You’re taking a joy ride to town, allowing the wind to massage your scalp and to rip away all of your stresses and fears. For a moment, there is no work cubicle and no bills—life is good. The last thing on your mind is having to consult product liability attorneys for an injury.
But then life takes a turn for the worse as you take a turn onto the highway. Another motorist suddenly strikes you, but your airbag never deployed. And just like that, you are suffering a major injury. So much for a joy ride.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average jury award in product liability claims was $4,868,468 in 2015. But it takes the right type of attorney for you to claim the compensation to which you are entitled after being injured by a defective product, including an airbag.
Here are five traits that good product liability attorneys share so that you can effectively seek justice.
1. Product Liability Attorneys Should Have an Understanding of Strict Liability
If an attorney does not understand strict liability or doesn’t know how to use this doctrine in your favor, you need to strictly cross him or her off the list. The doctrine of strict liability essentially allows you to receive compensation from a manufacturer or business that rented or sold an item to you directly if you can prove that the item was defective.
Three conditions have to exist before you can use this doctrine:
- The product that hurt you featured a defect that was unreasonably dangerous.
- You were using the product as intended when it injured you.
- You did not alter the product in such a way as to impact how it performs.
2. An Understanding of “Res Ispa Loquitur”
This doctrine means that the parties responsible for your defect-related injury bear the burden of proving that they are not. If your attorney successfully cites this doctrine, these parties have to demonstrate that they did not behave in a negligent manner.
3. A Thorough Understanding of the Three Types of Product Liability Claims
You have the option of filing three types of product liability claims if a defective product has injured you:
- The product that led to your injury was manufactured in a defective way.
- The design of the product is inherently defective or dangerous.
- The product maker did not offer sufficient instructions or warnings about how to use the product properly.
By going the extra mile in his or her investigation, your attorney should be able to determine which type of claim is most appropriate depending on the circumstances of your case.
4. Experience with Claims Involving Your Type of Product
Years of experience is critical. But it alone isn’t enough.
Sure, it helps to find an attorney with 55 years of combined experience versus maybe only five, but you also need one who has experience with claims involving your particular type of defective product. Our advice to you: If you have suffered an airbag-related injury, don’t pick a lawyer who specializes in heart valves.
5. A Commitment to Being on Your Side
Not all product liability attorneys are on your side. Some work almost exclusively with the manufacturers of products, not those injured by them.
So, be careful: Make sure that the attorney you choose has extensive experience working with plaintiffs, not just defendants. Otherwise, you’re selling yourself short when potentially thousands or even millions of dollars are on the line.
Contact Domnitz & Domnitz Today
We offer extensive experience with battling the makers of defective products and have recovered many multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements for clients. You can be in that number, too.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you to get full and fair compensation in northern Illinois and Wisconsin.