Ask A Lawyer
by Allison Jones
Jun 23, 2014 | 732 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I was hurt recently by a machine at work that wasn’t guarded properly. It was only my second week running that particular piece of equipment. My supervisor told me that I should look into a product liability lawsuit. What are my chances of success? Peyton S., Jasper

Peyton, I am sorry you were hurt. You should definitely consult with an attorney with experience handling Product Liability cases. There are a lot of issues that will factor into whether the case will be successful. Let me give you some basic information on Product Liability law.

Product liability lawsuits are grouped into three categories. The first category involves defectively manufactured products, meaning that a mistake was made either at the factory or between the factory and wherever the product was purchased, resulting in a faulty product. The second category involves defectively designed products, meaning that the product is dangerous in some way even though it was correctly manufactured. These cases involve an entire line of products that are unreasonably dangerous. The third category involves a failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions regarding the proper use of the injury-causing product. 

Many product liability claims arise out of the use of pharmaceutical drugs with dangerous side effects. Often, the side effects of the drugs were unreasonably dangerous or the manufacturer did not warn the patient of those side effects.

There are three general types of evidence you will need in order to win your lawsuit:

First, you must prove you have been injured or suffered some other kind of damage and that the defect was the specific cause of your injuries or damages.

Second, you must prove the product involved in your case was defective or lacked proper warnings or instructions.

Finally, you must prove that you were using the product in more or less the manner in which it was intended to be used.

In Alabama, you must file a defective product liability lawsuit within two years of the date of injury. If you fail to file your lawsuit before this statute of limitations expires, the judge will throw out your case, no matter how good your claim may be. There are a few exceptions if the injury is not discovered "or should have been discovered" until after the two years has passed. This is especially true in such cases involving defective drugs.

One of the most important aspects of evaluating a products liability claim is determining what types and amounts of damages you have suffered.  Compensatory damages are intended to restore you to the condition you were in before the injury occurred by attaching a dollar value to each of the bad things that happened to you as a result of the injury. These damages include "economic" losses such as medical expenses, lost wages or profits, and any damage to your property. They also include certain "non-economic" losses, such as pain and suffering. If a judge or jury finds that the defendant has acted particularly badly, you may also be entitled to punitive damages that will punish a defendant for its conduct and to deter others from engaging in similar conduct.

Nelson, Bryan and Jones represents clients in the following areas: Social Security Disability, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Wrongful Death Cases, Personal Injury Actions, Defective Products, Insurance Disputes and Bad Faith, Fire Loss cases, Trucking Accidents, Worker’s Compensation, Drug Recalls, Employment Law and Property Damage Claims.

Please send the questions to: Ask A Lawyer P. O. Box 2309, Jasper, Alabama 35502

205-387-7777 or email to:

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No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.