Product liability cases are neither easy to win nor straightforward. For one thing you have to show the product was in unreasonably dangerous condition or was in a defective condition.
You also have to show the defect or dangerous condition was directly responsible for your injury, and not your own misuse or abuse of the product.
You can increase your chances of proving your claims if you avoid making these 4 crucial mistakes. Keep in mind that much of your case may well be decided by what you do in the first 72 hours after the injury.
1) Failing to secure the product.
The first thing you should do is save the product and store it in a safe, secure place. You might even want to lock it up, just to keep someone from losing it by mistake.
Do not throw it away. It is a vital piece of evidence.
Preserve it exactly as it is after the injury, unless it’s on fire. If it’s on fire, obviously you’re going to want to put the fire out first, but you’re still going to store whatever remains.
2) Failing to secure the documentation.
Hopefully you didn’t throw the documentation away. If you did, you might want to try searching the internet for copies. It’s worth noting that you should probably have a file folder set aside for all product documentation, even for trivial, every-day products you use on a regular basis.
The documentation you’re looking for is:
- The owner’s manual or instruction manual.
- Information about the warranty.
- Any packaging you may still have possession of.
Your attorney will use the owner’s manual in particular to help you prove that you followed the manufacturer’s directions.
3) Failing to contact an attorney right away.
If you think you have a case the time to contact an attorney is literally the moment you feasibly can after getting treatment. You will want the manufacturer, the retailer, and anyone else connected to this product to communicate with you only through your attorney.
This is because these individuals may pressure you into doing things which could be detrimental to your case. You will want your attorney’s expert advice from day one.
You cannot win a products liability claim alone. Since legal fees for personal injury cases are paid on contingency, you have absolutely nothing to lose by taking a moment to select a good attorney before you do anything else.
#4) Giving in to manufacturer demands.
At some point the manufacturer is going to demand the product so they can “conduct tests.” Hopefully by this point you’ve gotten a products liability attorney who can tell them they’re welcome to do that right after your attorney’s own experts have gotten a look at the thing.
Keep in mind you shouldn’t be doing any “testing” either…not without your attorney’s guidance and expertise. Handling evidence incorrectly could lead to a “spoilation of evidence” claim that can cause significant complications for you and your loved ones.
Have you been injured by a defective product?
Don’t wait. Contact one of our attorneys immediately.