How to Prove a Product Is Liable for Your Injury
Dangerous and defective products cause thousands of personal injuries each year. Products such as medical devices, pharmaceuticals, children’s toys, appliances and auto parts can cause serious injuries if they contain defects. As an injured consumer, you have the right to hold the manufacturer of the defective product liable for your damages. You or your product liability lawyer, however, will have to prove your claim to recover compensation.
Understand the Elements of Proof in a Product Liability Claim
First, learn what the burden of proof will be for your product liability claim. This can vary depending on the basis of your lawsuit. While you will always have to establish the defendant’s fault as more likely to be true than not true during a civil claim, you may or may not have to prove the defendant’s negligence depending on the type of case.
- Strict liability. Strict liability means a manufacturer will be liable for your damages even if it was not negligent in creating a defective product. A manufacturer may be strictly liable if you can prove the item contained a design, manufacturing or marketing defect and that this is what caused your injuries.
- Breach of warranty. You could have a claim based on a breach of warranty if you or your lawyer can prove the manufacturer made a guarantee it failed to fulfill and that this is what caused your injuries. Creating a product that is not as safe as promised, for example, could lead to the company’s liability for your injuries.
- A product liability claim based on negligence requires the establishment of a manufacturer’s duty of care, breach of duty, causation for your injuries and specific damages suffered. Your lawyer will need to prove the manufacturer did not meet the applicable standards of care it owed you to win this type of lawsuit.
You may also need to prove you were using the product as intended, regardless of the basis of your claim. How much evidence you will need to collect and the type of case you need to build will depend on the grounds of your product liability lawsuit in Virginia. Hiring an experienced product liability lawyer in Richmond could take the burden of proof off of you. Your lawyer can build your claim and represent you during negotiations while you relax and focus on healing from your injuries.
Another important undertaking a lawyer can complete for you is the collection of evidence. Photographic, circumstantial, demonstrative, documentary and other types of evidence could help convince a judge or jury of the defendant’s liability for your accident and injuries. As an injured plaintiff, do your best to keep and collect certain types of evidence for use during your claim as much as possible.
- The defective item and its packaging
- Photographs and video footage
- Eyewitness accounts of the incident
- Police reports or other accident reports
- Product recalls and statements from the company
- Medical documents and records
- Testimony from product liability experts
Your lawyer will have the task of proving your claim based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means enough evidence to convince the judge or jury that the defendant more likely than not caused your injuries. A product liability lawyer will know exactly how to collect evidence to use as proof during your claim.
Use an Attorney
Your ability to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property repairs, pain and suffering, and other damages relies on how well you handle the product liability claim. The best way to improve your chances of securing fair compensation is by hiring a product liability lawyer in Virginia to take care of legal processes for you. A lawyer can handle evidence collection, the burden of proof, filing your claim and many other tasks while you focus on healing. A lawyer will have the experience, knowledge and resources you need for a valid claim to damages.