When Should I Consider a Claim for a Defective Product?
Defective products injure or kill tens of thousands of Americans each year. Yet every injury or death suffered by the failure of a product or device does not mean that the product was defective.; Lawsuits which allege that a product is defective are difficult and expensive to pursue. They are difficult because most state laws require that the party bringing the lawsuit must prove that the product was defective and that there was an alternative design available at the time which the manufacturer of the product did not use.; They are expensive because most cases require that the attorney retain an expert to inspect and test the device and render testimony about its defective design flaws. In some cases, these experts can cost $100,000.; There are many types of potential defective product cases which may be asserted. Defective automobile claims are common. Many claims have been asserted for injuries suffered when the fuel tanks of certain cars explode or catch fire because of a design flaw that allows the gas tank to; Another factor commonly considered by clients when contemplating whether or not to bring a legal claim is the exposure of their private life and information. When a lawsuit is filed, there are few aspects of your past life that a court will prevent the other side from discovering. Past criminal behavior, other lawsuits, divorces, income tax returns, former jobs and employers are areas which are routinely discovered during a lawsuit.; Many defense lawyers will intentionally try to shame or embarrass the plaintiff in an attempt to shift a jury’s attention away from his client’s negligence. Most lawyers know that juries are less likely to award substantial sums of money to people they do not like. This is why many trials seem to be placing the life of the plaintiff on trial.; In automobile cases, the choice of whether to institute a claim must always consider on which party the fault has been initially placed by the investigating police officer. Moreover, there are certain legal presumptions that operate to place fault on one driver or the other depending on how the accident occurred. For instance, in a rear end collision, there is generally a presumption that the driver who rear ends another car is at fault in the accident. Of course, there are instances in which the preceding vehicle which was rear ended is at fault. However, the ability to prove fault is a key factor in deciding how to proceed.; Auto crash cases also should be evaluated by determining the type and availability of insurance coverages. Certain coverages apply regardless of the fault of the drivers involved. Other coverages only extend to the driver not determined to be at fault. Moreover, if the state in which the accident occurred requires little or only minimal insurance coverages, the amount of available insurance may very well be tendered by the insurance adjuster without the need to file a claim in court.; Finally, the cost of proceeding with the litigation as compared to the potential recovery should be considered. If a case will cost $10,000 to pursue and the available coverage if the claim is successful is $10,000, the case may not be worth pursuing. Unless the damages are substantial and clearly above the available policy limits, most insurance adjusters will not offer their policy limits in settlement. It is only after the case is developed, depositions are taken and money is spent before most contested cases can be resolved.; Unlike most other types of personal injury cases, automobile accident cases involving injuries are usually worth pursing with an attorney. This is not because people are rushing out and filing frivolous claims that get paid. It is more a function of the insurance adjusters constantly attempting to “low ball” and mistreat accident victims. Much of the insurance company’s money could be saved by adjusters who fairly compensate victims well before attorneys get involved. However, the sad reality is that most people will have to hire an attorney to be fairly compensated.