What Do I Need To Prove At Trial in a Products Liability Lawsuit?

What Do I Need To Prove At Trial in a Products Liability Lawsuit? In a products liability lawsuit, you need to prove that a defective product injured you and caused your damages.

  1. What Are The Elements Of A General Produts Liability Claim?
  2. What Are The Different Kinds Of Products Liability Cases?
  3. What Are Most Common Defenses In Products Liability Cases?
  4. Concerned What Kind Of Products Liability Case You Should File?

What Are The Elements Of A General Produts Liability Claim?

“What do I have to prove?” This is one of the first things that clients ask right after they hire us. It’s important to understand the elements of your products liability case because they shed light on what you’ll spend the bulk of your time fighting over in court. Also, analyzing where your strong or weak on these points will show you the prospective value of your suit and chances at recovery. Here are the main elements of a products liability lawsuit:

  • You were reasonably using the product.
  • The product was defective.
  • You were injured while using the product.
  • Your injuries were due to the product defect.

As outlined below, there are different kinds of products liability cases. Therefore, these elements might function a bit differently at trial but the relative framework will be the same.

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What Are The Different Kinds Of Products Liability Cases?

What you need to prove at trial in a products liability case depends on what type it is. Here are the elements of the three main varieties and examples to help illustrate them in practice.

1. DEFECTIVE MANUFACTURE: This is probably the most common and understood of kind of products liability case. In a defective manufacture suit, the product that injured you deviates in some way from all the others because of an error in production. It includes the following elements:

1) The product was sold in the ordinary course of business

2) The product was defectively manufactured in some material way

3) The product was used in a reasonable and foreseeable manner by the plaintiff

4) The plaintiff was injured because of the defect in the product.

An example of a defectively manufactured product that might trigger a lawsuit would be a pie with a screw in it.

2. DEFECTIVE DESIGN: Defective design cases make a much broader argument than defective manufacture cases. The latter argues that one particular product was different than all the rest and that deviation caused someone’s injuries; on the other hand, the former argues that all products of a certain kind are defective because of their makeup and design. This suit involves similar elements as a defective manufacture case:

1) The product was sold in the ordinary course of business

2) The product was defectively designed in some material way

3) The product was used in a reasonable and foreseeable manner by the plaintiff

4) The plaintiff was injured because of the design in the product.

An example of a defectively designed product that might trigger a lawsuit would be brakes that stop working if the vehicle travels over 50 miles per hour.

3. DEFECTIVE WARNING: Defective warning cases are much more subtle than either manufacture or design cases. They state that a certain product is dangerous in a way that customers cannot realize. Furthermore, they go on to argue that the product should have come with additional instructions or warnings so that customers could have better appreciated and responded to the risks. Here are the exact points every defective warning case must make:

1) The product was sold in the ordinary course of business

2) The product was dangerous without sufficient warning or instructions

3) The product did not come with sufficient warning or instructions

4) The product was used in a reasonable and foreseeable manner by the plaintiff

5) The plaintiff was injured because of the lack of sufficient warning or instructions.

An example of a product with defective warnings that might trigger a lawsuit would be a medication sold without instructions that pregnant people should not take it.

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What Are Most Common Defenses In Products Liability Cases?

As soon as you file your products liability lawsuit, the defendants will move to suppress and destroy it. They are some of the most high-powered and well-resourced defendants in personal injury litigation. Yet, they also have some pretty consistent comebacks. Here are the most frequent defenses used in products liability cases:

  • The statute of limitations has expired.
  • The plaintiff assumed the risk of the injury that resulted.
  • The product defect was not why the plaintiff was injured.
  • The plaintiff’s conduct caused his or her injuries instead of the product defective.

While these can be refuted, it helps to get out ahead and develop strategies for these arguments and others that the defendants might raise. The key is to look at the case elements and build a case of evidence and testimony underneath them that cannot be undercut by the opposing party.

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Concerned What Kind Of Products Liability Case You Should File?

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers helps personal injury victims craft cases that obtain the maximum compensation allowed under the law. We can make sure that your products liability suit is designed most effectively and then help you present it in court. Just contact our offices and someone from the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will speak with you about how you can get the recovery that you deserve.

If you would like to know more about products liability cases in Illinois, please read the following pages

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