Legal representation can make the difference in a product liability case

On behalf of Robert Cartwright Jr.

When people are harmed by a product, there are many reasons why having an attorney can benefit them.

Every day, people in the Bay Area use dozens of products. These may include household goods, electronic devices, medications, medical devices, vehicles, clothing and food. When consumers purchase goods, they have the right to expect that these items are safe to use. However, this is not always the case. When people have been harmed through regular use of a product, there are many reasons why they should consider getting legal representation.

Proving the product is defective

There are three types of defects concerning products. The first is design, and according to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, people must show that there is an alternative product design that is the same level of practicality, is around the same cost and is safer.

For a product to be found with a label defect, people must provide evidence that the risk was not listed on the product and that the company knew about the risk. For instance, recently a jury found that Johnson & Johnson was aware that its talcum powder products for women posed a risk of ovarian cancer. USA Today reported that the company was sued by the family of a woman who died of the cancer after years of using the product for feminine hygiene purposes. The family was handed a verdict of $72 million.

A manufacturing defect could involve the tainting of a product, if edible, or changes made during the manufacturing process. Attorneys who handle these types of cases know what to look for and can gather evidence together, which shows the manufacturer used cheap materials or failed to follow safe production processes.

Estimating the full impact

Serious injuries that are caused by a defective product often leave victims permanently disfigured or with lifelong health problems. An attorney can look at the following factors when determining the amount of compensation to seek:

  • Current medical costs
  • The need for additional medical care, including surgeries or therapy
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental pain and anguish

If victims are married, attorneys may also seek loss of consortium damages, which are intended to recompense spouses for the lack of intimacy due to the injury. In cases where victims are unable to work, attorneys can estimate the amount of income that victims have lost and work that into their compensation request.

Using science and medical experts

Injury cases involving products may require proof of a scientific or medical nature, which shows the risks associated with it. Attorneys often have a network of these experts with whom they work with. Such experts can show evidence that a product falls apart easily, causes damage to the body or that studies reveal defects within the product. Attorneys often use expert testimony to strengthen the victims’ claims and hold the negligent parties financially accountable.

People in California who are injured through another’s actions do not have to handle their situation alone. To learn what their rights and options are, they may find it helpful to talk with an attorney.