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Experienced Attorneys, Aggressive Representation

How Do I File a Claim for a Defective Product?

A lawyer works on a defective product lawsuit in his sunlight Missouri office.

When you purchase a product, there is an expectation that the product will fulfill its marketed purpose. When this expectation is not reached, the problem could be that the product is defective. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, something that is defective does not work properly or contains a fault.

Filing a defective product claim may recover your losses. Effective legal counsel with experience dealing with defective products will make the process easier and faster too. They are particularly useful when the store or manufacturer is refusing to repair or replace your product.

If you or your family member have sustained an injury from using a defective product, you may file a defective product claim against the manufacturer or the company that sold it to you for compensation for the damages you have suffered. These damages may include the following:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost Future Earning Power
  • Rehabilitation
  • Medications
  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Wrongful Death

What Are Types of Product Liability Claims?

Different types of defects create product liability. Depending on the product and the defect, severe injuries and even death may occur from using the product. If you have been injured or if your loved one has been killed because of a defective product, you should be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the damages you have suffered.

Design Defects

A design defect is a problem in the product’s design, or blueprint that causes it to be unsafe. For example, a ladder that has poorly designed rungs that will buckle under a person’s weight if they use it at a certain angle, or the hinges are made of a weak material that only allow the ladder to be opened and closed so many times before breaking. These defects should be caught in product testing. When the designer knows about the defects, they weigh their options if either fixing the problem or ignoring it and hoping that the consumer will not cause the product to fail by using it in the way that makes the defects apparent.

Manufacturing

Defects also occur during the manufacturing process. The design of the product is appropriate in this case, but an error has occurred that rendered the product dangerous. An example of a common manufacturing defect is an improperly cured tire. When a tire has not cured correctly during the manufacturing process, the consequential defect may cause the tire tread to separate and the consumer will experience a loss of control as a result.

Marketing

Products need to be marketed for their specific purpose and should disclose warnings of the potential dangers involved with the expected and reasonable use of the product. For example, a stroller that was designed for a doll should not be used for a child. The stroller should be advertised as being for dolls and should display warnings against using it for children and should include the maximum weight allowance.

Other marketing defects may include:

  • Failure to include risks or known facts about the product in comparison to other products, such as including a weight limit in a child’s swing
  • Incorrect pricing or marketing strategies that consumer regulations or protection laws
  • Failure to provide adequate instructions for use and warnings, especially with dangerous products
  • Making express claims of performance or promise that are not achievable
  • Failure to make known any unsubstantiated claims from distributors, sellers, and any false statements made by manufacturers about products sold by competitors, this is known as comparative advertising

How to Initiate a Defective Product Claim or Lawsuit

The desire for justice is warranted when someone suffers an injury or illness that is caused by a defective product. In order to be successful in a lawsuit, it is necessary to first have knowledge about your rights and limitations in filing a defective product claim.

Keep the Product in Your Possession

Keeping the defective product is of the utmost importance. Depending on what the product is, this may be very difficult. Do what you can to keep the product somewhere secure and untouched while your claim or lawsuit is pending. Take pictures of it to document its condition and store it somewhere safe where it will not be altered in any way. Write down notes about the product. For example, the condition it was in when you first purchased it or first opened its container, anyone who was with you who could act as a witness to the product’s condition before and after the incident in which the defect became evident, and the amount of money you paid for it, also keep your receipt.

Understand That Not All Defective Products Warrant a Lawsuit

Before starting your claim, you should discuss your case with an experienced attorney to be sure you are eligible for compensation. Many products are defective, but that does not automatically mean that you have grounds for a defective product lawsuit. If you suffered an injury and the circumstances will prove that the cause was the defective or faulty product, you should be able to go through with your case.

Documentation Is Important

In addition to writing down notes about the product, its condition, what happened, and witnesses to these details, so that you do not forget anything, you should also document everything in an official manner. Take pictures of everything. You should include the product, your injury, the area surrounding the incident to show how the product was used, and any other details that may be relevant. Write down the names and contact information of any witnesses to the incident including before and after along with a statement from each of them. Saving this information will enable you to contact them later and to jog their memories about what they saw, especially if quite a bit of time has passed. Also keep your receipt for the product and any bills you received due to its defect. These bills may include medical bills or repair bills for property damage. All of this documentation will be necessary to support your case if you choose to take it to court.

Statute of Limitations for Defective Products in Missouri

You must file your defective product claim before the statute of limitations expires. In Missouri, you have five years from the date of your injury to file the claim, according to the Statute of Limitations.

After five years have passed, you are no longer eligible to file a claim for your injury from that defective product. There are some exceptions to this rule that are dealt with on a case by case basis, which is another reason why it will greatly benefit you to contact a defective product and personal injury attorney at Goldblatt + Singer as soon as possible after an injury occurs.

Hire Legal Counsel

Having an experienced lawyer on your side is one of the best ways to ensure that you receive the best possible compensation from your defective product claim. The best way to hire a lawyer is to contact Goldblatt + Singer for a free consultation. The defective product attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer work together as a team to make sure you have the best representation possible. After discussing your situation and if your case is eligible for compensation, you will make the decision to hire the lawyer and they will get to work for you right away. They will investigate your case and send a demand letter to the manufacturer, seller, or designer of the defective product along with resolution instructions for your claim. Your lawyer will handle all the communication and negotiations on your behalf. Part of the reason for handling all communications is to prevent the defendant or their insurance companies from tricking you into saying something that they can use against you. You will be kept informed of every step of the process.

The majority of cases for defective products are resolved through settlement offers without going to court. Your lawyer will advise you on whether or not the settlement offers are fair, but it is ultimately your decision to accept it or continue to court. In some cases, other consumers have been injured by the same product and they join together in a class action lawsuit to achieve significant awards.

How Do I File My Claim for Damages?

First, you should consult with a qualified defective product attorney to be sure you have a case and to understand your rights and options. The next step would be to contact the manufacturer of the product. They typically provide you with instructions for returning the item so that they can inspect it for defects. Most companies will replace, repair, or possibly refund your money for the item if a defect is found. There may be contracts or statutes that limit the options. Your lawyer will be able to help you if any complexities arise. They will make sure that you have all the necessary documentation and evidence for your claim and will protect your rights under any applicable regulations or laws.

If you were injured because of the defect in the product, your attorney will handle your case on your behalf and will not allow the manufacturer to ignore you. With an attorney from Goldblatt + Singer, you can be sure that you will receive all possible compensation from every avenue. They will take care of everything, so you can focus on your recovery and regain your life.

Call Goldblatt + Singer About Your Defective Product Today

Dealing with manufacturers, other large companies, and maybe even their insurance companies is often a frustrating and long process. They almost always make you fight for the compensation that is rightfully yours. The best way to file a claim for a defective product is to get help from a qualified attorney with experience in dealing with defective products. Our team of lawyers at Goldblatt + Singer is well versed in product liability law and will make sure that your best interests are secured throughout the entire process. Call us today at (314) 231-4100 for a free consultation.

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