Top Things Not to Do When Filing a Product Liability Claim
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Every day you use different products, from cleaning tools to cars to items essential for healthcare. Unfortunately, some of these products are defective and cause an injury. These injuries can range in severity and sometimes lead to wrongful death.
In most of these instances, the manufacturer or distributor of the product can be found liable for your injury. If this has happened to you, you need to know what and what not to do to file a successful product liability claim. An experienced product liability attorney can help with this, reviewing your case, identifying responsible parties, and filing the correct documentation promptly.
However, it helps to know what a product liability claim is and the top things not to do when filing one.
What is a Product Liability Claim?
A product liability claim is a filing against a manufacturer or seller for their participatory role in offering a defective product to consumers. These claims can fall under negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty.
Products liability law in Michigan requires a claimant to prove:
- The claimant was injured or suffered some type of loss.
- The product is in some way defective.
- The defect led to the claimant’s injury.
- The claimant was using the product as intended by the manufacturer.
Problems with products often occur in the healthcare industry, where medical products, like those used in hip replacements, are defective and lead to pain and suffering and additional injury. While medical malpractice is the first consideration in these cases, you may also have a product liability case.
What Not to Do When Filing a Product Liability Claim
While it’s common to find steps to take in a product liability claim, rarely are you provided with the things not to do in such a situation. Here are the top ones.
Do Not Toss Out Relevant Evidence to Your Claim
It is imperative that you keep all evidence relating to the product and subsequent injury. This includes all packaging, parts, individual pieces, added features, and receipts for the defective product. Also, compile and keep all medical records and photos of your injuries. Consider keeping a record of all your receipts in case you need them.
A review of all the evidence is necessary to determine how the product is defective, how it caused harm, and if that harm could have normally been prevented.
Do Not Delay in Filing Your Product Liability Claim
In Michigan, the statute of limitations to file a product liability claim is three years from the date of your injury. Miss this date, and you lose your chance to gain compensation for your injury from the manufacturer or seller. This date may be extended in certain situations and circumstances, but don’t take the chance if you don’t have to. Instead, speak with a product liability attorney to determine your deadline for filing before it’s too late.
Do Not Lump all Product Liability Claims Under the Same Type
Just as important as the timeline for filing is determining the type of product liability.
Product liability claims usually fall under three different types of defects, including:
- Design defects: Defective or dangerous product design.
- Manufacturing processes: Manufacturing defects, problems, or negligence, including defective processes, errors in production, and other mistakes made on site.
- Failure to warn or marketing defect: Non-inclusion of adequate, detailed instructions for use or failure to warn of improper use of the product.
Each type of product liability requires its own unique investigation and legal strategy. Working with an experienced legal team will not only facilitate your claim but also ensure you can prove one of these types of liability.
Do Not Neglect to Consider All Sources of Liability, Including Your Own
You may focus on one manufacturer or seller for your claim when there could be others as well, including yourself. A determination of all the liable parties is imperative at the start of the claim to ensure you receive the total compensation you deserve from all the parties involved.
In healthcare situations, liability may include the manufacturer of a medical device and the healthcare team. Each liable party will have its own insurance, and you will need to work through them to obtain any type of settlement.
Also, closely examine whether you played any role in your injury. The insurance companies will be looking for this and will use whatever they find to discredit you and dismiss the case.
Do Not Fail to Relay All Related Information to Your Attorney
It is essential that you relay all related information concerning the product and your injury to your attorney. This way, they can prepare for any surprises coming from the insurance companies on the other side.
Share all your activities and actions involving the product with your attorney. Even the most minor details can make a difference in a case like this. If anything you did could indicate that you are at least partially liable, your personal injury attorney will know how to present that information without jeopardizing your case.
Also, share all your medical records and any work-related losses with your attorney so they can better determine the levels of compensation you are entitled to. Include how the injury has impacted your life.
A skilled product liability attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., can confidently negotiate with the insurance companies when they know you have provided all the information needed.
Contact Your Michigan Product Liability Attorneys Today
With the complexities and number of parties involved in a product liability lawsuit, you need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney by your side who understands the process and fights for your rights.
The attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., will do just that, creating a legal strategy specifically suited to your case for the maximum amount of compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact our law office today at 866-MICH-LAW and begin your journey to justice with a free consultation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.