How to Get Fair Compensation After a Product-Related Injury
Defective or dangerous products can cause severe injuries. Fortunately, Minnesota law lets injury victims pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. Specifically, you can file a product liability lawsuit against the responsible parties.
Not only is this important for dealing with the financial hardships in the aftermath of an injury, it also helps expose dangerous products and motivates companies to take safety seriously. Many vehicles, medicines, and everyday household items are safer because of product liability laws.
So what should you do if a defective product injures you or a loved one? Here are the answers to many questions about Minnesota product liability law.
What Does “Product Liability” Mean?
Product liability refers to the legal liability of an organization that manufactures, distributes, or sells a hazardous product. Manufacturers are required to design safe products and provide any appropriate instructions and warnings for their use. If they fall short of this duty, they may be held liable to compensate anyone injured as a result.
Likewise, if anyone else in the supply chain alters the product to make it unsafe, they may also be held liable.
The most common types of products that lead to product liability lawsuits include:
- Medical devices
- Children’s toys
- Vehicle parts
- Building materials
- Electrical equipment
- Poisonous food or drinks
- Chemical-based products, such as household cleaners and cosmetics
What Compensation Am I Entitled To?
A product liability lawsuit can include compensation for a wide variety of damages related to your injury, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Therapy and rehabilitation
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
You can also seek compensation for any future expenses, losses, or complications your injury is likely to cause. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you determine exactly what you’re owed.
Who Should I File My Product Liability Claim Against?
Under Minnesota law, the manufacturer is typically the only party held liable for producing a dangerous product. However, in some cases, the distributor or vendor may also be responsible, and you might be able to file a lawsuit against them as well.
Your attorney will determine which party or parties you have a valid claim against.
What Will I Have to Prove in a Product Liability Lawsuit?
There are two primary grounds for a product liability lawsuit: negligence or strict liability.
Negligence means that the defendant was careless in some way and that their carelessness contributed to the injury. This might mean:
- The product’s original design made it unnecessarily hazardous
- The manufacturer allowed a dangerous defect to occur during the manufacturing process
- Someone else in the supply chain—such as a distributor—modified the product, making it dangerous
- The product didn’t include sufficient instructions or warnings about its potential risks
In a negligence case, your attorney will work to prove that the defendant’s carelessness was at least one of the factors that caused your injury.
Alternatively, you may be able to file a claim on the basis of strict liability. This means that even in the absence of negligence, the manufacturer can still be held liable for an injury caused by its product.
What Should I Do to Help My Case?
Winning the compensation you deserve through a product liability lawsuit can be tricky. The companies you’re filing against will often have the resources to mount an impressive legal defense. To increase your chances of getting fair compensation, you should:
- Save the product and any documents, manuals, or packaging that accompanied it
- Store it in a safe place and avoid tampering with it in any way
- Jot down as much information about the product as you can, such as the model name and number, the name of the manufacturer, the serial number, and the date and place that you purchased it
- Get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the defective product or your accident
- Retain any evidence of the effects of your injury, such as medical bills, doctor’s reports, photographs, and eyewitness statements.
Most importantly, you should find an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you as quickly as possible. A skilled attorney will investigate your injury, help you understand the details of your case, and guide you through the complex legal process of reaching a successful settlement or trial verdict.
When you’re struggling with the costs and complications of an injury, having skilled representation on your side can make all the difference.
Have You Been Injured While Using a Product?
Defective or dangerous products cause millions of injuries across the U.S. every year. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while using an unsafe product, you may have grounds for a legal case—and we can help.
At SiebenCarey, we’ve spent decades helping injury victims get the financial support they need. Just contact us, and we’ll evaluate your case and explain your rights.