Product Liability FAQs
When you buy a product, you have a legal right to expect that the product will work for what you bought it for and that it won't cause you to suffer injury. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and many products malfunction in a way that causes harm. Any type of product can be dangerous, from bad drugs with unexpected side effects to mp3 players that get too hot and start on fire to cars that accelerate on their own and cause accidents. Whenever you are hurt by a defective product of any type, product liability laws can apply to provide you with compensation.
To help you better understand your legal rights when a product causes harm, the Boston personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC have prepared some product liability FAQs. These questions and answers provide you with an introduction to Massachusetts product liability laws, but there is no substitute for proper legal advice. That's why we also offer free no-obligation consultations to people who suffer an injury from a defective or dangerous product. Contact us today using our online form of via phone at (617) 367-2900 to learn how we can help.Product Liability FAQs
These product liability questions and answers are some of the common questions that our experienced Massachusetts product liability lawyers answer on a regular basis. Read over them in order to get a better understanding of whether you may have a product liability claim.
- When is a manufacturer responsible for a defective product?
A manufacturer can be responsible for a defective product whenever that product unexpectedly causes harm when you were using it as you were supposed to. For instance, if you take a drug as directed that causes you to experience liver damage, the manufacturer may be held responsible. Manufacturers can limit their liability in some cases by providing you with warning of the danger of a product (you can't, for example, sue a drug company if you develop a side effect you were expecting or a hair dryer company if you use the hair dryer in the tub and electrocute yourself). However, a failure to adequately warn of the dangers or any type of design defect or flaw in the product itself can also lead to a product liability claim.
- Who is responsible for a defective product?
In general, there are many different parties who may be held responsible for a defective product. This can include suppliers of defective parts within the product, the manufacturer of the product as a whole, as well as distributors and people who sell the product to you.
- What do I have to prove in a product liability claim?
Most product liability claims are handled under strict liability rules. This means you do not have to prove the manufacturer was negligent in any way in order to recover compensation. You simply have to show you used the product as you were supposed to and it caused unexpected harm.
It is also possible to bring a product liability claim based on negligence (by proving the manufacturer was unreasonably careless in the design or production); based on a design defect; based on failure to warn of the product's dangers; or on other legal grounds. Your product liability lawyer will explain to you what the best argument or arguments are for liability.
- What types of compensation can I get?
Typically, you may recover compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress. If the defective product causes a death, then wrongful death damages can be obtained by the family members. In certain limited cases, punitive damages may also be possible.
- Why are product liability claims often class actions?
When a defective product is sold, many people usually buy that product. As a result, many people typically suffer the same harm or a similar type of harm. If many people all experience the same type of harm and are entitled to make the same type of legal claim, these multiple claims are often combined into one large class action in the interests of expediency.
- Should I join a class action?
Whether to join a class action or not after you have been harmed by a defective product is going to depend upon the situation. If you have a strong case and aren't afraid to go to court or try to settle on your own, you may want to avoid joining the class and giving up control over the lawsuit. However, joining a class action is often the easiest way to recover compensation. Joining a class action also makes sense when you suffered losses that weren't high enough to make bringing your own lawsuit worthwhile.
- Should I hire a lawyer?
It is always a wise choice to work with a Massachusetts product liability lawyer if you have been harmed by a defective product. Your lawyer can help you to determine how to proceed with your legal claim and can assist you in negotiating a settlement or taking your case to trial.
To learn more about how a Boston product liability lawyer can help you if you are a victim of an injury caused by a defective product, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or online. Remember your consultation is always free and we are here to put our legal skills to work for you.