When companies bring products to market, their merchandise should be safe and suitable for their intended use. Still, from time to time, a consumer gets hurt while using an item correctly. What do you need to do if a defective product injures you?
5 Things You Need To Do After a Defective Product Injury
A wound from a defective product may allow you to recover compensation from the manufacturer or seller. Follow these steps to increase your odds of a fair settlement.
1. Hold Onto the Defective Item and Your Receipts
If possible, store the product in question as evidence in a safe place. Try to preserve it in the same condition as when it harmed you.
Make sure that no other person or animal can access the item. Stowing it away keeps anyone else from getting hurt or altering the evidence.
You also need to retrieve a receipt for the product to demonstrate your proof of ownership. With in-app purchases and online shopping, you should hopefully be able to track down an electronic version of your receipt if you threw the physical copy away. Photos or videos might also serve as evidence of your purchase.
Hold onto the original packaging, instructions or other documentation, which can be helpful for a settlement or trial. You’ll need to be clear about any changes or modifications you made to the product, so retain any tools or items related to that change. You can be sure that the company will try to claim that you altered the product in a way that made it dangerous, and you’ll need to prove that you did not.
2. Seek Prompt Medical Attention
If the wound is not life-threatening, you might feel the urge to soldier through your injuries or simply treat them yourself. However, you should quickly seek appropriate medical attention and verify the extent of the damage.
A delay in treatment could minimize the seriousness of the injury to a court. Also, if you wait to receive help, you could do more damage to your health. For example, a scratch or cut may lead to a dangerous infection.
After you receive medical care, preserve records of the services you received and your payment. These documents serve as valuable evidence for a product liability claim.
Be sure to follow all doctor’s orders. Any failure to take care of your health could lead the insurance company to claim that your injuries, pain and suffering resulted from your own actions, potentially reducing your compensation.
3. Avoid Using Social Media
You might not think that communicating with family and friends about the situation would hurt your case. However, the defendant might use any indication of you living a normal life to support an argument that you were not hurt so badly.
You also need to avoid talking about the case and maligning the company. The negligent party could be the manufacturer, designer, reseller or a combination. If you attack the wrong institution or misspeak, a business might countersue and accuse you of libel or slander.
4. Keep Notes
The defendant will try everything to break down your case and get you to contradict your story. Document your experience with the product and how the harm happened to keep the story straight in your head and avoid misspeaking.
You can start with when and where you bought the merchandise. You should also detail how you used it and how it failed and injured you. Photos and videos can be beneficial. Capture images of the product and the scene where the injury occurred.
You also need to track any other expenses that resulted from the injury beyond your medical bills. For example, did the product damage any other property? Did you miss any time from work? Was anyone else near when you suffered the injury, and did they suffer any trauma or shock from the incident? These factors could increase your claim.
Journal about your and your family’s experience following the accident. These details can clarify any noneconomic damages like diminished quality of life or mental anguish.
Digitizing the documents may be a wise choice. Keeping your diary, pictures and notes on a personal cloud server can ensure you don’t lose anything and have a backup.
5. Discuss the Issue With a Personal Injury Lawyer
You may believe you have a rock-solid case that no judge or jury could deny. However, major corporations have legal teams that prepare for product liability cases. You may be heading into a battle already two steps behind your opponent.
You likely need someone you can trust to guide you through the case and help you pursue the maximum compensation. Your lawyer also enables you to meet the timelines for gathering evidence and filing the lawsuit.
In Massachusetts, you have three years to file a claim from the date of injury or loss. This timeframe might seem to be more than enough for you to handle the issue alone, but it also gives the defendant time to gather evidence and fight your case. Delays might weaken your case.
You also need to gather the right evidence against the correct party. Product defect suits are for design, manufacturing or labeling and warnings. Pursuing the wrong entity could cost you valuable time and money.
A lawyer also helps you calculate all economic and noneconomic damages. Determining a reasonable settlement for pain and suffering usually requires experience and understanding local precedents to get higher amounts.
A defective product lawyer should be able to offer a free case evaluation to help you understand your chances of success and what steps to take. This help is particularly advantageous if you are recuperating from injury.
Help You Can Count on for Your Product Liability Case
You deserve justice after suffering from an injury caused by a product defect. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and the total damages.
At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, we have extensive experience in obtaining compensation for people who suffer physical and emotional injuries from a defective product. Don’t hesitate to call us today or initiate a conversation with our live chat feature. The initial consultation is free; that’s our Stone Cold Guarantee!