Every day, we rely on products to improve our quality of life, keep us healthy, and help us earn a living. When you buy products such as a car, a power tool, or a medication prescribed by your doctor, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether that product will cause you harm.
Unfortunately, product defects do sometimes cause injuries. Under New Mexico law, if a product causes harm to a consumer, the manufacturers or distributors can be held strictly liable. If you’ve been injured in Albuquerque due to a defective product, keep reading to understand how you can get compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Basic Kinds of Product Liability Lawsuits
Product liability law is based on the idea that when you purchase a product, you have the right to assume that there are no defects in the product’s design, manufacturing, marketing, or distribution. The designers, manufacturers, marketers, and distributors owe you the right to be reasonably safe from harm while using their products. If they breach this duty of care, they are guilty of negligence.
Often, there will be one general type of negligence that can provide the foundation for your product liability lawsuit. Some possible types of negligence that your case might center around include:
- Design defect. For example, designers could have been negligent in not foreseeing the detects in the product’s design and intended purpose.
- Manufacturing defect. Someone in the manufacturing process – such as a factory manager or production line worker – could have been negligent. Manufacturing defects usually do not occur within the product’s intended design or purpose but in a mistake that prevented the product from being used as intended.
- Marketing defect. This often happens when the party responsible for warning labels is negligent. If warning labels do not adequately or clearly explain the possible side-effects or dangers of the product, or if warning labels are hard to see or inaccessible, that can be negligence.
- Distributor defect. This can happen when there were no flaws in design, manufacturing, or marketing, but the distributor acted out of negligence. For example, if a supermarket sells dairy products that were not refrigerated properly and a consumer gets seriously sick because of it, the supermarket could be seen as negligent.
What is Strict Liability?
Many product liability lawsuits will use some sort of negligence to prove that the injury victim deserves compensation. However, under the legal doctrine of strict liability, sometimes the manufacturer or retailer can still be held liable even when no negligence can be proved. LegalMatch explains that “even if a product was safely designed, was properly manufactured, and contained an appropriate warning, a manufacturer or retailer of a product may be liable for injuries resulting from use of the product simply because the product caused those injuries.”
Proving Your Case
As soon as you are injured, you can start building a winning case by:
- Preserving the product that caused you harm and its packaging, directions, and receipt.
- Taking photos and videos of the defective product, your injuries, and the scene of the accident.
- Documenting your experience. Record what happened and keep copies of all related paperwork or bills.
- Submitting an insurance claim.
- Reaching out to a product liability attorney.
How a Product Liability Attorney Can Help
An attorney can help you prove the severity of your injuries and damages. Damages in product liability cases can go beyond just the injuries that would be obvious from your medical bills. Damages can include scarring, permanent disability, loss of enjoyment in life, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and more. An attorney can evaluate the full scope of how your injury impacted your life and help you claim a compensation amount that is fair. An attorney can convincingly present evidence and argue your case so that you don’t miss out on the justice you deserve. At The Law Office of Brian K. Branch, we can promise you personal attention and dedication. We can consult with experts at the top of their fields to get you the evidence you need to win your case. It can feel intimidating to bring a case against a large company or corporation, but The Law Office of Brian K. Branch has the experience needed to successfully fight for your rights.
While it makes sense that you might be feeling overwhelmed after your injury, it’s better not to delay seeking legal action. Product liability cases can be complicated, and in New Mexico you only have three years from the date of the accident to file your case. Getting started sooner rather than later can help you maximize your ability to present a strong case and win the compensation you deserve! Contact a product liability attorney today!