When you have been injured by a defective product, filing a product liability claim is often the best way to seek compensation for damages. However, it is important to remember that these claims can be complex, and there are several mistakes people commonly make when filing them. Understanding what those mistakes are and how to avoid them is essential in ensuring that your claim is maximized and successful.
Our product liability attorneys at H&P Law can help you navigate the claims process when seeking compensation for damages and ensure that you do not make mistakes that could potentially hurt your claim.
Five Common Product Liability Claim Mistakes to Avoid
Let’s take a look at five of the most common mistakes made when filing a product liability claim.
1. Waiting Too Long to File
One of the biggest mistakes people make when filing a product liability claim is waiting too long to do so. Each state has its own statute of limitations for filing civil claims—most states give claimants between one and three years from the date of injury or discovery of injury—so it is important that you take action as soon as possible to ensure that your claim will not be barred due to an expired statute of limitations.
Nevada imposes a two-year statute of limitations on most personal injury cases, including product liability claims (NRS § 11.190).
2. Not Looking for Additional Sources of Liability
When it comes to product liability claims, there are many potential sources of liability beyond just the manufacturer or distributor. In addition to companies involved in designing, testing, assembling, inspecting, marketing, selling, or even advertising the defective product, other parties may also bear some amount of responsibility for your injuries and subsequent losses. It’s important that you conduct thorough research into all possible avenues before filing your claim so that you can identify any additional sources of liability and pursue claims against them if necessary.
3. Underestimating Your Own Liability
It is also important not to underestimate your own responsibility when filing a product liability claim. Generally speaking, the defendant(s) in these types of cases—whether they be manufacturers or distributors—will attempt to defend their actions by claiming “contributory negligence” on behalf of the plaintiff (i.e., claimant). In other words, they may attempt to argue that you were partly responsible for your own injuries because you failed to use reasonable care when using/handling the defective product in question. As such, it is important that you understand how much responsibility lies with each party involved before launching into litigation so as not to put yourself at risk of being found partially liable for damages caused by a defective product.
4. Not Gathering Evidence Related to Your Claim
Not gathering sufficient evidence related to your product liability case is another mistake people frequently make when filing their claims. Effective evidence gathering requires documenting both medical records related directly or indirectly to your injury (including doctor notes detailing diagnosis and treatment plans) and evidence related directly to the defect itself (including pictures or videos detailing how/when/where you used/handled the item). Without this evidence—or with insufficient evidence—it will be difficult to prove causation and thus maximize your chances of receiving full compensation for damages associated with your injury or illness.
5. Not Hiring a Product Liability Attorney to Assist You with Your Claim
Last but certainly not least, failing to hire an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in product liability claims is another common mistake people make when attempting to file their own claims without assistance from legal counsel experienced in this area of law. Attorneys can negotiate higher settlements than individuals who file on their own because they know exactly what types and amounts of damages should be included in settlement agreements based on applicable laws.
Let H&P Law Help You with Your Product Liability Claim
Filing a successful product liability case requires careful planning so as not to fall victim to any mistakes throughout the process, which could potentially reduce the settlement or verdict amount. Working with an experienced attorney specializing in this field helps ensure proper investigation and a higher settlement amount. Contact our attorneys at H&P Law to discuss your product liability claim. Call (702) 598-4529 for a case evaluation.