Each time you purchase a new product and use it as directed, you have every right to expect that the product will work as expected. Most of the time, this is the case; however, there are unfortunate instances when manufacturers, product designers, distributors, and other participants of the supply chain fail their obligations to consumers and provide a defective product. In these situations, the consumer may have the right to seek compensation from the responsible party in the form of a tort claim and may be eligible for compensation either as an out-of-court settlement or an award from a judge and jury after a lawsuit. You may be able to file an insurance claim with the responsible party’s insurance company or may need to file a claim directly. Regardless, working with a personal injury attorney is one of the best steps that you can take in the early days following your accident.
The team at Fasig | Brooks offers a free initial consultation for victims of defective products in Orlando. This consultation is a great opportunity to learn about what your rights and options are, and to get a better sense of how we can help you move forward and get the money that you are rightfully entitled to. The sooner you request your consultation, the sooner you will be able to look to the future with confidence and focus on your recovery without taking on additional, unnecessary stress about your legal case.
Read more below about product liability cases, and contact us as soon as possible for your consultation.
Compensation For Victims Of Defective Products
The biggest question following a defective product accident or injury (once fault and liability have been established) is that of damages and compensation: how much is the victim owed? Tort claims seek compensatory damages for the victim in the form of two distinct types: economic damages and non-economic damages. In addition to these damages (discussed in detail below), a victim may be awarded punitive damages; however, these damages are only awarded by a judge or jury, and a personal injury attorney in Orlando will not factor these into the damages that they seek on behalf of their client.
The following is a breakdown of the two types of compensatory damages. Determining the amount of each will be highly specific to your case, and something that you and your attorney will need to investigate closely in order to determine the amount you rightfully owed.
Economic damages are the basis of a personal injury case. This type of damage includes anything with a measurable dollar value associated with it. The most common economic damages are medical bills and lost wages. Medical bills include things like ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgical costs, prescription copayments, physical therapy, and any other costs related to your treatment and recovery. Typically, your insurance will be paid back for their upfront costs before the victim is able to collect compensation for themselves. Lost wages include days missed from work, but they also include any paid time off, sick leave, or vacation days used, as well as impacts to your long-term earning capacity or ability to return to your former position.
There are many other economic damages that your attorney will help you both identify and calculate into your settlement negotiation package, which is why it is so important to start working with a personal injury and product liability lawyer as soon as possible. Many of these damages may seem either insignificant or unrelated on their own, but each adds up and will help you work towards a settlement figure that accurately reflects the economic impact this accident has had on your life.
Non-economic damages are complicated and confusing, simply because they apply to damages that do not have an actual dollar value. The most common non-economic damages are things like the pain and suffering a victim endured during the accident and from the resulting injuries, as well as emotional impacts like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety that understandably arise after an unexpected accident. Like economic damages, there are many other non-economic damages that an experienced attorney will help you identify, and will then work to accurately and fairly calculate.
There are a number of methods used to determine dollar values for non-economic damages, and your attorney will choose the right method depending on the circumstances of your accident and injuries. Trying to negotiate for non-economic damages on your own, without the help of an attorney, can lead to tremendous pushback from the insurance company or the responsible parties’ attorneys, which is why your attorney will be an important ally during this process. Insurance companies prey on inexperience during the claims process, so having a lawyer will send a clear sign that you mean business from the start.
Frequently Asked Questions About Product Liability Cases
After any accident, it is understandable that you will have many questions about what to expect moving forward with an attorney. The following are just a few of the most common questions our attorneys get during our initial consultations. Keep in mind that the answers provided below are meant to give you a general sense of your own situation, but the only way to get accurate answers is to contact us as soon as possible.
How much is my product liability case worth?
In order to determine exactly how much your case is worth, we will need to sit down and go through the wide range of economic and non-economic damages that you have suffered. During the initial phase of your claim, there will be a claims investigation process carried out by the liable party, at which time we will perform our own investigation in order to get a clear understanding of what damages you have suffered, and how we will quantify them in order to get you the money you deserve.
Should I settle directly with the responsible party?
If you are not partnered with an attorney, you should not consider settling until you have consulted with a legal professional. When you are working with the team from Fasig | Brooks, our first step will be to get a clear understanding of your entire accident, and the damages you are entitled to. From there, we will consider our options and either attempt to negotiate directly with the responsible party (or their insurance company) or move to file a lawsuit in the Florida courts immediately. Settling directly without negotiation will result in a payment far less than what you are truly entitled to.
Do I need an attorney to file a product liability claim?
There is no law stating that a victim of a personal injury needs to work with an attorney, but the numbers don’t lie: the team at Fasig | Brooks will work to get you far more in your settlement or lawsuit than you likely would end up with if you took this process on alone. This is due to the fact that we have years of experience handling these cases, and will be able to take yours on while you focus all of your energy on your recovery. Attempting to handle your own claim at the same time as recovering can introduce harmful stress into the process.