Defective Product Law Firm
If you or a loved one were injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. Product liability actions are based on tort law and seek to hold the designer or manufacturer of a product responsible when those products are defective and cause injury. However, pursuing such claims can be challenging and retaining a skilled defective product law firm is almost a necessity.
Legal Theories Regarding Products Liability Cases
Product liability cases may be brought under a number of legal theories. A basic understanding of how these theories work will help to ensure that you take the necessary steps to protect your claim and obtain the justice you deserve. Specifically, cases may be filed alleging that the product was negligently manufactured or designed, or that the product’s designer, manufacturer, or retailer failed to warn of known hazards associated with the operation or use of the product.
In products liability claims, it is vital that you take certain steps to protect your rights. If possible, you should always keep the product which caused the injury. The product may play an important evidentiary role in your case. Additionally, you should keep receipts, manuals, and other paperwork associated with the product, if that paperwork is still in your possession.
Working with your attorney to determine the appropriate causes of action will also be vital. Any person who believes they may be entitled to bring a products liability claim is strongly encouraged to seek representation immediately.
Michigan personal injury attorney, Tom Sinas, appeared on Fox 17 “Know the Law” to explain the basic principles behind product liability claims.
Potential Product Liability Claim Hurdles
When bringing a products liability claim against a manufacturer, it’s oftentimes an uphill battle for the injured party, especially since the burden of proof rests with them. The injured person must prove that:
1. the product was not reasonably safe;
2. there was an alternative to the way it was manufactured;
3. and using the alternative manufacturing process does not significantly impair the usefulness of the product.
Furthermore, due to the reform of Michigan’s product liability law in the 1990s, the injured party must meet additional requirements in order to bring a suit against a manufacturer, supplier, or retailer of a defective product. First, the injured party must exceed the presumption in Michigan that, since the product was manufactured in accordance with certain standards, it is presumedly safe.
Michigan Tort Reform, Product Liability Cases
As previously mentioned, defective product cases are based on tort law. In 1996, Michigan law underwent massive reform with regards to tort law. As a result, these changes had a substantial effect on your ability to bring a product liability action. Although the list of changes is extensive, it is important to highlight several key provisions.
For example, Michigan is now, unfortunately, the only state in the country that has complete immunity against drug manufacturers who sell drugs approved by the FDA. This is unfortunate due to the fact that history shows, time and again, the FDA approves drugs that end up being unsafe to consumers. Additionally, damage caps limit how much an injured party may collect for their injuries. In Michigan, those injured by defective products are limited to $280,000 in non-economic damages and $500,000 for loss of a vital bodily function.
Finally, you should understand that a manufacturer is entitled to a rebuttable presumption of no liability if the product met state or federal safety or manufacturing guidelines at the time of manufacturing or sale.
Retaining a Specialized Defective Product Law Firm
Due to the burden of proof resting upon the injured individual, as well as Michigan’s strict tort law regarding defective product cases, it’s wise to consult with an attorney.