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 product liability attorney to help you sue for damages. Our 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.
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 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:
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.
With claims against manufacturers and sellers, product liability is based on the laws for each state. When you search for a 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
In the United States there are a few interesting statistics related to product liability based on the U.S. Department of Justice data:
The findings demonstrate that while the cases pay higher amounts, they are harder to prove.
Do you need to hire a lawyer for your personal injury case? Or, are you looking for the best 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.
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.
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.
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.
When filing an LPLA claim, the products in this category must be considered “unreasonably dangerous”.
The law structures these in 4 different categories:
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.
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.
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.