We know that the idea of filing a claim or lawsuit can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re recovering from a significant injury. But pursuing a lawsuit when a defective product has caused that injury can certainly be worth the effort (see this post to consider important questions in determining if a defective product is to blame). Depending on your damages, a successful product liability claim can help you recover medical expenses, lost wages from missed work and potentially much more.
What are damages and how can you determine them? “Damages” means the full amount of money that will be paid to you if you win your case. This amount of money is meant to restore you to the condition you were in (financially and emotionally, if possible) before the injury. One of the factors to consider in deciding whether to bring a lawsuit is the extent of the damages. However, you should always consult with an experienced product liability attorney instead of trying to make this determination on your own, as there are a multitude of factors to consider, including potentially participating in a class action suit. Certainly if your damages are extensive, a product liability suit is worth investigating fully.
Damages recoveries include economic (monetary) loss as well as non-economic (general) loss. Economic damages may include:
• Medical expenses, including doctors’ bills, cost of medications, physical therapy, hospital stays, as well as the need for medical and/or psychological care into the future.
• Costs of handling the injury/disability, like buying a wheelchair, hiring in-home nursing care, or purchasing a specially-outfitted car.
• Loss of wages, which can cover any missed work or missed opportunities to work, as well as the potential lost work in the future because of the injury.
• Property losses or repairs, which may include construction work or replacements needed to fix damage to your home or property that was caused by a defective product.
General or non-economic losses cover items that can be harder to put a price-tag on, like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. However, you are still entitled to compensation for these types of damages if a defective product has impacted your quality of life. Furthermore, your spouse or close family member(s) may be entitled to recovery for “loss of consortium” if the injuries caused by the product have affected your relationship with them.
Fundamentally, it is important to speak with a lawyer to help evaluate and properly organize all of the potential product-defect damages you’ve experienced and may have in the future. Additionally, you must act promptly after the injury to ensure that you comply with the applicable statutory time provided to file the claim after the injury. So contact the experienced attorneys at the Hodge & Langley Law Firm today to have a free consultation about your case, and to see if we can help you recover damages from a product liability action.