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Los Angeles Law Blog

By stephen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Product Liability on Monday, November 23, 2020.
What can I do if I can’t afford a lawyer for my product liability case?

When you’ve decided to purchase a product, you’re trusting that the manufacturer has taken the proper measures to ensure your safety. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Whether you’ve been harmed by dangerous prescription drugs, defective medical equipment, e-cigarette explosions, or been in a car accident at the result of a faulty auto part – you may have cause to seek compensation from all parties involved. In cases such as those being filed against manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers – it’s recommended you hire an experienced lawyer to help navigate this process. With that being said, if you’re the victim in a product liability case and you can’t afford a lawyer, you could be able to see yourself through to a favorable outcome with the proper understanding of all the factors involved.

 

Types of claims

Before you file your claim, you’ll want to determine the precise claim to file that represents your case the best. There are many different types of claims, but they can generally fit into three different groups: The first group regards cases that involve products that have been defectively manufactured. The second group involves products that have a defective design – meaning the product was manufactured properly, but the design is fundamentally faulty. With this group, it will generally include full lines of products rather than just one specific item. The final group includes products that fail to provide sufficient warnings or instructions in regards to the proper use of the product that results in harm to the user.

 

Evidence

The evidence you’ll need to provide in order to have a chance at winning your claim will always depend on your particular case. With that said, there are some basics that you can follow. First, you’ll need to show proof that you have in fact been injured or suffered damages. With that, you’ll need to gather evidence that backs up your claim that the product was defective or didn’t provide proper warnings and instructions – and then you need to prove that that is the direct cause of your injury or suffering. Last but not least, you need to provide proof that shows that when you were injured while using the product you were more or less using it in the manner that it was intended to be used.

 

Statute of limitations

The statute of limitations outlines the time limits in which you must file a claim. The statute of limitations varies from state to state and types of claims – and a product liability claim is no exception. From there, knowing when that timeline actually starts is incredibly important because if you file the claim after the statute of limitations expires then a judge has every right to completely throw your case out. As always, this will vary from state to state – some states start the clock when the injury occurs, while others begin when the injury was discovered or when they believe the injury should have been discovered.

 

Compensation

One major element of evaluating a claim is identifying the type – and amount – of damages you’ve suffered. The most likely type of compensation you could be awarded is known as compensatory damages. Compensatory damages can be economic, such as medical bills, loss of wages, and property damage; or, they can be non-economic, like pain and suffering. On the other hand, if the presiding judge finds that the defendant needs to be punished even further, then you could also be awarded punitive damages.

 

This process can be quite extensive and tricky to navigate, which is why a product liability lawyer can be very useful. If you believe that you or a loved one have been the victim of product liability, give us a call.