In a free economy, consumers are responsible for determining whether a product is safe and proper for them. But that responsibility is not absolute. The law recognizes that errors or misconduct by companies can result in the marketing of dangerous and defective products.
If this has happened to you or a loved one, you may be able to obtain compensation by filing a product liability lawsuit. Here’s what you need to know about product liability litigation and how the attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group can help.
Product liability is an area of law that seeks to hold parties accountable for the harm caused by products they manufacture, distribute, supply, or sell. Derived from the theory of torts, product liability actions involve claims that a defective or dangerously made product causes injuries or makes someone ill. Claims are also possible if the defective or dangerous product causes damage to other types of property. Interpretations of the law over the years have extended product liability to cover tangible items not typically considered “products,” such as houses and pets.
The concept behind product liability law is to give consumers or businesses legal recourse and seek compensation for damages resulting from their use of the product. In allowing for financial penalties, product liability law also aims to motivate companies to develop processes with the best possible chance of producing safe products.
Plaintiffs do not necessarily have to show that the manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, or retailers were reckless or negligent to prove liability. Product liability falls under the doctrine of “strict liability,” meaning that it’s enough for plaintiffs to show a product harmed them and the product was defective. The idea is that organizations owe customers a “duty of care” to deliver safe and functional outcomes by following specific standards. In other words, organizations can still be held liable under product liability law if their actions were unintentional.
The concept of a “defect” is a broad one. Defects can be subject to liability claims in three specific contexts:
To succeed in a product liability case, a plaintiff must show that a product was defective in one of these three categories and that the defective product caused injury, illness, or damage. This is more complex than it might seem, and that’s where counsel from an experienced product liability attorney becomes critical to your case.
The De Castroverde Law Group team will work closely with you to evaluate the circumstances of your case. We’ll help you collect the necessary evidence, whether in technical reports, emails, or letters, and work with you to take witness testimony in the form of depositions. Our attorneys will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
Every case is different, but plaintiffs in product liability cases can sue for three types of damages. The experienced product liability attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group will work with you to structure your claim realistically.
The types of damages you may seek include:
Note that if a product defect results in a fatality, survivors may be able to file wrongful death lawsuits to seek compensation for losing a loved one. The general nature of the claim is the same, but compensation categories may change to allow survivors to sue for the loss of consortium of their loved one.
Nevada is a strict liability state, which means the burden of proof on behalf of the victim is lower than it would be in a pure negligence state. In a strict product liability claim, the victim only needs to prove the following:
Defective products can cause extreme damage to injury victims, whether a sharp piece of equipment flies off as a product is being used, or a medicine is not properly tested before release to the public. There are three distinct types of defects covered by product liability.
Manufacturing defects, which are the most common, involve products manufactured in a way that makes them dangerous to use or sell. This may be due to inadequate materials, poor workmanship, or other factors that make the product unsafe for its intended purpose.
An example would be if you bought a blender to make smoothies, and it exploded during use because it was poorly manufactured, injuring you.
Design defects are problems with how a product is designed. A product designer may fail to consider certain circumstances surrounding the use of their design, such as whether it would be used by children or the elderly. For example, in Ford Motor Company v. Teresa Gacia Trejo (2017 No. 67843), the plaintiff filed a defective design case against Ford after her husband died in an accident.
Product designers must provide adequate warnings about foreseeable misuse of a device or substance so consumers can avoid accidents or injuries. They may be liable if they fail to do so and someone is injured. For example, a chair that collapses under someone’s weight due to poor engineering would be considered a design defect.
This defect occurs when manufacturers fail to warn consumers about foreseeable risks associated with using their products incorrectly or unsafely – for example, using an electric drill without proper safety goggles.
Manufacturers and distributors have a high level of responsibility and must try to minimize any product defects and effectively warn consumers of dangers from certain foreseeable misuse.
Victims in product liability cases are entitled to bring a claim for general damages after using a product leads to serious injuries. Our firm’s Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help build your case.
In some cases, more than one party can be held liable for your injuries. Here are some of the parties who may be held accountable for damages in a Nevada product liability lawsuit:
Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe for consumers before putting them to market – they must test their products before releasing them into the marketplace. If they fail to do so and the product causes injuries, manufacturers can be held liable under Nevada law.
Distributors sell goods to retailers but do not actually make the products themselves. For example, if you buy an item at Walmart but find out that it was manufactured by another company and sold by Walmart, Walmart may still be liable for distributing defective products.
The Nevada Department of Business and Industry is responsible for regulating industries and ensuring consumer safety. They also create regulations for how certain products should be designed or manufactured in order to ensure that safety standards are met. If a government agency fails to properly regulate products that end up injuring consumers, the agency could be liable.
Advertisers may also be held responsible for injuries caused by their advertisement of a product. For example, if an advertisement misrepresents the safety or usefulness of a product, the advertiser could be held liable for any injuries that result from that product.
After being injured by a defective product, one of the most important things you can do is to seek legal counsel. A product liability lawyer in Las Vegas can help navigate the complexities of your case and pursue the compensation you deserve by:
In order to win a case against a manufacturer of a defective product, you must prove that the company was negligent and/or acted with intent to harm consumers. A lawyer can gather evidence to build your case.
Your attorney can handle this entire process on your behalf, gathering all relevant information and compiling it in a legal format.
A lawsuit is not always necessary, especially if the defendant offers a reasonable settlement. A settlement avoids the uncertainty of litigation and having to relive the accident through depositions and trial testimony. Your Las Vegas product liability attorney can attempt to negotiate a fair settlement that protects your interests without going to trial.
If you decide that litigation is necessary, your Nevada personal injury lawyer will provide vital legal representation throughout your case. This includes filing all necessary paperwork, appearing at all depositions and hearings on your behalf, and arguing your case at trial.
To learn more, contact our Las Vegas offices today for your initial free consultation.
If you have been injured or sickened from a defective product, consult an experienced product liability attorney as soon as possible. In Nevada, product liability cases are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. Your case must be filed within two years of your awareness of the potentially defective product and its role in your injury or illness. Otherwise, the court may decline to allow your case to proceed.
The team at De Castroverde Law Group will make sure you file your case well before the statute of limitations and will aggressively pursue justice for you. We may be able to resolve the matter without litigation through negotiations with a company’s insurance carrier. Product liability is central to our personal injury and accident law practice in Las Vegas, Reno, and other parts of Nevada. Call us or contact us online today for an immediate consultation.
Photo Credit: Liability by Mike Cohen is licensed with CC by 2.0
In addition to product liability, De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers have expertise across a variety of personal injury cases, including:
An experienced car accident attorney can help you understand the legal aspects of your crash and make certain you get the compensation you deserve.
Our attorneys have years of experience in handling slip and fall cases and will work carefully with you throughout your claim.
Wrongful death actions result when one person’s actions lead to the death of another person. These cases are often time-consuming and expensive.
Attorney Orlando De Castroverde explains why De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers put clients first in every possible way.
Personal injury cases are filed when a person has seen their life negatively impacted by preventable actions taken by another party. In car accident cases, this means that the at-fault driver has to provide compensation to the impacted party. In cases of nursing home injuries, the nursing home is the at-fault party when a resident is injured in an avoidable situation.
This is a review about their immigration attorney Juan DePedro. I've gone to a few in town to see which would be a good fit and we settled on Juan. He seemed to be more knowledgeable about our case. He is very professional, personable and caring. He pays attention to details. I will take the pledge in a few days to become a U.S citizen. I highly recommend Juan to anyone who needs an immigration attorney.Joel C