Although there are a myriad of state and federal laws in the United States aimed at preventing defective products from reaching consumers, defective products do still make it into the marketplace at an astounding rate. If you have been injured by what you believe to be a defective product you may have the basis for a product liability lawsuit. As such, you may be wondering “What compensation am I entitled to in a product liability lawsuit?”
When a defective product causes injury it falls under the area of the law known as “product liability.” Product liability, in turn, falls under the larger legal umbrella of “torts” which address injuries to your person or property. In the State of Louisiana, a product must be “unreasonably dangerous” before a victim may be entitled to compensation. A product may be “unreasonably dangerous” if:
- The product is unreasonably dangerous in construction or composition because the product deviated in a material way from the manufacturer’s specification or performance standards.
- The product is unreasonably dangerous in design because there was an alternative design that would have prevented the victim’s damage.
- The product is unreasonably dangerous because of the lack of an adequate warning.
- The product is unreasonably dangerous if it does not conform to an express warranty.
If the product is found to be unreasonably dangerous you could be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. These are both compensatory damages, meaning they are intended to compensate a victim for expenses or injuries actually incurred. Economic damages refer to out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are what people often refer to as “pain and suffering” and represent the subjective, intangible injuries suffered by a victim. Non-economic damages are almost always more difficult to value because of their subjective nature. Where a victim usually has a bill, statement, or receipt for economic damages claimed in the lawsuit, there will be no such tangible proof for non-economic damages, making them harder to quantify.
In some cases a victim may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer, not compensate a victim. As such, punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious or malicious.
If you believe you have suffered injuries as a result of a defective product, or you have additional questions or concerns about a product liability lawsuit, contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today.