By law, a product must meet ordinary expectations of you the consumer. That doesn’t mean that if you don’t like how it works you can sue. Product liability involve a seller or manufacturer being held responsible for putting a defective or flawed product on the market that harmed you. It is your lawyer’s responsibility to prove that product caused your injury because it was defective. However, it is important to know what to expect during a product liability lawsuit so you can assist your attorney in winning or settling your case.
In a product liability lawsuit there may be more than one defendant. Everyone from the manufacturer to the store where you purchased the product may be liable. Often, your attorney will contact the defendants to work out a settlement to avoid court. If a settlement can’t be worked out your attorney will file a lawsuit.
The only time a lawsuit can begin is once your attorney files a complaint against the defendants. He or she will also request a summons be sent to the defendants. In the complaint, your attorney tells how much money you are seeking. This is called compensation.
The defendants will separately file an answer, or legal explanation of why they are not responsible. For instance, the company may claim that you misused the product. You should expect the defendants to try to prove you were at fault.
During this time, each party will try to collect evidence to help their case. You should expect to provide written answers to interrogatories from the other party. You should also expect to participate in a videotaped deposition where the other party’s attorneys ask you questions about the defective product.
Throughout the lawsuit, the court will require both parties to participate in settlement negotiations for an out-of-court settlement. If a settlement is reached, the lawsuit is over. If no settlement is reached, the trial proceeds. You should be prepared to talk to your attorney about the money you’ll accept in a settlement.
At the trial both sides present their cases. You may have to testify. Be prepared for the other defendants’ attorneys to ask you tough questions. If you lose, you receive nothing. If you win your case, you will receive compensation for your injuries called a jury award.
At the end of the day, an attorney will increase your chances of winning the case. When choosing a lawyer, being prepared for what lies ahead will help you succeed.