If you’ve been injured by a product intended to help you or make your life easier, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
In order to file a product liability claim, there are several steps you need to follow. Here’s what you need to know about filing a product liability claim.
Step 1: Seek Medical Attention
As soon as possible after the incident (ideally within 24 hours), you should have a doctor examine your injuries. It could be possible that you are more injured than you think.
The doctor will also document the extent of your injuries and recommend a treatment plan.
Your doctor may recommend medication, physical therapy, or massage therapy to help with your injuries. You should follow your doctor’s advice to help your injuries heal as soon as possible.
Step 2: Pictures and Documentation of the Product
You will need to document the details of your injuries and the defective product as soon as possible. Make notes about exactly what happened, when and how you were injured. It’s important to describe your injuries and any damage to your personal property in as much detail as possible.
Additionally, record any witnesses to the incident. If this happened around other people, write down their names and contact information so that they can be interviewed about the incident if needed.
Step 3: Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Product liability cases are complex and potentially long, and drawn out. It’s crucial that you seek legal advice from a lawyer with product liability experience when a defective product has seriously injured you.
A personal injury lawyer will be able to explain all your options and recommend what your best course of action will be. Manufacturers are often located outside Canada, so it can be challenging to figure out exactly who to sue and how to start the process.
You will also want to talk to the lawyer about fees and how they get paid. Some lawyers work on a contingency basis, and others will require some upfront retainer fees.
Step 4: Report the Defective Product
Next, you need to ensure you report the defect to the product’s manufacturer and let them know it caused an injury. If you retain a lawyer, they will make this report for you.
Step 5: Do Your Research
Do some research to see what other people are saying about this product and whether anyone else has experienced a similar issue. You may also want to look at the federal government’s product recall list to see if the product is listed there as a recalled item.
Because this area of the law is really complex, it’s best to get legal advice to make sure you have a solid case and know how best to proceed.
Step 6: Dispute Resolution
If you’re looking for some type of compensation from the product manufacturer, then your lawyer may recommend trying to resolve it with the company’s legal team or insurance company. This can help avoid lengthy legal battles (and therefore potentially less legal fees), and the matter can be resolved more quickly.
In this case, you may choose to go to mediation in which a neutral third party (a mediator) tries to help each side come to an agreement with the other.
Step 7: Legal Action
If you can’t come to a resolution via mediation, then you will likely start the process of legal action to get compensation for your injuries.
Before starting a case, your lawyer will check to see if there’s already a lawsuit against the company for the same defect. If there’s a class-action lawsuit, you may be able to add your name to it and join in on the others who are suing the company.
If a lawsuit hasn’t been started, you can bring your case to small claims court if the claim is less than $35,000. If it’s $35,000 or more, you will need to bring it to the supreme court level.
Contact Hoffman Law Today
If you have been hurt by a consumer product, you may be able to file a product liability claim and get compensation for your injuries. At Hoffman Law, we don’t get paid unless you do and offer a free consultation. Contact us today to speak to a lawyer who can review your case.