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Image of a gavel placed on a book cover with the words "product liability - James Broussard - Injury LawyerIn this article, you will discover:

What Qualifies Or Defines A Product Defect Under Louisiana Law?

Product liability law requires that many statutory elements are proven to show that your product was defective. These claims can be tricky because a lot of our products in modern society are actually made by different manufacturers.

Some products have different parts made by different manufacturers. One piece made by one manufacturer might have the defect, and the rest of the product might be made by a different manufacturer with no defects.

In Louisiana, a plaintiff has to show that an alternate design existed that the manufacturer didn’t use and that damage would not have occurred had the manufacturer used the alternate design. Often, manufacturers use a cheaper option.

If the claimant can show that a better design would have prevented this accident, they can recover. However, these cases usually require experts, such as engineers. An experienced attorney will have the ability and the network to contact and retain experts who are vital to winning your case. For these cases, it can be very difficult to prove your case without an expert simply because they know the intricacies of the product, design, and intended use.

What Are The Elements Of A Product Liability Claim In Louisiana?

There are two initial steps that are necessary for a successful claim:

  1. You must show that the defendant is the actual manufacturer of the product.
  2. You must show that the damage you sustained as the claimant was approximately caused by a characteristic of the product.

The case rests on proving that the characteristic of the product that injured you was unreasonably dangerous and that you were using it for its intended use. People are often injured by a product while using it in the wrong way – sometimes even in a way the manufacturer told them not to use it.

There are a lot of elements and a lot of boxes that need to be checked during a claim. An experienced attorney is very necessary for these types of claims.

Do I Need To Still Have The Defective Product In Order To File A Product Liability Claim?

If a product injures you, it is better to have the defective product as evidence than an effective product so that an expert can examine the product. You should keep and retain the product that caused the injuries when you meet with a personal injury attorney.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Serious Injuries Sustained From Defective Products?

Although a broad range, some injuries that defective products can cause are explosions and broken limbs. Injuries can vary based on what kind of product it is and how it was used.

Often, the intended use of the product is compared to how the claimant actually used the product. Product malfunction has to be shown to prove that a product is defective. The malfunction has to have happened when the product was being utilized for its intended purpose.

Typically, this is what deems the product defective. Expert testimony about the use of the product, the design, and manufacturer warnings or disclaimers is going to be very important.

If The Product Has A Disclaimer, Can The Manufacturer Still Be Held Liable For My Injuries?

One of the ways a manufacturer can be held liable is for a failure to warn. This is why there are warning labels on almost everything we buy. Sometimes, however, the warning label doesn’t address the product’s defective nature.

Even if you’ve been injured by a product with warnings, you should still seek representation. The warning may not apply to the design defect that caused your injury.

Every case is different, and all the facts in every case are different. It is imperative that you consult with an attorney who has handled these cases before.

What Damages Can I Claim In A Product Liability Case?

A product liability case is essentially a tort case. There is no limit on the kind of damages you can prove. Past, present, and future medical needs, lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life could all be considered. There is no statutory limitation to what damages can be recovered in a product liability case. It comes down to what you and your attorney can show and prove in your claim.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Product Liability Claim In Louisiana?

Under Louisiana law, there is a one-year statute of limitations. This means you have one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.

Who Is Held Liable For My Injuries In A Product Liability Case?

It’s generally the manufacturer of the product who is held liable, but sometimes it may also be the companies that put the different components of a product together. In some cases, the seller of the product can be held liable.

While seller liability isn’t common, it is possible. In general, the manufacturer of a defective product is the entity held liable.

How Can I Prove The Defective Product Caused My Injuries And I’m Not At Fault?

The claimant has to show the defect in several different ways. The first step is taking into account the product’s construction and design. This includes whether there was an alternate design that would likely not have caused the injury, and why the manufacturer chose not to use that design.

In addition, the claimant must show that they were using the product under reasonably anticipated use. If it is determined that it wasn’t under reasonably anticipated use, you could actually lose your claim. These kinds of complicated claims under Louisiana law require a personal injury attorney who has the experience and knowledge to prosecute them.

Would The Injured Party Be Eligible For Compensation If He Or She Was At Fault?

Louisiana is a comparative fault regime, which means that the injured party is due damages minus the percentage of fault they are deemed to be responsible for. If a product injures a person and it is determined that they were 50% at fault in mishandling or misusing the product, then the claimant’s recovery is limited or reduced by their percentage of comparative fault.

If you think you are partially at fault, don’t let that deter you from contacting an attorney. Speaking to a seasoned attorney will help you determine the best course for you.

What Are Common Defense Strategies Insurance Companies Use To Deny Or Limit Defective Product Claims And Settlements In Louisiana?

The most common defense is that the person wasn’t using the product under reasonably anticipated use. They might say that the claimant didn’t follow the instructions, and that they are at fault for causing their own damages because they used the product incorrectly.

There are different perspectives to consider when countering the insurance company’s defense. For instance, what if the person is not using the device properly, but the defect is so severe that it doesn’t matter?

In this situation, the claimant might be 10% at fault, while the manufacturer is 90% at fault. Perhaps the defect was unreasonably dangerous, and the magnitude of harm was so severe, that the manufacturer is deemed mostly liable. That’s why the jury or judge must look at the facts of every case. All parties involved and percentages of fault are allocated based on their findings.

For more information on Product Liability Claims In Louisiana, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (337) 324-9293 today.

Experienced Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney - James Broussard, Esq.

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(337) 324-9293

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