What is Product Liability?
If you are injured while using a defective or unreasonably dangerous consumer product, you may be entitled to file a product liability claim to recover compensation.
There are three main types of product liability claims:
- Manufacturing Defects – If a product was improperly manufactured, the defect could cause severe injuries in users. Manufacturing defects include problems with individual parts or overall assembly of the product. These defects can affect individual products or entire batches of products.
- Design Defects – If a product had a defect in the design, then even a perfectly produced product will be dangerous. Design defects originate when a product design is not properly tested. They will affect every product sold.
- Labeling Defects – Manufacturers must include warnings and instructions about how to use the product. If a label does not do a sufficient job of warning against possible problems, the manufacturer or retailer may be responsible.
Product liability claims use the doctrine of strict liability. Under this doctrine, you do not have to prove that a manufacturer was negligent. Instead, you have to prove that:
- The product contained an unreasonably dangerous defect.
- The product caused you injuries.
- The product was in effectively the same condition it was in when it was purchased.
- You were using the product in the way it was intended when you were injured.
When a product is dangerous because of some kind of alteration by a user, the manufacturer or seller could still be liable unless the change itself created the defect.
The lawyers at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles will be able to investigate your claim to determine whether a product liability action is possible in your circumstances.
Common Types of Product Liability Cases
A product liability claim could involve virtually any kind of product. Certain kinds of products are more commonly involved in product liability claims than others, with some of the most common including:
- Children’s toys
- Car seats
- Construction tools or equipment
- Motor vehicle parts
- Medical devices
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- Tainted food
- Bedding and clothing
- Heavy machinery
- Manufacturing equipment
- Agricultural equipment
Compensation in a Product Liability Claim
Victims of a defective product may be entitled to compensatory damages, which are usually some combination of economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are the monetary losses a person has incurred or will incur. Economic damages frequently include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
Noneconomic damages might include disfigurement, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Some cases warrant “punitive damages” (also known as exemplary damages). A punitive damages award is largely intended to punish a defendant for particularly bad conduct, such as knowingly producing a product with a clearly dangerous defect and choosing to sell it anyway.
Under New Jersey law, a punitive damages award cannot be more than $350,000 or five times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater.
What to Do if You Have Been Hurt by a Dangerous or Defective Product
Call a Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles lawyer right away.
If you are harmed by any kind of dangerous or defective product, you should make sure to get medical care right away. Your health should always be your top priority.
Do not dispose of the dangerous or defective product. Try to save all of the original packaging and as much of whatever remains of the dangerous or defective product. Store the item in a secure location so that no other people are harmed.
If possible, try to take as many photographs as possible of everything involved at the scene of the accident. Get pictures from many different angles and distances. If other individuals saw what happened with the dangerous or defective product, get their names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
Keep all receipts relating to your original purchase as well as all purchases you make that relate to your injuries and medical care. This may help prove the extent of your losses.
Steps in a Product Liability Lawsuit
After you have been injured by a dangerous or defective product, contact an attorney at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles as quickly as possible to take the necessary steps in your case. We will commence an independent investigation into your incident to determine the true cause, collect important evidence, consult with experts, and identify all potentially liable parties.
Once the investigation shows that you have a valid claim, we will file a formal Complaint on your behalf, which will lead to the phase known as discovery. During discovery, we provide your information to the other side, and we obtain their evidence.
As soon as you contact Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles, the defense may begin negotiating with us to try to achieve a settlement to resolve your case. These negotiations may continue all through discovery and the trial. When a settlement cannot be reached, the case proceeds to trial. At that time, you will have the opportunity to present your case. If the jury rules in your favor, you will be awarded compensatory damages.
Contact the New Jersey Product Liability Lawyers at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles Now
If you suffered catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed by a dangerous or defective product in New Jersey, you should know that you could be entitled to various types of compensation for the harm you have suffered. Product liability lawsuits can be extremely complex, but you do not have to handle these challenges on your own.
Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles has over 100 years of combined legal experience. We can answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call or contact us online to set up a free consultation.