How Can I Prove an Injury Is From a Defective Product?
Defective products cause thousands of injuries and hospitalizations every year. Although product manufacturers should ensure the safety of their products, many release products that contain dangerous defects. If a defective item injures you, you may be able to file a claim seeking damages from the manufacturing company. To receive compensation, however, you or a Kansas City product liability lawyer will need to prove your injuries came from the defective product.
Hire a Product Liability Lawyer
The burden of proof in a product liability case in Kansas City is typically to establish that the product in question contained a defect and that this defect is what caused the victim’s injuries. You or your lawyer will need to show a judge or jury that your side of the story is more likely to be true than not true. Hiring a product liability lawyer can make it easier for you to fulfill your burden of proof and obtain fair compensation from a product manufacturer. A lawyer will know how to collect evidence to support your claim.
Keep the Item
Do not throw away the item that caused your injuries. Keep it to use as evidence during your claim. Having the actual item that injured you could help your lawyer demonstrate its defect. Keep all the packaging and instructions that came with it, as well. A defect could exist in its marketing, such as the lack of a warning label explaining the product’s hazards.
Take Pictures and Videos
After any type of accident or injury, take photographs to document the scene of the accident. Take pictures of the dangerous item, the site of the incident and your personal injuries. Take videos, as well, if possible. Use the timestamp feature on your phone or camera to provide a timeline of the accident. Photographic evidence can be difficult for a defendant to refute.
Gather Eyewitness Statements
While still at the scene of the defective product incident, notify someone of what happened. If you were at work, for example, tell your employer about the accident. Gather copies of accident reports. Write down the names of everyone who witnessed the incident, as well as their contact numbers. If possible, record statements from them explaining what they saw. If you call the police to the scene of a serious accident, they can talk to witnesses for you.
Obtain Medical Records
You will need medical evidence documenting your injuries and showing a causal relationship between your injury and the defective product. Go to a hospital in Kansas City immediately after your accident. Keep all medical records, treatment plans and x-rays. You may also need a letter from your doctor or another relevant medical expert explaining why he or she believes the product defect caused your injuries or illness. A lawyer can help you hire a medical expert to testify during your case, if necessary.
Research Product Recalls and Lawsuits
You and your product liability lawyer can research the item in question to find evidence of an existing defect the manufacturer already knows about. The Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps a list of recalled items, as do other federal safety organizations. The item that injured you may be a known dangerous or defective product, such as many prescription medications, medical devices, electronics, children’s toys, household appliances and auto parts
If another injured victim has already filed a claim against the manufacturer of the product that injured you for the same reason, your lawyer could help you join a mass tort or class action. During a strict product liability claim, your attorney will need to prove the item contained a design, manufacturing or marketing defect that caused your injuries. You may have other elements of proof, however, if you base your case on a breach of warranty or negligence. Speak to a product liability lawyer right away after a related accident for more information about your specific claims.