We all buy, use, and consume products on a daily basis, making consumer rights a fundamental issue. If you have been injured by a product that was poorly designed or manufactured, you have the right to collect damages. All parties involved in the chain of distribution are responsible for ensuring the safety of their products. A product liability attorney in Cheyenne, Wyoming can help you sort out some of the complex issues pertaining to product liability law.
Product Liability FAQ: Can I Still File a Claim If I Didn’t Purchase the Product?
There is a misconception that unless you purchase a product, you do not have the right to sue for damages in the event that it injures you. In fact, retailers, manufacturers, and any middlemen who have a connection to the product are responsible for making sure that it is safe to use, regardless of who actually purchased it.
What If I Was Hurt By a Product Someone Else Owned?
Consumer protection statutes and personal injury laws apply to injuries caused by products regardless of ownership. For example, if you borrowed your friend’s hairdryer and it gave you an electric shock, you would have the right to file a product liability claim. It is important to note that the claim must be filed by you, the injured person, as opposed to your friend, who purchased the product.
What If I Was Hurt by a Product That Someone Else Was Using?
Imagine that your neighbor used a brand of pesticide on his or her lawn for years, only to find out that the product contained cancer-causing chemicals. If you developed cancer as a result of your proximity to the area where the product was being used, you could seek compensation for your medical expenses and other damages.
Types of Product Liability Claims
In our society, almost everything we interact with on a daily basis passes through a chain of distribution or is made from components that were manufactured and sold. The diversity of consumer items on the market means that there are many different types of product liability cases. Some of the most common product liability claims involve:
- Poisonous food items
- Cancer-causing household chemicals
- Electronics that malfunction
- Pharmaceutical drugs that cause adverse side effects
- Faulty or poorly designed car components
- Toys with small parts that cause choking
- Cosmetics or toiletries used over long periods of time
The list above offers just a small sampling of the types of product liability cases that could result in damages being awarded to the injured party. Here are some examples of situations in which you could file a claim regardless of the fact that you did not purchase the product that harmed you:
An Exploding Pressure Cooker
If you received a pressure cooker as a wedding gift and it exploded while you were using it, you may have sustained serious injuries. If the explosion was the result of a manufacturing defect, you would have grounds for a product liability case despite the fact that the pressure cooker was a gift.
A Faulty Airbag
Imagine that an accident occurred while you were riding in the passenger seat of a car. If the car’s airbag malfunctioned, causing you to become injured, you might have a case against the manufacturer of the car and/or the airbag. Additionally, you would most likely have the right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
A Restaurant Meal That Caused an Illness
If you became ill after eating in a restaurant, you could sue for damages regardless of who picked up the check for your table. There are a number of potential defendants in this type of case, including the restaurant, the company that provided the ingredients used to cook the food, and any parties that were responsible for keeping those ingredients fresh as they were being stored and transported.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Product Liability Case?
The idea behind product liability law is that you shouldn’t have to pay for any expenses or losses you incurred as a result of an unsafe product. If your injury resulted in medical bills, your compensation should equal the cost of your treatments and any other expenses related to your care. For noneconomic expenses such as pain and suffering, the court will determine what amount of monetary compensation is appropriate in your case.
In addition to medical expenses and physical pain, the other types of damages you may be eligible to recover include:
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Loss of the ability to participate in enjoyable activities
- Loss of consortium
Who Provides the Compensation?
The party or parties that are found to be responsible for your injury are legally obligated to pay for your damages. Shared responsibility is common in product liability cases because most products are designed, manufactured, transported, and sold by different entities. It is important for you to identify all of the parties in the chain of distribution that could be liable.
Wyoming recognizes the concept of several liability, according to which each party is only responsible for paying a percentage of the compensation that is equal to their share of responsibility. A product liability attorney who is familiar with the way supply chains work can help you identify all of the potential defendants in your case, increasing the chances that you will be fully compensated.
What If the Liable Party Is a Foreign Entity?
Due to the global nature of many supply chains, a large portion of the products we use in Cheyenne, Wyoming are made overseas. Some claimants worry that they will not be able to seek damages if the product that hurt them was manufactured by a foreign company. In fact, most companies that send consumer items to the United States are bound by American product liability laws as a condition of doing business here.
What Kind of Lawyer Can Help Me Build My Case?
Product liability cases often involve complex issues, from multiple defendants to situations involving international corporations. When you choose a lawyer, consider his or her experience with product liability law and whether or not he or she has an impressive track record that includes winning cases against big companies. You should also look into the credibility of the firm because reputable firms often have valuable professional networks that can be useful if you need to call on expert witnesses.
Never Assume That You Can’t File a Claim
If you decide not to file a product liability claim because you didn’t purchase the item that harmed you, you could be giving up your moral and legal right to obtain compensation for your losses. Before you assume that your case would not hold up in court for any reason, speak with a lawyer who is familiar with product liability law.
Requesting a consultation is the first step toward making your case. When you meet with us, you will have the opportunity to discuss all of the details of your accident and even bring in the physical product, if you can transport it.
Where Can I Find a Product Liability Attorney in Cheyenne, Wyoming?
Our law firm has recovered millions for clients in product liability cases. To contact our attorneys and schedule a consultation, reach out to Ochs Law Firm.