If you suffered serious injury or a loved one died because of a defective product, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages you suffered. There are several types of damages that can arise in products liability cases.
Economic damages are the financial losses you suffered because of the incident and the resulting injuries. They include past, current, and future expenses. While they differ somewhat from case to case, some of the most common economic damages victims of defective product injuries may recover include:
- Medical expenses
- Future and ongoing life care costs
- Past and current lost wages
- Future lost income
- Repairs or replacement of damaged property
- Other out-of-pocket costs
If your immediate family member died in the incident, you may be able to pursue compensation through a wrongful death suit. If you win, this will allow you to recover the damages you suffered because of your loved one’s death. The damages available vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and case to case. They could include:
- Compensation to make up for your loved one’s lost income
- Compensation for benefits from your family member’s job
- Funeral costs
- Losses associated with having to hire services previously handled by your loved one, such as childcare, lawn maintenance, or other household chores
Noneconomic damages are primarily the emotional losses you suffered because of the incident and your injuries. This may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium (the companionship and affection of a spouse or other loved one), and other similar damages that prevent enjoyment of life.
If a defective product caused your loved one’s death, you may be entitled to emotional losses related to your own grief and suffering.
In many cases, noneconomic damages can make up the majority of recovery in a defective product case, particularly because recovered medical expenses are paid to physicians rather than plaintiffs. Determining a dollar amount for these damages is difficult because they are largely subjective. It is important that you support these losses with documentation and evidence when possible. This is especially important in cases where there are few economic losses.
Some states impose caps on the amount of recovery you can receive for non-economic damages. Others require that there be economic damages in order to recover noneconomic damages. In Florida, a judge has the discretion to increase or decrease the award or settlement amount if he or she feels the amount is unreasonable.
Recovering Compensation for Products Liability Injuries
In some cases, it is possible to settle a products liability case without filing a lawsuit. We can identify the liable party and file an insurance claim against it. The liable party agrees to a fair settlement, and you get the compensation you need.
However, cases involving defective products often require us to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product and take the case to court. Litigation is more complicated than an insurance claim. Instead of proving our case to the insurance company, we need to convince the jurors of the following:
- You were using the product as intended
- The product had a defect
- This defect caused your injuries
- You suffered economic and noneconomic losses
Depending on the type of claim we bring, you may also have to prove that the defendant was negligent in putting the product on the market or that the defendant made a false promise and breached the product’s warranties.
If you enlist our help, we will work to build the strongest case possible to present to the jury. We conduct a full investigation to document the defect and how it caused your injuries, and gather evidence to support recovery of your full economic expenses and non-economic losses.
Establishing your economic damages is done by presenting your costs, like medical bills, property damage repairs, and proof of missed work and lost wages. We can also call in experts to testify to your future medical needs, the cost of ongoing care, and the value of your future lost income if you cannot return to work.
Proving your non-economic losses is more difficult. However, we can use supporting documents to show the severe nature of your injuries and how it affects your everyday life. The evidence we collect depends on the nature of your injuries.
Newsome Melton can help you understand the strength of your product liability case, explain your options for compensation, and represent your interests. Call us at 888-808-5977 for your free case evaluation.