Consumer Injury Cases: What You Need To Ponder Before You Sue
If you have been injured or made ill due to unsafe products or service, there are some important factors you should consider to make sure you have a good case and will be satisfied with the result. This article will discuss reasonable expectations and the basic requirements of a consumer injury lawsuit.
Necessary Components of a Good Case
A personal injury attorney will have the knowledge about state and federal laws, plus the experience to help you decide if you have a case worth pursuing. There are three basic components you need to proceed and these are: proof that the product or service was defective or harmful, proof that you were injured as a result of the defect or dangerous practices, and that the defendant had a duty to ensure customer safety.
Your case may be strictly about product liability, or it may include evidence that the defendant was untrustworthy. This means the business or corporation was aware of the problem that eventually caused your injuries, and did little or nothing to fix it. This would add the aspect of negligence to the case.
One instructive example is the case of the plaintiff who sued McDonald's in the famous hot coffee lawsuit. It was proved that the woman suffered significant and severe burns due to the temperature of the coffee she purchased, that the temperature it was served at was well above the industry standard, there was proof in the form of internal memos that the corporate defendant was aware of the problem before she was injured, and lastly, McDonald's failed to warn customers that their coffee would be served at such a high temperature.
Of course, when it comes to products, there needs to be evidence of defect and these can be caused through poor design or manufacturing processes. It is also possible that a maker can be held responsible for "failure to warn" when injuries are sustained when a customer uses it for a reasonable purpose, but one that it wasn't designed for. For a failure to warn case to be successful, several aspects should be present are:
Does the product fail to function as it should?
Should the manufacturer have foreseen certain dangerous uses of its product?
Would a warning have prevented you from being injured?
Motive and Intention
When suing a company for a faulty product or service that causes injury, you need to examine your motives and expectations. If you are initiating a case merely for monetary gain, you are probably going to be disappointed, because outcomes are not guaranteed.
While you may need compensation for to pay mounting medical bills, wages lost, and other legitimate needs, if you ask for too much you can lose the sympathy of the court and the public. Even if you win a huge sum, you may never receive the award because the judgment can be appealed, or the defendant may be forced into bankruptcy.
Better motives might be:
Receiving reasonable and just compensation for your losses,
Seeing that the entity sued has to make changes either through the negative publicity that your case brings about, and/or
Being instrumental in getting new laws passed that regulate product safety.
Thinking this way, even if the monetary award is not a large amount, you still can feel some satisfaction knowing good came from your suit.
You will need to consult a personal injury lawyer to discuss the merits of your case. If you proceed, be reasonable about your expectations and take some satisfaction from the fact that your actions could result in safer products and services. For more information about the possible results of such a case, contact a firm like Palmetto Injury Lawyers.