Defective products can harm people in shocking ways. Explosions and fires cause terrible burns, and medications poison people. Critical automotive parts malfunction and cause crashes. These types of personal injury cases are also known as product liability claims. They hold accountable the companies responsible for the harmful defect. If you suspect that your injury resulted from a defective product, you can expect strong opposition to your claim for damages. The support of a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas may be needed to identify which entity in a supply chain should pay damages. Who bears responsibility is not always clear.
Elements to Prove Product Liability
Winning any legal case depends on proving the elements that describe the offense as codified in the law. Proving product liability depends on these four elements:
You suffered an injury that caused financial loss.
The product was defective.
This defective product was the source of your injury.
You used the product as intended or in a way that a reasonable person would use it.
Nevada personal injury attorneys prepare defective product cases to gather evidence to satisfy these elements. An investigation might require consulting experts who can evaluate the product and testify how and why it failed. Letters of preservation and subpoenas may be needed to collect records from manufacturers and companies across the supply chain.ty, and fault for the accident.
Types of Product Liability
Product liability occurs in a number of ways. This is one reason why you may want a legal opinion about personal injury in Las Vegas after an accident with a product. Even if you thought your injury was your fault, maybe another is to blame. For example, you might think that you committed an error when in fact, the product’s design was flawed, and following the directions was not enough to shield you from danger. Alternatively, you could be the victim of a retailer stocking merchandise damaged in transit.
A Las Vegas injury lawyer investigates the following issues to evaluate a suspected case of product liability.
Factories have to get many things right every time to produce safe products. Their operators must make sure that:
Materials are not adulterated.
The correct materials are being used.
Machines are correctly calibrated and set to the correct specifications.
Quality control procedures meet industry standards.
An error anywhere along a production line has the potential to inflict severe injuries on the end-user. Even an ordinarily safe product can cause harm if a factory allows a “dud” to ship. A plant might make hundreds or thousands of faulty products in other situations.
A design flaw means that the specifications for building the product contain mistakes that produce hazards. The designers did not fully evaluate the potential threats to the consumer and sent unsafe specifications to a manufacturer. The blame does not fall on the manufacturer because it might have done everything right. However, the inherent flaws in the design are what hurt you, and therefore the designer should pay your damages.
A high-profile example of a design flaw is found in an ignition switch in some General Motors vehicles. A product recall resulted in 2014 after many people died or were hurt because the faulty switches shut off vehicles unexpectedly.
Failure to Warn or Provide Adequate Instructions
As a consumer, you have a right to pertinent safety information about a product. This is why you see so many warning labels on products. A manufacturer’s labeling must warn you of known dangers, and the information needs to be noticeable and not hidden in the fine print. A label also needs to include understandable instructions about using the product. Additionally, notices should warn you that misusing the product is dangerous.
When negotiating or litigating a defective product claim, Nevada personal injury attorneys sometimes have to contend with defendants trying to shift around the blame. For example, a manufacturer might argue that the designer bears fault for your injuries.
Negligence and Strict Liability
Nevada personal injury attorneys representing people hurt by defective products draw upon two legal concepts when pursuing compensation. Most areas of personal injury rely on proving negligence, which can be the case in product liability. Negligence is present when a producer was aware of a danger to consumers or should have known but sent out the unsafe product anyway. In that situation, a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas will attack the company’s conduct.
On the other hand, a producer might have believed that it met high standards and made safe products. This is when strict liability comes into play. In such a case, legal arguments address the shortcomings of the product.
Defective Product Defense Tactics
A company subject to a defective product claim may be highly motivated to deflect liability or limit settlements to victims. People might have costly, lifelong damages that require compensation. Additionally, a defective product could injure many people.
The first defensive move that a supplier or manufacturer might make is to say that you were not using the product correctly. Similarly, if evidence permits, you might be accused of altering the product in some way and rendering it unsafe.
A defendant would also exploit any opportunity to place the fault for your injuries on another company. The complexity of manufacturing supply chains and retail operations results in multiple companies potentially bearing responsibility for the defective product.
Under some circumstances, a defendant could attempt to move your lawsuit out of state court and into federal court. The federal venue would require technical adjustments to your legal filings if successful. On top of that work, litigation in federal court would likely lengthen the timeline for your trial and increase legal expenses.
The prospect of a vigorous defense heightens the importance of legal representation after getting hurt by an unsafe product.
Talk to a Las Vegas Injury Lawyer
Defective products can have devastating consequences. These cases also have a high potential to be complicated and pit a consumer against a multinational corporation. Before making any decisions, you deserve to hear a legal opinion from a law firm accomplished in personal injury in Las Vegas. To learn more from Moss Berg Injury Lawyers, please schedule a free consultation.