The products that millions of consumers use daily should never pose a risk of serious bodily injury or death. Unfortunately, reports are made each year of dangerous and defective products causing harm to victims in Lake Charles and throughout Louisiana. At the Morris Bart law firm, we can help if you have been injured by a defective product.
Our Lake Charles product liability attorneys can determine whether you have grounds for a claim; if so, we can help you collect evidence and file a claim. Our attorneys have years of experience going up against product manufacturers in pursuit of justice and fair financial compensation for our clients. We will be there for you every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Why Choose Us?
- Our product liability lawyers in Lake Charles bring more than 40 years of experience to each case. We understand how Louisiana’s product liability laws work.
- Our law firm consists of over 100 skilled attorneys and 150 experienced legal professionals. We have 15 law offices located in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.
- We have collected millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts for our clients and helped thousands of injured victims across the Southeast United States recover financially.
- Our Lake Charles personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means we only charge our clients attorney’s fees if we win the case and secure compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a Product Liability lawyer serving Lake Charles, call 800-537-8185
Why Hire a Lake Charles Product Liability Lawyer?
If you or a loved one suffers an injury due to a defective product in Lake Charles, it is important to contact an attorney with experience in this practice area as soon as possible. You may be eligible for financial compensation from the product manufacturer for your medical bills and property damage; however, you must take the correct steps toward seeking justice. An attorney can guide you through the legal process.
The benefits of hiring a lawyer include:
- A Lake Charles product liability lawyer will offer information and advice that you can trust regarding product liability laws and the specific regulations governing this practice area in Louisiana.
- Your lawyer can investigate your accident and injury, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and hire qualified experts on your behalf.
- Your lawyer will use proven legal strategies to establish negligence and liability (legal responsibility) for injuries caused by the defective product.
- An attorney can take over your claim and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you are treated fairly.
- If necessary, your lawyer will be prepared to go to trial and offer courtroom representation if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
Most importantly, hiring an experienced product liability attorney can give you and your family greater peace of mind during this difficult time. Your lawyer can allow you to focus on healing from your injuries and moving forward while he or she handles the legal legwork of your case. Having an attorney protecting your rights and best interests will make it easier to concentrate on what matters most.
What Is a Product Defect?
A product defect refers to a flaw, issue or error inherent in a product’s design, manufacturing or marketing that makes it unsafe for consumer use. If an individual uses an item the way that the manufacturer intended and suffers an injury as a result, the product is defective.
Three types of product defects are recognized in product liability law:
- Design defect: a flaw in how the product was designed by an engineer, designer or manufacturer. Design flaws make a product unreasonably dangerous even before it is produced. The entire product line is typically affected by a design defect.
- Manufacturing defect: a mistake made during the manufacture or creation of a product, such as a problem during the production process, that renders the defective item unsafe for use. A manufacturing defect may affect a single unit or multiple units.
- Marketing defect: issues with how a product was marketed, packaged or advertised, including a failure to warn consumers of known injury risks or hazards associated with its use. A lack of proper instructions or warning labels can make a product dangerous for consumers.
For a product liability case in Lake Charles to succeed, the filing party (plaintiff) or his or her attorney must demonstrate evidence of one of these three types of defects. Then, there must be a connection between the product defect and the injury or loss suffered.
Types of Compensation Available for a Product Liability Claim
When an individual is injured or suffers property damage due to a defective product in Louisiana, he or she may have grounds to file a product liability claim as a type of personal injury lawsuit. This type of claim seeks financial compensation from the manufacturer, distributor or another party in the product supply chain for being responsible for the harm suffered.
A successful product liability claim could repay a victim for various related losses, such as:
- Medical bills, including surgeries, rehabilitation, medications, therapy and other necessary medical treatments.
- Lost wages or earnings from the time of the accident to the date of the claim.
- Lost capacity to earn in the future due to a long-term or permanent disability.
- The costs of repairing or replacing damaged property.
- Pain and suffering, including physical pain, emotional distress and mental anguish.
- Loss of consortium when injuries affect a spousal or parental relationship.
- Punitive damages, in rare cases involving recklessness or gross negligence.
In general, a compensatory award is meant to reimburse a victim for all of the losses and expenses suffered due to the incident. The specific types and potential amounts of financial compensation available through a product liability claim will depend on the circumstances, such as the severity of the victim’s injuries. Discuss the potential value of your claim with an attorney at Morris Bart before accepting an insurance settlement.
Proving Negligence in a Product Liability Case
Negligence is the legal basis for most personal injury claims in Louisiana. Proving negligence during a product liability claim typically requires demonstrating that the defendant owed the plaintiff a certain standard of care but failed to meet it, leading to a dangerous defective product that caused harm.
