Did you incur injuries due to a defective product? You would be surprised how many people in Tampa, FL, share your fate. Many have no idea that they can file a product liability claim and recover their losses. You can and should do it, preferably with the help of a Tampa personal injury lawyer.
However, when you incur injuries, your priority should be to seek medical attention. Depending on how serious your injuries are, you should call 911 or undergo a complete medical exam. Also, do not forget to keep any medical reports and test results that could prove your injuries.
You should also gather evidence of how the injuries occurred. Take photos of the defective design and record the damage it caused. Write down the names of anyone who can testify to the defect. Go online and look for other buyers or users who encountered the same flaw.
Unfortunately, obtaining compensation for your losses will not be easy. Although the amount at stake could be significant, the process is usually long and troublesome. That is why you should not go through it alone. Get the help of a personal injury attorney in Tampa.
The Product Liability Claim and How a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
A Tampa personal injury attorney can help with:
1. Identifying the Defendant to the Claim
The defendant is either the party at fault for the design’s defect or where applicable, their insurer. Possible defendants are:
- The product’s designer
- The product’s manufacturer
- A parts supplier
- Third-party service providers (packing, testing, distribution, etc.)
2. Prove Their Liability
This is one of the most challenging steps. In order to receive compensation for your injuries, you need to show that:
- They were caused by a particular product
- The product was defective
- The defect was the result of the negligence of the defendant
- Had the defendant acted with reasonable care, your injuries would not have occurred.
You should prepare for the defendant to bring their own arguments and defend their interests. They may argue that their product followed all applicable rules and regulations and blame you. They may claim that you did not follow user instructions and used the product for the wrong purposes. A Tampa personal injury lawyer can help you prove liability.
3. Assess and Prove Your Losses
You now have a defendant to your claim and the evidence that proves their liability. You still need to show what losses you incurred due to their negligence and the defective product. Depending on the specifics of your case, the product liability claim can cover:
- Property damage (the value of the product itself and any other property damage it caused)
- Medical expenses (the costs you incurred while treating your injuries)
- Financial losses (lost wages, lost earning capacity)
- Emotional losses (pain and suffering, loss of consortium or the ability to enjoy life)
You will have to support each of these losses with documents. Common examples include medical reports, hospital bills, and pharmacy receipts. You should also include assets inventory and photos and recordings of their condition before and after. A personal injury attorney in Tampa will also use witnesses, expert testimonies, and case precedents.
4. The Product Liability Claim Process – Better Left to a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer
Now you have all the information, documents, and evidence you need. It is time to follow the legal formalities that will get you the compensation you deserve. They consist of:
- Filing a demand letter with the defendant summarizing your defective product experience, losses, and requests. This gives the defendant a chance to settle matters outside of court.
- Filing a formal claim in the Tampa civil court. The notice of claim is the formality that initiates the product liability lawsuit.
- Undergoing mediation. The court will usually request the parties to attend a mediation meeting. The purpose is to encourage a settlement and save taxpayer money.
- Asking the court to set a trial date. This announces that the negotiations failed and you wish to proceed with the lawsuit.
- Using the discovery period. In setting the trial date, the court will allow a period for the parties to prepare for the lawsuit.
- Navigating the trial. The jury will hear the parties, analyze the available evidence, and rule.
- The verdict and the appeal. The jury decides whether you are indeed entitled to compensation and its amount. Both you and the defendant can appeal the verdict if you don’t agree with it.
Obviously, all these steps are easier to follow for a Tampa personal injury lawyer.
Schedule a Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney in Tampa, FL
Do you have questions or need help with your product liability claim? We are here for you. Call our office at 1-888-BURNETTI and schedule a FREE consultation. You will receive the answers and assistance you need!