A product liability lawsuit concerns products that end up harming their users instead of performing their intended task. This is different from a simple accident. In cases like these, the product has some kind of problem or defect that was missed during production. Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §9:2800.54 indicates when and how a manufacturer can be held accountable for such defects.
If you were recently hurt by a defective product, a lawyer might be able to help you with your product liability lawsuit.
Types of Product Liability Cases
There are different types of product liability cases, depending on how the product became a danger to its user. The three main types are:
Dangerous by Design
In these types of product liability cases, there is a problem with the product right from the start. The design itself is actually the issue, so even if the product is properly manufactured, it still poses a risk to the user.
Dangerous by Composition
In these situations, the problem lies with the manufacturing process. Something went wrong when the product was being made. A faulty part or another issue could cause the defect, rendering the product dangerous even when it is being used for its intended purpose.
Dangerous Due to Marketing
There are even situations in which the marketing or packaging of a product can cause harm. Maybe a product does not come with proper instructions or warn the user of potential safety hazards. In these cases, a manufacturer could be seen as negligent for not giving those who purchase their product all of the information that they need to use it safely.
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Potentially Liable Parties in a Defective Product Case
The manufacturer of the product is not the only party that could be held liable in a product liability lawsuit. There are multiple stages of the supply chain, and every party at each stage is expected to do everything possible to ensure that the product is safe when it ends up in the hands of a buyer. As such, liable parties could include:
- The manufacturer of the product
- A manufacturer of components used to build the product
- The wholesaler who sold the product to a retailer
- A retailer who sold the product to a customer
All of these parties have a responsibility to build or sell products that are safe for people to use. If they fail in that regard, they may be liable for any resultant injuries.
The Statute of Limitations for Product Liability Lawsuits in Louisiana
You do not have unlimited time to pursue damages in a product liability case in Louisiana. Louisiana Civil Code (CC) §3492 sets the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits at just a year. CC §2315.2 sets the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits at one year as well.
If you wait too long and let this deadline pass before filing your lawsuit, you may miss out on the chance to hold the liable parties accountable and receive the compensation that you deserve. That is why it can be wise to get the legal process started as quickly as possible after being injured.
Damages in a Product Liability Lawsuit
If you have been harmed due to a defective product, you can pursue compensation for a variety of damages. These may include:
- Medical care: costs of doctor visits, hospital stays, and any other medical expenses that arose because you suffered an injury may be considered when fair compensation is calculated.
- Lost wages: an injury that keeps you out of work for an extended period of time could mean a number of missed paychecks. Your damages may cover these lost wages.
- Property damage: if the defective product also caused damage to your property, like your home or vehicle, these losses may be added to your compensation package.
- Pain and suffering: compensation may be available for the physical and emotional strain of your injuries.
If your loved one passed away due to injuries suffered while using a defective product, you may be able to pursue wrongful death damages instead.
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How a Lawyer Can Help You Pursue Damages
Hiring a lawyer can do much to help you with your product liability case. A lawyer will:
- File your case before the statute of limitations runs out
- Gather evidence
- Show which parties were negligent and how
- Make your case in front of a jury, if needed
- Act as your advocate and provide you with legal advice
Call an Attorney Today for Your Free Consultation
You do not have to face a product liability lawsuit alone. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can assign a lawyer to your case and fight for compensation on your behalf. If you have questions about what comes next in your case, call us at (337) 777-7777 for a free case review. We serve clients in Lafayette and elsewhere in Louisiana.