What to Do If You Are Injured By a Malfunctioning Product
Whether you realize it or not, you are surrounded by all sorts of products in your day to day life. While product failures in many cases do not result in injuries, in some cases even seemingly harmless products can result in serious injuries. If you have been injured by a malfunctioning product, you may have a valid claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or both. These claims are called product liability claims, and you should speak with an experienced product liability attorney to learn more about your options as soon as possible.
What to Do If You Are Injured
The most important thing to do if you are injured by a malfunctioning product is to place the broken product in a secure location for safekeeping. Many people make the mistake of throwing out a malfunctioning product, thinking that they will have no use for it again. However, it is very important to preserve the product in order to show how it malfunctioned. If you are unable to preserve the product for any reason, make sure you take detailed photographs and video footage of the malfunctioning product before you dispose of it.
Three Theories of Liability
There are three theories of liability you can assert to obtain recovery for your injuries, and they are the following:
1. Design defect: When you assert a design defect claim, you are arguing that the manufacturer intended for the product to turn out the way that it did, but that the design is inherently dangerous.
2. Manufacturing defect: When you assert a manufacturing defect claim, you are arguing that the manufacturer made an error during the manufacturing process, such that the resulting product is not the same as the intended product. Thus, while the product was designed to be safe, the manufacturing error resulted in an unsafe product.
3. Failure to warn: When you assert a failure to warn claim, you are arguing that there are non-obvious, foreseeable dangers in regular use of the product, but the manufacturer failed to properly label the product with the appropriate warnings.
How Much You Can Recover
In Georgia, you are only permitted to file a product liability claim if you or someone else has been injured, not if the damage was solely to the product itself. The only exceptions to this rule are if the broken product is at risk of causing immediate harm to you or others around you, or if you purchased the product based on misrepresentation.
Additionally, you may only recover for your injuries if you were not more than 50 percent negligent in causing them. A judge or jury will determine what percentage fault (if any) can be attributed to you and deduct that percentage from your total recovery amount.
Finally, there is no limit as to how much you can recover in punitive damages in Georgia, but keep in mind that 75 percent of what is awarded to you in punitive damages will go to the state.
Remember, the most important thing to do if you have been injured by a product is to preserve the product in a safe place. Then, call an experienced product liability attorney to discuss your options. We want to help you get what you deserve and offer free consultations to all new clients. Call us at 404-259-7635 today to speak with a member of our team.