Proving negligence in a product liability claim involves evidence of the following:
- Duty of care: a legal responsibility or obligation to act according to industry standards, such as a manufacturer’s duty to safety-test products before releasing them to the public.
- Breach of duty: an act or omission by the defendant that fell short of the duty of care, such as failing to provide adequate warnings regarding a known product use hazard.
- Causation: proximate cause, or proof that the defendant’s actions or omissions were a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries or harm.
- Damages: compensable losses suffered by the plaintiff because of the event, such as bodily injuries, property damage or medical costs
The burden of proof in a product liability claim is a “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning enough proof to show that the injury more likely than not occurred the way the plaintiff is claiming. An attorney from Morris Bart can help you seek and collect evidence to establish your case and prove the four elements of negligence.
Strict Liability vs. Negligence
Product liability cases are unique in that they may involve the legal theory of strict liability. Strict liability means that legal and financial responsibility can go to a party regardless of actual negligence or intent to harm. If one of the three product defects listed above is present and the plaintiff establishes that his or her injuries were caused by the defective product, the courts may allow a claim on the basis of strict liability. This removes the burden of proving negligence from the plaintiff.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Defective Product Injury?
Determining liability for a defective product injury in Lake Charles may take assistance from an attorney. The Morris Bart law firm can conduct an investigation, such as inspecting the defective item, searching for product recalls or other consumer complaints, and hiring experts to understand the cause of the injury. With this information, your lawyer can assign blame and identify one or multiple defendants.
Liable parties may include:
- The manufacturer: the company or facility responsible for manufacturing or creating the defective product, part or component.
- The distributor or wholesaler: the party involved in the distribution of the product, if it was aware of the defect and failed to take appropriate action to protect consumers.
- The retailer or seller: stores or individuals who furnish defective products to customers if they failed to inspect the products or did not warn consumers of known risks.
- An engineer or designer: the party responsible for designing or engineering a defective product, if a dangerous design caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
- An installer: a company or individual in charge of installing or assembling the product if mistakes contributed to a harmful defect.
- A testing facility: a testing laboratory that negligently failed to evaluate the safety of a product and identify potential defects.
Assigning liability in a product liability claim in Louisiana can be complicated. It often involves a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the injury. Proving the fault of a defendant requires compelling evidence, such as the defective product and its original packaging, expert testimony, consumer complaints, product recalls, and photographs of injuries.
Louisiana Products Liability Act
The Louisiana Products Liability Act, or LPLA, states that manufacturers can be held liable for damage caused by a characteristic of a product that renders the product “unreasonably dangerous.”
Unreasonably dangerous is defined in the following ways:
- In the product’s construction or composition according to the rules of Revised Statute (RS) 9:2800.55, which states that the product deviated in a material way from the manufacturer’s specifications or performance standards.
- In the product’s design under RS 9:2800.56, meaning there existed an alternative design for the product that could have prevented the plaintiff’s damage.
- Due to an inadequate warning about the product, as in RS 9:2800.57. The product possessed a characteristic that may cause damage and the manufacturer failed to provide an adequate warning of such characteristic and its potential danger to users.
- Due to the failure to conform to an express warranty of the manufacturer about the product, as stated in RS 9:2800.58, or because the express warranty was untrue.
This law provides a framework for consumers to pursue product liability claims against manufacturers in the State of Louisiana. An attorney from Morris Bart can help you understand and navigate the LPLA as it may apply to your product liability case.
Time Limits to File Product Liability Claims in Lake Charles
In Louisiana, there is a strict filing deadline or statute of limitations on product liability claims of one year from the date that the injury was sustained or the product defect or malfunction was discovered. In general, if you wait and file later than one year after your accident, the courts will refuse to hear your case and deny you the ability to seek financial compensation. This is why it is important to contact a product liability attorney in Lake Charles as soon as possible.
Common Types of Product Liability Cases
A product liability claim could be filed due to many different types of defective consumer products, items and appliances. Any product or good that causes an injury due to a defect could lead to a lawsuit against the manufacturer or another party.
- Airbags and seat belts
- Children’s toys and childcare products
- Construction equipment
- Drugs or pharmaceuticals
- Electronic devices
- Food and beverage products
- Heavy machinery
- Household appliances
- Medical devices
- Motor vehicles and auto parts
- Power tools
- Sports equipment
If you or a loved one was injured by any type of product while at work, at home, or on public or private property, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Discuss the merits of your potential case with one of our attorneys for more information.
Contact Our Lake Charles Product Liability Lawyer Today
At Morris Bart, our attorneys care about the clients who come to us for advice in the aftermath of serious personal injury accidents. If you have suffered an injury due to a defective product in Lake Charles, Louisiana or the surrounding area, find out how we can help. We offer free initial case evaluations, where we will listen to your story and list your legal options. As your attorneys, we can guide you through the legal process while protecting your rights. Call (800) 537-8185 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.
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