How to File a Claim for a Defective Product

Every day, people suffer injuries caused by defective products ranging from faulty automobiles to food to drugs. Defective products are the basis for a products liability lawsuit where the consumer strives to recover losses for damages incurred due to the defect. Damages include injuries, both serious and minor, as well as the wrongful death of a family member. Let’s delve into the process a defective product claim follows.

What Is a Defective Product?

A defective product is one whose design, manufacture or warnings do not meet the product safety standards established by the  Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Defective product claims fall into three categories:

  • Manufacture of defective products:. This type of product liability claim is due to the faulty manufacture of a product. It can involve a faulty part or an error during the manufacturing process. An example of this would be a tainted pharmaceutical or a defective seat belt. For this claim to be successful, the injury must result from the defect. For example, in a case involving a passenger thrown from a vehicle in a rollover accident, it would be necessary to show that the reason for this happening was a defective seat belt. 
  • Defective design: This type of product liability claim involves a faulty or dangerous design. This means that the defect affects all the products in a particular line. An example would be a type of pressure cooker that catches fire. 
  • Information and warnings deficit: Some product liability claims focus on the lack of pertinent information and warnings provided by the company. This information would alert a consumer to a dangerous aspect of the product and provide the precautions the person must take to remain safe. An example of this would be a cleaning product that lacks a warning about using proper ventilation. 

Statute of Limitation in a Defective Products Claim

A time limit exists with all personal injury cases that give the claimant a time frame in which they can file. This is called a statute of limitation and varies from state to state. In Louisiana, the statute of limitation is one year from the time of the injury.

The Discovery Rule

The statute of limitations limits the amount of time the injured party has to file. However, the time limit does not always begin when the injury occurs due to Louisiana’s discovery rule. Rather, the time limit begins when the person discovers that they suffered the injury or should have reasonably known about it. 

An example of this occurs when a patient has a hernia repair using Ethicon Physiomesh. The problems associated with using this type of hernia repair substance is often elusive until it causes the patient discomfort. 

Steps in Filing a Defective Products Claim

The following are the steps your attorney will take when filing a defective products claim:

  • The basis for the claim: A claimant must show the reasons for the claim and how the defect harmed them. In this stage, it is necessary to determine and explain the attributes of the defect. 
  • Medical proof of the injury: It is not enough to say that an individual suffered harm by a defective product. It is necessary to show in clear medical terms that there was an injury. That means that a medical professional must state the injury exists and link it to the defective product. Keep a file of all medical records.
  • Stay within the time limit for filing: As noted above, there is a time limit within which to file the case . An experienced attorney helps ensure that all paperwork is filed within a timely manner.
  • Keep a diary: Keeping a detailed record of every aspect of the injury is crucial to a successful outcome. Note all product details, including when purchased/used and the date the manufacturer learned of the problem. List any discourse with the insurance company. 
  • Photographic evidence: Pictures of the product and injuries are valuable. 
  • List of damages: A record of all damages, including medical visits and treatments, lost wages and purchase of medical devices or medication is necessary. Your attorney will use this to calculate your damages. 
  • Keep a record of personal loss: This includes your pain and suffering. It might be the loss of enjoyment of life or the inability to carry out lifestyle functions. It might also be the loss of consortium or the embarrassment or anxiety the injury caused.Together, these are called non-economic damages. 

How the Olinde Law Firm Can Help

From representing you when the insurance company has questions to investigating the injury, the Olinde Law Firm helps you have the time you need to heal. We will be there every step of the way whether it is an injury from an auto part to a tainted or defective pharmaceutical. To schedule a free case review, call us at (800) 587-1889. 

We will investigate your case and answer any questions you may have. We will also examine the defective product to see how the defect caused your injury and explore consumer records to see if this has happened to others in the past. We care about our clients and work hard to help them receive the compensation they deserve.