove.
Product Liability Cases in the News
Do you need to hire a lawyer for your personal injury case? Or, are you looking for the best New Orleans product liability lawyer for a product liability case? Our law firm can help represent you and answer your questions about product liability cases if you were injured due to a defective or faulty product you used.
There are several product liability cases in the news where people were seriously hurt and had to take manufacturers to court.
- Dow Corning: They were sued in the ’90s by several women. Due to the faulty breast implants they received, they ruptured and caused severe infections. Women died or were disfigured severely. The company was forced to settle the suit against them for $2 billion.
- Philip Morris: One of the largest product liability cases was against well-known tobacco company Philip Morris for a record $28 billion. A woman sued stating the cigarettes caused her lung cancer. The award would later be dropped to $28 million.
- Merck Pharmaceuticals: The drug company was sued and $4.5 million was awarded to a plaintiff. He suffered a heart attack and other damages due to misleading product safety information for the painkiller Vioxx.
Louisiana Product Liability Laws
Maybe you did a search online for the “best attorney in New Orleans” or the “best Louisiana lawyer”. At Smiley Injury Law, we’re thoroughly versed in Louisiana product liability law and we’ll fight for you.
The Louisiana Products Liability Act
Louisiana product liability law falls under the Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA) La R.S. 9:2800.50 et seq. This covers the laws that relate to liability manufacturers are responsible for based on the products they make and sell to the public.
Cases of this type can take a long time and are very expensive to litigate. That doesn’t mean that these cases are impossible to pursue, but large companies have the financial backing and insurance to delay litigation.
We’ll Fight for You
At Smiley Law Firm, when we consider your case, we’ll explore every avenue to help determine how to best represent you. Our experienced legal team will exhaust every option to assess if your claim can be brought under the LPLA. Because these can be traumatizing events, let us fight for you.
Claims Under LPLA Standard
When filing an LPLA claim, the products in this category must be considered “unreasonably dangerous”.
The law structures these in 4 different categories:
- Construction and composition.
- Inadequate warning.
- Express Warranty.
With these types of claims, it’s not about product danger per se. But, it’s about the manufacturer’s knowledge of the danger or defect. An example is faulty brakes on a truck that the manufacturer knows about that causes a serious or fatal accident.
Get Free Legal Help Today
If you or a family member suffered an injury due to a defective product or product flaw, fill out our contact information form. When you provide us with the details related to your accident we can better determine how best to pursue your claim and determine if the product was “unreasonably dangerous”.
Please note: This is often a complex and time-consuming process. We have to explore every angle to help establish legal fault, gather testimonies, and other details for your case. We’re here to represent you and help you get through this traumatizing experience.
Do You Have a Case You Would Like to Discuss?
At Smiley Injury Law, our team of legal experts can help you analyze your product liability claim. By speaking to someone with extensive personal injury and trial experience, you can feel confident that our experienced team of legal professionals will fight for you. Call us today for a free consultation at (504) 434-7700. All calls are confidential.