Claims Involving Product Injuries are Complex
When consumers buy products, the least they can expect is for the items to work properly. Unfortunately, sometimes products do not work the way they were intended, leading to severe injury or illness. When injuries occur from defective products, victims can seek compensation through personal injury lawsuits when they have sustained harm.
Coletrane & Messersmith represents victims who have sustained serious injuries from defective products due to a manufacturer’s negligence. Our experienced attorneys and staff work tirelessly to ensure you receive the largest possible recovery based on your injuries and the circumstances of your case. If you have suffered harm due to a defective product, contact our office at (757) 821-5215 to discuss your case.
What is a Defective Product?
Defective products are consumer goods that cause injury or illness, thus making them eligible for legal action where victims can recover damages for medical costs, loss of income and more. Disappointment in a product's performance does not provide legal grounds for a claim as it is not necessarily defective. The product must also cause harm or illness for it to be defective.
Filing a Defective Product Lawsuit
Your case must meet multiple criteria to initiate legal action against a manufacturer. Factors that determine eligibility include:
- Proof of injury: You must show injury or harm from the product through documentation such as medical records.
- Proof of defect: If the product lacks an appropriate warning or doesn’t have instructions, these can be listed as defects.
- Clear link between injury and defect: You must prove a connection. The injury must have a clear ink to the defect to be viable.
- Evidence of proper use: You must show that you used the item correctly. One of the most common defenses in these cases involves improper usage by the plaintiff.
- Statute of limitations: Lawsuit eligibility depends on acting within a specified deadline. In Virginia, you must file your injury lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury or when you were diagnosed with a related illness.
What is Virginia’s Statute of Limitations?
For most cases, you must file a defective product claim within two years of the date of injury or when an illness attributed to the product is diagnosed. If you file after that date, the court may dismiss your lawsuit. In some situations, such as when a minor is involved, the filing date may be extended.
What is a Mass Tort Lawsuit?
Victims may band together to seek compensation through a mass tort lawsuit when many people suffer injuries from a specific product. These collective lawsuits involve victims who have suffered the same injuries or illnesses due to a particular product defect.
A mass tort action must prove that the manufacturer failed to do one or more of the following:
- Warn consumers of safety dangers
- Does not take action to fix a defect after learning of an item's potential dangers
- Falsely advertising the product as safe
Filing a Defective Product Claim
To initiate legal action against the manufacturer of a defective product, plaintiffs must file a claim and accompanying documentation with the court clerk. Effective cases require careful analysis of evidence, including medical records and a convincing case involving experts and consultants. When fighting for a favorable outcome, you should be aware that you must stand up to high-powered defendants and their legal teams.
Product liability cases fall into three main types:
- The defect arises during its manufacture
- The flaw originated in the design
- Warnings on the label were insufficient
Lawsuits involving defective products often cover more than just the manufacturer and may include various businesses involved in the distribution chain, such as suppliers and retailers.
Product Liability Lawsuits Require Extensive Documentation
Because defective product cases are complex, it often takes time to build an effective case. Victims should save the item that caused the injury and document everything related to the injury, including all medical records.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries from a defective product, you can file a claim to receive compensation for your injuries. The attorneys at Coletrane & Messersmith will fight to prove your claim and hold all liable parties accountable. Contact our office at (757) 821-5215 to schedule your case evaluation.