Product Liability Lawyer in Las Vegas NV
Dangerous and defective products can cause thousands of injuries each year. This is why there are product liability laws in place so that there are legal rules that outline who is responsible for these products. In some cases, these special laws are actually going to make it easier for you as the injured person, to recover damages after something happens with that product. Still, it is always a good idea to work with a product liability lawyer after you have been injured by a defective or dangerous product.
The product liability is going to refer to when a seller or a manufacturer is held liable for placing a product that is defective in the hands of the consumer. Filing a claim with your product liability lawyer can end up saving thousands of consumers and can hold manufacturers responsible for the products they will sell.
The responsibility for these product defects that end up causing injury will lie with the sellers of the product. The law often requires that a product needs to meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. But if a product has an unexpected danger or defect, the product does not meet with this ordinary expectation and can cause some serious issues. If this has happened to you, it is time to talk with a product liability attorney as soon as possible.
At this time, there is not a federal product liability law. What this means is that your product liability lawyer in Las Vegas, NV will have to look at state and local laws to determine how to proceed. Most of these product liability claims will be based on the state laws and can be brought under theories such as strict liability, breach of warranty, and negligence. Your product liability lawyer will be able to take a look at the local and state laws and determine where your product liability claim lies.
Who is responsible?
The first question that you and your product liability lawyer can discuss is who is responsible for these defects. In order for a product liability claim to arise, it makes sense that at some point, the product was sold on the marketplace.
Historically, there is a contractual relationship between the injured party and the supplier of that product that has to exist in order for the injured person to recover compensation. This contractual relationship is known as a privity of contract. However, things have changed in most states because this is no longer a requirement that exists in the courts and it is not necessary for you to be the purchaser of the product that harmed you in order to recover compensation.
In the past, you and your product liability attorney may have had trouble getting compensation if someone else purchased it and gave you the product for a present because of that privity of contract. Today, that is not the case. Anyone who could foreseeably be injured by that defective product can recover for their injuries if any occur, just as long as that product was sold to someone.
You and your product liability attorney will be able to file a claim against any party who is in the chain of distribution for that product, as long as you are able to prove that they should have done something about the product. Some of the parts of the chain of distribution that could be in your claim include:
- The manufacturer of the product
- The party who installs or assembles the product
- A manufacturer of component parts of that product
- The Wholesaler
- The retail store who sold the product.
If you and your product liability lawyer want to work with strict liability, the sale of that product that caused the injury must be made in the regular course of the business of the supplier. So, if someone sells a product at a garage sale, they are probably not going to be liable for your claim. You must talk about this with your product liability attorney to determine the best steps to take next.
The product defects that you can file a claim
Under the theory of liability, the plaintiff in a product liability case needs to prove that the products that caused an injury were defective and that this particular defect is what made the product unreasonably dangerous. You and your product liability lawyer will be able to discuss the details of this, but there are three main defect types that could cause injuries and may add to the supplier or manufacturer liability:
- Design defects: These would be found in the product from the very beginning, even before the company manufactured in. These would show that something in the design of the product is inherently unsafe from the start.
- Marketing defects: These would be some flaws in the way that the product is being marketed to the consumer. This could include inadequate safety warnings, insufficient instructions to put the item together safely, and improper labeling.
- Manufacturing defects: These are the ones that will occur somewhere in the course of the manufacturing or assembling of the product.
Many times it will just be one of these defects that will be enough for a product liability claim, but other times the product may fit into more than one category. If you feel that you have been injured by a product that is defective, make sure to contact your product liability lawyer to help you get started on a case right away.
Who is held responsible for these injuries?
The next question that you and your product liability lawyer may have is who can be held responsible for these injuries. The doctrine that is often used in these cases is known as “res ipsa loquitur”. This doctrine is going to shift the burden of proof in these scenarios over to the defendant, rather than on you. This can actually make things easier for you and for your product liability attorney when filing one of these claims.
