How Can You Prove Fault in a Product Liability Case?

Normally, if you’re suing someone for personal injury, you’ll need to prove negligence. However, when it comes to product liability cases, it’s a bit different. Our Douglasville product liability attorneys have helped hundreds of clients get compensation for their injuries.

Product Liability Cases Are Different from Regular Negligence Cases

If you’re injured in a car accident or slip and fall, your Douglasville personal injury attorney will have to prove negligence. Otherwise, you will have little chance of collecting damages.

However, manufacturers in Georgia are held strictly liable for any damage caused by their defective products. If you or your child have been hurt while using a dangerous product, there’s a good chance you’ll be entitled to damages.

Normally, Your Douglasville Personal Injury Attorney Must Prove Negligence

In most personal injury cases, our attorneys need to prove negligence. This requires that we demonstrate that the defendant didn’t behave the way a reasonable person would have given the circumstances.

Your Douglasville personal injury attorney will also have to prove that your injuries were caused by the defendant’s behavior. That can be difficult when you’re dealing with a large manufacturer. How can you pinpoint exactly where they breached their duty of care?

Manufacturers Are Often Strictly Liable for Injuries Caused by a Defective Product

Thankfully, when it comes to defective products in Georgia, your product liability lawyer in Douglasville doesn’t have to prove negligence. All they really have to do is demonstrate that the defendant’s product was defective.

In some product liability cases, you may have to prove that the manufacturer failed to warn consumers about an inherent danger in their product. Since thousands (or millions) of people have purchased these products, it’s easy to show that a warning was necessary.

Companies in Georgia Are Strictly Liable for Any Defective Product

When we say that manufacturers are strictly liable for injuries caused by their products, we mean that they’ll be held liable no matter what. You don’t have to prove that a certain person at the company breached their duty of care. You don’t even have to prove that a duty of care exists.

When a company introduces a product to the market, consumers should be able to trust they are safe. For example, if you’re looking for a doll for your three-year-old child, you shouldn’t have to worry that they could choke on it.

an air fan on fire, product liability case concept

Manufacturers Are Also Strictly Liable in Failure to Warn Cases

In addition to being required to only market safe products, manufacturers are also strictly liable in failure to warn cases. If a product is inherently dangerous, the company is legally required to put a warning label on it.

A good example of when a warning is necessary would be with children’s toys. It’s common to see a label on the toy stating that it is only safe for certain age groups. Companies do this to protect themselves from liability.

What Does Your Product Liability Lawyer in Douglasville Need to Prove?

For you to collect damages, your Douglasville personal injury attorney still needs to prove your case. They can’t just file suit and expect a check to be cut by the manufacturer.

Your product liability lawyer in Douglasville will need to prove the elements of product liability. These are outlined in the next section.

There Are 4 Elements of a Successful Product Liability Lawsuit

The four elements of a product liability case are rather straightforward. First, your personal injury attorney in Douglasville will need to demonstrate that the product was defective at the time of injury.

The second requirement is that the defect is what caused your injury. Third, your Douglasville product liability lawyer will have to show that the product was in the same condition as when you bought it.

Finally, you will need to prove that you used the product the way it was intended to be used by the manufacturer.

Georgia Code §51-1-11 Doesn’t Even Require You to Prove You Purchased the Item

Some of our clients worry that they won’t be able to sue because they don’t have a receipt for the defective product. According to Georgia Code §51-1-11, plaintiffs in a product liability case don’t need to prove they purchased the item.

The law in Georgia only requires your Douglasville personal injury attorney to show that the product hurt you. In fact, you can even sue if you borrowed the product from a friend or neighbor.

What Evidence Will Your Douglasville Personal Injury Attorney Need?

Again, while the standard of proof is lower than in other personal injury cases, you aren’t off the hook completely. Your product liability lawyer in Douglasville will have to submit specific evidence to prove your case.

Some of the things your attorney will need to submit into evidence include:

  • A picture of the packaging (or the actual packaging) showing that there was no warning on the product
  • Pictures or videos showing the product malfunctioning
  • Affidavits from experts stating that the product was defective
  • Medical records showing that you were injured
  • Your doctor’s statement indicating that, in their expert opinion, the injuries you suffered were caused by the defective product

It is important to point out that, in order to collect damages, your Douglasville personal injury attorney must also prove that you used the product as intended. If you use it for some other purpose, it will significantly hurt your case.

How Long Do You Have to File Your Product Liability Lawsuit?

The Georgia statute of limitations is very specific when it comes to how long you have to file your lawsuit. For personal injury cases in general, the statute of limitations is two years. For product liability cases, it is two years for most cases. However, if you don’t learn of your injury until months or years later, the statute of limitations will be extended to four years.

When it comes to failure to warn cases, there is no statute of limitations. You can file your case whenever you want as long as you can show that the defendant knew or should have known a warning was necessary.

Reach Out to One of Our Skilled Product Liability Lawyers in Douglasville

If you or your loved one is hurt while using a defective product, you may have a claim under product liability. To find out for sure if your claim is worth pursuing, contact our office right away. Our Douglasville personal injury attorneys can help determine if your case has merit.

We do offer new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you the opportunity to sit down with a seasoned product liability lawyer in Douglasville who knows the law in Georgia. They can help get you the compensation you deserve.

Read More Related Articles