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Every year, thousands of product liability lawsuits are filed in the US with the average award reaching $7,416,300, the Insurance Information Institute reports. Whether it’s a faulty car, toy, or product packaging, defective everyday products have the potential to cause injury and even death. If you’ve been harmed by a faulty product, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for damages if you have a viable case.
Largest product liability cases
Over the years, numerous faulty products have been released onto the market, resulting in significant harm to customers and some of the largest liability cases in history. For example, in 2002, Philip Morris was sued by a woman diagnosed with lung cancer. She claimed the tobacco company’s cigarettes caused the cancer and they failed to warn her about the health risks of smoking. Philip Morris were ordered to pay $28 billion in punitive damages and $850,000 in compensatory damages. After Philip Morris appealed the case, the amount was lowered to $28 million. Alternatively, in 2008, General Motors was sued over a harmful chemical contained in its Dex-Cool coolant, resulting in engine damage and leaks. 35 million consumers filed the suit for around $150 million; they ended up each receiving payments ranging from $50-$800.
Next steps after being injured by a defective product
Defective product injuries can range from mild to severe. Regardless of the nature of your injury, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately. Be careful to follow your doctor’s advice and treatment plan to ensure you heal efficiently. You’ll also need to take photos of your injuries and keep any medical records documenting your condition. Then, once you’re able to, contact a product liability lawyer for advice on your legal rights. An experienced product liability lawyer can help you win compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Also, don’t throw the defective product away. You’ll need to keep it in its original state without attempting to fix it. It’s also important to not post about your case on social media, which can end up harming it.
Do I have a viable product liability case?
If you or a family member sustained injury or died due to a faulty product, you may have a viable case. A successful case depends on your ability to prove the defect was the manufacturer’s fault. Manufacturers are legally required to make safe products free from flaws in intended design, as well as to include warnings of risks and ways to avoid them. And, even if your product did meet safety standards when it left the manufacturer, you may still be able to sue another party if the product sustained damage after leaving the manufacturer before you purchased it.
Defective products are more than just a nuisance, they can also be downright dangerous. Fortunately, if you’re injured by a faulty product, product liability law can help you hold the manufacturer to account and win the compensation you deserve.