There are many steps between filing an injury claim and collecting compensation. Some cases may be settled in a matter of months, while a few may take a year or more to be resolved. In order to have the best chance of winning your case, you should know what is involved in the injury litigation process, as well as how you can strengthen your claim to get maximum compensation.
How the Product Liability Claim Process Works
The first step you need to take is to determine whether you have a valid claim. Your attorney should gather all of the evidence in your case and see if there is a clear line of causation between you injury and the manufacturer’s negligence. While every case is different, the four major factors in product liability claims include:
- Injury. You must be able to show that your injury caused monetary loss. A superficial injury that did not require you to miss work is likely not compensable, but an injury that caused hospitalization, follow-up medical care, lost income, and permanent disability is much more likely to qualify for compensation.
- Negligence. You must be able to show that the manufacturer of the device was somehow negligent. Negligence comes in many forms, including designing a defective product, failing to properly test a device before selling it, failing to notice problems during the manufacturing process that could cause injury, and failing to provide adequate warnings to consumers about the risks of injury.
- Cause. Not only must you be able to show negligence, you must be able to demonstrate that the negligence specifically led to your injury. This is a difficult argument to make and is best done by an attorney.
- Damages. If you win your case, the court will decide how much money you deserve for the injury. Most consumers are awarded compensatory damages, which cover your direct financial losses for lost wages, surgeries, hospital stays, permanent injuries, and future medical bills. If your injuries have significantly impacted your daily life, you may be awarded an additional sum for your pain and suffering.