Understanding Claims for Defective Products
Stories of defective products abound on the news. This is because some manufacturers take shortcuts or rely on defective designs. However, the end result is that people get hurt. To address this problem, the Louisiana Product Liability Act was born in 1988. This law makes it possible for individuals hurt by a defective product to file a claim against the manufacturer. Let’s explore product liability in Louisiana.
Levels of Responsibility
There are three levels of responsibility when a defective product hurts someone:
- Manufacturer: This designation is the person, company, or other entity that makes the product, follows the design, and puts its name on the label. The manufacturer must fashion a safe product and use quality control to assure its safety. In the event that this is not done, an injured party or the family of someone who died due to the company’s failure can sue. This is a product liability lawsuit.
- Designer: The design of the product precedes its manufacture. If the manufacturer follows a defective design, there is a high risk the user will experience injuries or even death.
- Seller: The seller is the one that disperses the product to consumers.
Deadline to File a Product Liability Lawsuit
In order to file product liability claims, you must meet very strict and specific deadlines. A deadline of this type is called the statute of limitation, and it must be met. If it isn’t, the product liability claim cannot proceed in a civil court. The length of the deadline varies from state to state. In Louisiana, the time you have to file is one year.
What Happens If You Are Partly Responsible for Your Injury?
Louisiana abides by the theory of comparative fault. Let’s say you did not follow instructions on putting an item together, or you did not pay attention to warnings found on the product. You would be at least partly responsible for your accident. However, the product may also be defective. The amount of compensation you would receive is based on the manufacturer’s liability and the part you play in it. So, if you were 20 percent liable and the manufacturer was 80 percent responsible for your injuries, you would receive 80 percent of the damages.
Damages in Product Liability Claims
The following damages can be recovered in a defective product lawsuit:
- Lost wages: This categorization includes the wages you would have earned if you were not injured and unable to work. It also includes any job perks, benefits, or commissions. If the victim is unable to work indefinitely, the amount of money they would have earned until retirement is recoverable.
- Medical expenses: This includes all hospital, emergency, and doctors’ fees that accrue after the accident. Rehabilitation costs are also covered.
- Assistive devices or accommodations: Wheelchairs, walkers, or other assistive devices are recoverable. In addition, if the house requires accommodations for a disabled individual, that too is covered.
- Pain and suffering: The continuing pain, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are compensated.
- Wrongful death: If the injured individual dies due to a defective product, their family is able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of lawsuit recovers the losses the family experiences due to their loved one’s demise.
Olinde Law Firm
The Olinde Law Firm is here to help you if a defective product caused injury or if a family member died. Call us at (800) 587-1889 to schedule a free case review. You can also reach out to us online. The injury lawyers at Olinde are not afraid to take on big corporations that allow defective products to be sold.