If you or a loved one has been injured by a product, knowing what to do can be difficult. Injuries caused by products that are defective due to their design, materials, or manufacturing process can be devastating and, in many cases, the people who get hurt are entitled to financial compensation. Manufacturers are required by law to produce and sell products that are safe for people to use. They are also required to include safety instructions and make buyers aware of any potential risks.
When filing a product liability claim, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. Keep reading to discover the answers to some of the most common questions regarding product liability claims.
1. What Types of Product Liability Claims Are There?
Product liability claims generally fall into one of three categories. A claim can be made regarding a product that was defectively manufactured in some way, which means an error occurred at the factory or at some point between when the product was manufactured and when it was purchased.
The next category involves products that were defectively designed. This includes products that are dangerous even though they were manufactured correctly.
The final category involves cases in which an injury occurred because there were inadequate warnings or instructions provided with the product. This type of claim is sometimes known as a “defective marketing” claim.
2. How Long Do I Have to File a Product Liability Claim?
When filing most types of claims, there is a statute of limitations. This means that there is a set time limit for filing your claim. If you fail to file before the statute of limitations expires, you typically lose your right to seek compensation.
The time limit for product liability claims varies from state to state. In Georgia, however, you have two years to file a personal injury claim that is related to a defective product. If the product caused damage to your property, the time limit is four years. The clock on the statute of limitations starts ticking the moment you are injured or when you first discover the damage or injury.
The statute of repose on product liability claims in Georgia is ten years. This is the absolute time limit for filing any sort of claim regarding a defective product. If a manufacturer failed to warn consumers about a potential or known risk, however, there is no statute of repose.
3. What Do I Need to Prove?
Again, what you need to be able to prove when filing a product liability claim can vary from place to place. In Georgia, you need to prove that the product had some type of defect at the time of injury and that the defect directly caused an injury or death. You also need to provide that the injured party used the item as intended by the manufacturer and that the item was in roughly the same condition as it was when it left the factory.
Georgia has strict product liability laws, and the plaintiff usually is not responsible for proving the negligence of the manufacturer. Instead, manufacturers are held strictly liable for injuries caused by defective products regardless of whether negligence is a factor.
4. What Type of Compensation Can I Seek in a Product Liability Claim?
Damages fall into two categories: punitive damages and compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are the type most frequently awarded in defective product cases. They are intended to compensate people for their injuries and to help them recover. You can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and property repair or replacement. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may also be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering or loss of consortium, or relationship problems with your spouse due to your injury.
5. How Do I File a Product Liability Claim?
If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered a loss of life due to a defective product, consult with an attorney who is experienced in product liability claims. At Kopelman Sitton, we have helped countless clients obtain the compensation they deserve for injuries caused by defective products. We are familiar with the complexities of product liability claims and are here to help you hold manufacturers accountable for producing and distributing dangerous products. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.