Every day, consumers purchase products with the assumption that they will be reasonably safe for use as intended. Whether it’s a toy for a child, a part for a vehicle, or a household appliance, the safety of products is taken for granted. And indeed, manufacturers owe a duty of care to consumers to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their products. Yet, all too often, consumers suffer serious injuries or illnesses as a result of products that are defective in design or manufacture.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an allegedly defective product, you have the right to pursue legal recourse. The product liability lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. are committed to providing vigorous legal representation on behalf of injured individuals throughout New York and New Jersey. There are a number of effective strategies that can improve the chances of a successful resolution to your defective product lawsuit.
Proving the elements of a defective product lawsuit
When reviewing your case, the lawyer will look for the elements of a successful defective product lawsuit. These elements are as follows:
- The product is defective
- You used the product as intended
- You were injured or suffered losses
- The defective nature of the product caused your injury
All of these elements must be present to win a lawsuit. The use of the product as intended by the manufacturer is particularly crucial because a manufacturer could claim that the product is reasonably safe when used as intended. For example, if you drive a motorcycle onto a trampoline and sustain injuries, the manufacturer would claim that you used the product in an unsafe manner and that this unusual use led to your injuries, rather than any product defect.
Proving the product is defective
It’s also essential to prove that the product is defective. A product may be defective in design or manufacture—or both. A product has a manufacturing defect if a problem occurred while the product was being manufactured. For example, if a medication is contaminated with a dangerous carcinogen while it’s being made, that medication could be defective in manufacture.
The other type of defect is a defect in design. This means that the product is alleged to be inherently flawed as designed. For instance, if the medication was designed to have dangerously high levels of a toxic substance, it could be said to be defective in design.
It’s common for manufacturers to include warning labels on products. For instance, a toy’s package might warn parents that the product could cause eye injuries if thrown at someone. To win a defective product lawsuit, a lawyer may need to demonstrate that the necessary warnings were either missing or inadequate.
Proving your damages
The lawyer will also need to prove that the defect in design or manufacture directly caused your damages (injuries or losses). This is often done through medical records, which can also prove the third element—that you were indeed injured or suffered losses.
To improve your chances of securing maximum compensation, it’s important to seek medical care immediately after the incident. Let the doctor know how you sustained your injuries. This will help establish a paper trail. Be sure to retain all pertinent paperwork, including receipts for your hospital costs and medication co-pays. This documentation will help your lawyer prove your damages.
You should also keep careful track of the expenses related to property damage. Not every defective product lawsuit will claim property damage. However, some may. For instance, if you were in a car accident and you’re suing the car manufacturer, you’ll need to keep documentation of the car repairs.
Schedule a consultation in New York or New Jersey today
Since 1975, the New Jersey and New York product liability lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. have delivered the aggressive representation you would expect from a large firm, coupled with the personalized touch of a boutique firm. It’s our mission to help you secure maximum compensation so you can focus on recovering from your injuries and taking care of your family. Contact our New York and New Jersey product liability lawyers today to request a free initial case review. We’ll discuss your situation in-depth and explore all possible options for legal recourse.