If you have sustained an injury or suffered harm due to a product defect, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit. There are three types of product liability claims: defective design, defective manufacturing, or failure to provide adequate warning for use. To complete your claim you must prove and provide evidence for all of the following three statements.
- You sustained an injury or suffered loss(es).
- The product is defective.
- The defect directly caused your injury.
If all of the above statements are true, and the product meets one or more of the three criteria for a product liability claim, you may have cause to file a claim for compensation.
Timeline to File Your Case
The State of Virginia allows you two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit for product liability. While there are exceptions to this law, it’s best to act on the 2-year clause until otherwise advised by an attorney. This period of time gives you the opportunity to gather evidence and prove your case.
Proving the Injury
Proving the injury will likely include gathering medical records, as well as the results of lab tests or scans, and any pertinent physicians’ notes or letters. You will further need to prove the injury is a direct result of the product defect or lack of warning. Evidence can include witness testimony, video or pictures, and the accompanying medical evidence. The more physical evidence you can present, the stronger your case will be.
Additionally, there are times when a defective product does not cause a physical injury, but causes extensive harm nonetheless. For example, if a defective product causes a fire that burns your home or business down to the ground, that is grounds for a lawsuit even if no one was injured in the fire.
Reaching out to a personal injury lawyer in Halifax, VA as soon as possible is highly recommended. If the injury causes you to miss work or leaves you permanently impaired or disfigured, your attorney will help determine future costs you may not consider. All these factors, and whether or not your lawsuit will be part of a class action claim, should be discussed with a qualified personal injury attorney from an experienced law firm as soon as possible.
Proving the Product Defect
In some cases, for instance when a class action lawsuit has already been filed, proving the defect is as simple as showing the defect common to the product occurred in your situation. However, mamy product liability claims are much more complicated.
Proving a design or manufacturing defect may involve gathering data on similar products to compare safe products to the defective one you were injured by. This often takes investigatory processes that a product liability attorney is familiar with, but the average person would be unsure of where to begin. That is why it is highly recommended you consult with a qualified legal firm as soon as possible.
As noted above, another avenue of proving liability is to prove the product did not carry adequate or proper warning labels or instructions. For instance, if a 3-tiered step stool is not designed to have someone stand on the top tier, that needs to be clearly labeled on the step stool as well as mentioned in any accompanying paperwork. If the company failed to do so, and you fall off the top tier and are injured, you will likely be successful when seeking compensation for your injuries.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Product Liability Lawsuit?
Depending on the evidence, the seriousness of the injury, and whether or not you will be part of a class action suit, your case may be settled in as little as two or three months – however, it may take as long as two or three years. Your product liability lawyer will attempt to settle the case as soon as possible, but it is not always possible if there is a great deal of evidence to go through – especially if the plaintiff is not willing to settle your case.
The Cunningham Law Group
Unfortunately, there is no lack of dangerous products on the market. Consequently, it is important that those responsible for putting people at risk of harm be held liable for their negligence. If at any point you need assistance with a product liability claim in the Halifax, VA area, we invite you to contact the Cunningham Law Group for a free consultation.