Hartford Product Liability Lawyer

A product liability lawyer in an office building working on a computer to build a case for his client.Imagine you’ve just bought a new microwave; later that evening, you’re putting out a kitchen fire. Alternatively, picture yourself driving home from a car maintenance appointment, and your new brakes don’t bite properly; now you’re in a ditch.

Let’s have another scenario where someone else is on the line: The school clinic calls about your child experiencing a bout of anemia because the vitamins you gave your child were not labeled with contraindications for his condition.

What do these situations have in common? It’s the fact that an item you trusted to be safe for use failed.

When these things happen to you in the capital of the Nutmeg state, you might want to consider getting a Hartford product liability lawyer.

When to Seek a Hartford Product Liability Attorney

Product liability attorneys are specialist lawyers who help their clients when they face injuries, damage, and losses in general caused by defective or unsafe products and/or services. These damages can involve anything from malfunctioning appliances to faulty parts of larger machines such as vehicles.

While not every claim needs a lawyer, the general rule is that the greater your damages are, the more you stand to gain from an attorney’s services. This is because insurers are a business first and stand to lose more when clients make larger claims.

Working with an expert attorney means both an increased chance of getting an insurance company to offer any amount at all and the odds that the payout they do offer will be sufficient to cover everything you’ve lost due to a faulty product.

Maximizing a Product Liability Claim

As complex as any insurance claim might seem, there are some strategies you can take to make the most of your claim. These strategies for maximum compensation generally involve understanding the claims process and meeting the requirements as they arise.

Doing so allows you to safeguard your rights as a consumer and achieve the outcome you want and need. To that end, here are the things you can do to improve your odds of making a claim to cover your losses.

  • Thorough Documentation: Perhaps the foundation of any product liability claim, the documentation of evidence often sets the starting point for an offer by an at-fault party’s insurance company. Meticulously preserving receipts, photographs, packaging, and physical and electronic communication provides you with proof that can be used to substantiate the value of your claim.
  • Expert Legal Counsel: While filing a product liability claim on your own is perfectly legal, hiring a Hartford product liability lawyer is one of the best ways to increase your odds of getting a fair value out of your claim. Expert attorneys like ours at Bert McDowell Injury Law can offer you guidance throughout the process, assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and build a strategy to benefit you.
  • Case Evaluation: Product liability claims include different types of damages, most commonly medical expenses and lost wages, but often also include compensation for subjective losses such as pain and suffering. Insurance companies, either intentionally or unintentionally, exclude certain losses when evaluating a claim, so having a professional on your side to ensure your interests are represented during the investigation can be a huge boon.
  • Negotiation and Resolution: Another problem claimants often face is responding to the initial offer from an insurance provider; many injury victims who make a claim on their own either accept lowballed offers or, in the worst of cases, accept an argument by the insurer that they aren’t covered and cannot be compensated. An experienced product liability lawyer, however, lends their negotiation skills on your behalf, justifying why you need a larger offer to cover the losses you’ve sustained from a faulty product.
  • Timely Action: Time is an important factor when filing any kind of claim, as any action you can take is bound by a statute of limitations. In Connecticut, this statute is generally three years (or two from discovery if by negligence), which might seem like a long time until you consider how you have your own physical recovery to tend to, not to mention getting back to daily life after prolonged absences from work due to your injuries.

Keeping these points in mind allows you to better understand – and therefore plan – your product liability claim and how you approach it.

Factors That Affect a Product Liability Claim

While the factors that affect a claim vary per instance, there are some things that generally affect most cases. Not every case will have each of these factors come into play, but here is a rough guide of what to look out for.

  • Product Defects: These come in three forms: design, manufacturing, and labeling or marketing defects. The idea is that things can go wrong at any point during the creation and distribution of a product or service, and when they do go wrong, proving a defect also proves liability for the personnel involved at that specific point of failure.
      1. Design defects in a product mean that the item is inherently flawed by design, often unintentionally, but nonetheless unsafe for use even before production. An example of this would be an airbag made of substandard or experimental materials deploying too slowly or inflating to the point it ruptures as a result of its build.
      2. Manufacturing defects are problems that arise during the assembly process and make it to the consumer. These defects are usually caught by quality control but may make it to the market when oversight occurs, and QC fails.
      3. Labeling and/or marketing defects include inadequate instructions, lack of proper warnings, or false advertising, all of which can lead to dangerous and improper use of items. A lack of a recommended tire pressure sticker on the side door jamb, the owner’s manual, or even the fuel filler door can lead to a product liability claim if the owner inadvertently overinflates one or more of the tires and it explodes.
  • Evidence of Injury or Damage: Again, the ability to prove you have sustained damages because of a faulty product forms the foundation of a strong case. Refer to your medical records, photos, and other documented items, and, when possible, seek expert testimony on the faulty product from appropriate authority figures on the matter.
  • Consumer Behavior: An end user’s utilization of a product can affect how their claim can go, and so insurance companies will often demand evidence that you were using the item as instructed and following proper and reasonable guidelines. Proving that damages were sustained despite the proper use of a product is an effective way of strengthening your claim.
  • Negligence and/or Responsibility: The party you can file a claim against in a product liability case will usually be the manufacturer, the distributor, or the retailer, depending on where the defect lies. It is possible to file a claim against multiple parties if, indeed, more than one is responsible for the item’s failure.
  • Product Recalls and Complaints: While companies often try to recall faulty batches of products after receiving evidence of problems, it is still extremely common for the item to make it to the consumer before this happens. Purchasing and using an item after a product recall is an unwise move that can negatively impact the amount you can secure when filing a claim.

Note that while you can mostly expect these factors to play some part in most product liability cases, this is not an exhaustive list. Identifying what is relevant to your case can be difficult, but Hartford product liability lawyers can often tell you what you need to know and fast-track your path to compensation.

The Connecticut Statute of Limitations for a Product Liability Claim

Of course, none of these factors mean anything if the statute of limitations expires. Earlier, we mentioned how timely action is an important part of securing compensation and gave a brief overview of why it matters.

Let’s delve into that a little deeper.

As previously mentioned, the state of Connecticut only allows plaintiffs up to three years to make a claim or file a lawsuit for any injury or other loss caused by a faulty product. However, this three-year time limit is reduced to two years from discovery of the damage if it was caused by “negligent, reckless, or wanton conduct.”

Say, for example, you purchased a brand-new blender for your kitchen. Unbeknownst to you, the blender has a defect that causes it to overheat and potentially catch fire.

Six months passed, and one day, during normal operations, it started an electric fire, leading to property damage and some burn injuries. You undergo the necessary medical treatment, and, in this case, you can file for a claim within three years after the fire.

Let’s assume, however, that the manufacturer of the blender was aware of the defect. They should have recalled the product or issued a public warning but failed to do so, and so they may be deemed negligent.

Because negligence is now involved, according to the law, you only have two years after discovering your long-term injury to file a claim. This means you cannot take advantage of the full three years you might think you have.

This means you have to squeeze the claims process into your already busy day-to-day, all while suffering the actual injury. If your burns are particularly severe, then you run the risk of not making the deadline when working alone.

The best defense against this, of course, is having a product liability attorney shift the weight off your shoulders.

Choose Bert McDowell Injury Law for Your Hartford Product Liability Law Firm

When you need recompense after a faulty product causes harm, call Bert McDowell Injury Law. Our Hartford personal injury law firm takes pride in providing expert legal services at zero risk.

Don’t let the companies responsible for your injuries off easy! Call (203) 633-7449 for your free case evaluation.