What that doctrine means is “the thing speaks for itself” and it indicates that the defect that caused the injury and is being discussed in court would not even exist unless someone had been negligent in their job. If this doctrine has been invoked properly, the plaintiff is not the one who has to prove how the defendant was negligent, taking some of the work off you and your product liability attorney.
Instead, the defendant will have to put in the legwork and prove that they were not negligent when it comes to the defective product. You and your product liability lawyer simply need to prove that there was a defect and show some evidence as to why you think that the defendant is negligent. Simply having the defective product and proving injuries can be enough here. Then the defendant has to take on the bulk of the work and try to prove that they did not act negligently when they worked on the product.
Another rule that can help you as the plaintiff, as well as your product liability lawyer, is known as strict liability. If this applies, the plaintiff doesn’t even need to prove that the manufacturer was negligent, but only that the product they used was defective. When you eliminate the issue of whether or not the manufacturer is at fault, the strict liability can allow you and your product liability attorney to recover compensation in cases where it may not have been possible otherwise.
The method that you can use will depend on your state laws. Talking with your product liability lawyer can make this process easier. They will be able to explain which of these options are available to you and discuss the steps that you should take next when filing a product liability case.
Products that are unavoidably unsafe
In some cases, you and your product liability attorney will not be able to file a product liability claim on some products. This is because, by their nature, there are some products that just can’t be made any safer than they are without losing their usefulness. A good example of this is an electric knife. You could say that you want it to be too dull so that it won’t injure anyone, but if you do this, then it is no longer able to be used for its intended purpose.
With these situations, it is believed that users and consumers are equipped to minimize the risk. When using the electric knife, for example, it is believed that you know how to act with caution to avoid being harmed by the sharp blade of the knife.
Thus, while these products are not always going to be deemed as unreasonably dangerous, it is important that the manufacturers and suppliers of these products give out proper warnings of the risks and the dangers of these products so that the consumers can make safe decisions with them.
This category is going to fall into some tricky area when it comes to whether you and your product liability attorney are able to file a claim when injured. If the product was designed in as safe a way as possible while still being usable, such as with the electric knife, and there were plenty of warnings on the packaging and in the directions about it, then you and your product liability attorney in Las Vegas, NV will not have a case.
However, if the product can be made safer while still being easy to use, or if there were not adequate warnings about the dangers and possible risks of the product, then you and your product liability lawyer may be able to file a claim for these products. But if the product is as safe as possible while still being able to serve its intended purpose, then you will not have much of a product liability case at this point. If you are uncertain about whether the product fits into this category or another one, it is important to talk with your product liability attorney to help you understand and to help you file a claim if needed.
Working with a product liability attorney in Las Vegas, NV
If you have been injured by a product that is seen as dangerous or defective, it is important to talk to a product liability attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to listen to your case and discuss what steps you should take.
Depending on the product and the nature of the injuries, your attorney and you will be able to choose between filing the claim and working through negotiations or going to the courtroom to settle it all. Even if you reach a settlement without going to court, you could potentially change the way a product is created or advertised and keep others safe.
Working through these cases on your own can be challenging and it is always best to have an attorney on your side. Many manufacturers are big and have their own legal team behind them to help prevent frivolous lawsuits and keep them safe. If you go into a settlement or court on your own, you could easily say something wrong or get run over before being able to get through the whole claim. Don’t leave things to chance and work with a product liability attorney to help you out.
Many products throughout history have been changed or discontinued thanks to these product liability claims and many consumers are now safer than ever before. Items like car seats, toys, baby cribs (remember the ones that could slide up and down on one side and fingers and more could get stuck?) and more have been changed thanks to these product liability claims.
If you have been injured due to a defective or dangerous product, make sure to contact our product liability lawyers at Nettles|Morris in Las Vegas, NV. We have the experience needed to take care of your case and get you the compensation that you need. Contact us today to get started.