We use a plethora of products in our daily life that are bought with much assurance about their safety by manufacturers and although, we trust that the products to be safe to use, injuries caused by defective products are all too common, with the number of such incidents on the rise in recent years. Injuries could be caused when a defective product due to unexpected failures, malfunctions, or even explosions due to faulty designs.
A notable case of such an incident came to the fore in 2017 in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco when the company had to recall all the flagship smartphones after a battery issue led to numerous cases of phones exploding around the world.
When someone gets injured while using a product that departed from the manufacturer or seller’s end in a defective or dangerous condition, they may be able to recover the consequent damages from the responsible party in a product liability-based personal injury suit. But for this to bore fruit, one would need strong evidence and a tactful strategy to prevail. You’ll also have to certain critical mistakes that would lead to delays, disputes, and complications.
Here are a few mistakes to avoid that many injured parties make after getting hurt by defective products:
- As was the case with Samsung’s fiasco, manufacturers generally issue a recall if several people have been injured or even killed as a result of using their product. Once a recall gets issued, it is the responsibility of the customer to stop using the product and return it for a replacement, repair, or refund. This can negate the need to file for a claim since the company itself offers reimbursements and pays for damage claims. But many consumers fail to take necessary actions to return the defective device and are left to fight to obtain claims.
- Another fatal mistake committed too often is disposing of the product. The defective item is the core piece of evidence around which the whole case of product liability claims revolves and not preserving until the case has been resolved could be detrimental for your claim. Along with the product itself, you should also save the original packaging, instruction manual, and receipt or proof of purchase.
- Postponing medical care is one of the most careless things to do, even if the injury sustained by a defective product is not life-threatening. Not only will timely medical treatment by visiting a doctor ensures that you receive adequate care for all injuries including those that might have latent symptoms but will also act as a crucial tying point for your attorney, who can then connect the injuries to the accident and demonstrate that you’ve taken reasonable steps to mitigate your damages.
- Statues of Limitations for personal injury cases are short in many US states and hence, you should document the damages incurred as soon as possible. But documenting damages can get quite confusing if the consumer does not know about the parameters under which they can file a claim. Here are a few things that personal injury claimants have the right to seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income and benefits
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Economic damages like home care, childcare, alternative transportation, and domestic help
You would require strong evidence to prove these damages and their exact values in order to win a verdict. You need to ensure that you have the proper bills, both medical and for the materialistic things that you lost, invoices, tax receipts for income loss, accident pictures as well as eyewitness accounts.
You’ll often find yourself in a corner where you are coerced into answering in a manner that might dispute liability and raise questions about your proper handling of the product by the insurance adjuster. The insurer might seek to blame you for improper usage and admitting your fault in any way is a sure-shot way to lose the claim.
These are just a few of the numerous mistakes that are common when one is injured by a defective product. Product liability laws are complicated and people injured by dangerous or defective products need the aid of attorneys like the ones from Bergman Legal in order to advise them on the complexities of their case and guide them through the legal system toward the most favorable outcome.