What Can People Do When Injured by Defective Products?
Product defects are alarmingly common. From cars to home appliances, and from children’s toys to medical devices, manufacturers recall millions of defective products each year.
When a defective product causes an injury, the product’s manufacturer can—and should—be held legally responsible.
If you were hurt by a negligently designed or manufactured product, the Orlando defective product lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright can help. These types of cases can be very difficult to prove without the knowledge, skill, and resources of a proven law firm. Call us now to discuss your case for free.
Below is an overview of what you can do if you have been injured by a defective product in Florida:
1. Take Care of Your Medical Needs
If you have an injury caused by a defective product, you should not hesitate to take care of your medical needs. You can use your health insurance for now. If you have a product liability claim against the product’s manufacturer, your claim will include just compensation for your medical bills. This includes reimbursement for your medical bills to date as well as funds to cover your anticipated medical needs in the future.
2. Find Out if the Product Has Been Recalled
You can check online to see if the product has been recalled. The federal government maintains a website, www.recalls.gov, that publishes information about recalls involving consumer goods, motor vehicles, boats, foods and medicines, cosmetics, and other products. You can also search for the product and manufacturer on Google to see if any press releases or news reports have been filed.
Why does it matter if the product has been recalled? While you can file a product liability claim regardless of whether a recall has been issued, a recall can serve as evidence of the defect. This isn’t the only evidence you will need, but it can certainly help if the manufacturer has acknowledged an issue with the product that caused your injury.
3. Talk to a Lawyer about Your Legal Rights
If you have a product liability claim, you will need to hire a lawyer to assert your legal rights. The first step in this process is to schedule a free initial consultation. To prepare for your free initial consultation, you should take notes and collect as much evidence as possible. This includes:
- Taking notes about how you got injured
- Taking notes about what you did after the accident
- Taking notes about where and when you purchased the product
- Locating your receipt for the product or other evidence of purchase (i.e., your credit card statement)
- Collecting your medical records and bills to date
- Making sure you still have the product (or as much of the product as possible)
- Preserving the product’s packaging (if you still have it)
4. File a Product Liability Claim
After speaking with you, your lawyer may investigate or conduct some additional research to determine if you have a claim. If it appears that you have a claim, then the next step is to take legal action. Your lawyer will file your claim on your behalf, and then your lawyer will go through the process of seeking to resolve your claim through a favorable settlement.
Like other types of injury claims, most successful product liability claims settle without going to trial. Your lawyer will use the available evidence to convince the manufacturer’s (or other appropriate party’s) insurance company to accept liability, and then your lawyer will argue for just compensation based on your medical needs, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses.
5. Take Your Claim to Court if Necessary
While most successful product liability claims settle, you should not feel pressured to settle if the insurance company is unwilling to offer a reasonable amount. You can take your claim to court, and your lawyer can argue for a fair verdict in front of the judge or jury. Even though going to court adds to the duration of the process, the additional waiting time will be well worth it if it means collecting the full compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured by a defective product, your focus should be on making sure you are able to file a successful claim for compensation. The clock is ticking, so it is important that you take action promptly. Our Orlando product liability attorneys can explain everything you need to know, and we can take all necessary action to assert your legal rights.
To learn more about what you can—and should—do after being injured by a defective product, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at Colling Gilbert Wright. Call us at (800) 766-1000 or send us a confidential message online to speak with an Orlando product liability attorney as soon as possible.