Product designers, product manufacturers, and product marketers have a legal responsibility to look out for the health and safety of consumers in Vermont.
Large companies should never put their profits before people. Simply stated, dangerous and defective products should not be sold to consumers.
If you or your family member was injured by a defective product, you have the right to seek financial compensation through a product liability claim.
These are complicated lawsuits. You should seek professional support. Here, we explain the most important things that you need to know about filing a defective product lawsuit in Vermont.
An Overview of Vermont’s Product Liability Laws
Under Vermont law, companies can be held legally liable for making or selling defective products. Though, it can be difficult for an ordinary person to know whether or not a product was actually defective. Generally speaking, product defects fit into one of the following three categories:
● Defective Design: With this type of claim, the plaintiff must prove that the fundamental design of the product was unreasonably dangerous. Although the product may have been made to the planned specifications, the design itself was simply not safe enough for consumers.
● Defective Manufacturing: In a defective manufacturing claim, a plaintiff must prove that they received a ‘bad’ version of the product. In other words, there was a flaw in the manufacturing process. As a result, the specific product or a specific batch of products was made incorrectly.
● Failure to Warn: Finally, companies also have a basic duty to provide safety information to consumers. If a product came with insufficient or incorrect warning labels and you suffered harm as a result, you may have a valid legal claim.
In sum, products need a safe design, proper manufacturing, and adequate warning labels. When defective products cause injuries, the responsible company may be held strictly liable for the resulting damages.
Of course, this raises an important question: How do consumers actually know if a product is defective? For an average person who lacks the technical knowledge about a specific product, it is not an easy question to answer. This is why you should always call a lawyer if you or your loved one was hurt by a product.
Do not assume that you are prevented from bringing a claim. Every case should be reviewed and investigated by a professional.
As explained by the Vermont Civil Jury Instruction Committee, a defective product is simply “one that is more dangerous than an ordinary consumer, with the ordinary knowledge common in the community about the characteristics of such a product, would expect.”
Four Steps to File a Defective Product Claim in Vermont
1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you or your family member was injured by a product, it is essential that you seek medical help right away. Above all else, injured victims need to protect their own health and well-being. You may be far more injured than you even realize. It is always better to play it safe.
Beyond that, getting a medical exam is an important step in filing a defective product lawsuit in Vermont. To bring a claim, you must document your injuries. Without medical evidence, you will be prevented from taking legal action. Simply put, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident.
2. Gather and Secure Relevant Evidence
To prevail in a product liability lawsuit in Vermont, plaintiffs need strong and compelling supporting evidence. As a general matter you will be required to prove that the product was defective and the product caused your injuries. Any evidence that you have that is relevant to these questions should be gathered and organized.
As an example, it is recommended that you keep the defective product itself. You should also take photographs and keep all of your medical records. It is also a good idea to take contemporaneous notes with any observations you deem relevant.
With this basic evidence, an experienced Vermont product liability lawyer will be able to launch a large investigation into the dangerous product and the conduct of its designers, manufacturers, marketers, and sellers. Undoubtedly, the company has additional evidence and records that your attorney can help you get.
3. Consult With a Vermont Product Liability Attorney
You should speak to an experienced Vermont defective product injury lawyer as soon as possible after suffering a serious injury. As was mentioned, it can be difficult to even know if you have a product liability case at all. Your attorney can offer reliable guidance. A product that caused injuries should always be investigated.
Remember, product liability claims are defended by huge corporations and giant insurance companies. These entities are extremely aggressive in fighting defective product lawsuits. Do not go up against these corporations alone — you need professional legal representation.
4. Prepare a Demand Letter and Draft a Complaint
How exactly your product liability case will proceed depends entirely on the specific circumstances of your accident. In some cases, victims who were severely hurt by a defective product will find that many other people have suffered the same fate in recent months or recent years. There may already be ongoing litigation.
In other cases, plaintiffs may have a wholly unique legal claim. Your Vermont product liability lawyer will be able to help you take action to seek full and fair financial compensation for your injuries.
For the most part, defective product claims start with a demand letter. Your lawyer will put together all of the preliminary evidence and present a basic case to the defendant or its insurance provider. At Sabbeth Law, we will often incorporate video testimony and illustrated medical evidence to capture the full breadth of your losses.
The demand letter will include a request (a demand) for settlement. From there, your defective product attorney will also begin drafting a formal legal complaint. If necessary, filing a defective product lawsuit in the appropriate court.
Speak to Our Vermont Product Liability Attorneys Today
At Sabbeth Law, our Vermont personal injury lawyers have deep experience handling dangerous and defective product lawsuits. If you or your family member was hurt by a defective product, you need to take immediate action to protect your rights.
For a free, no obligation initial consultation, please contact our law firm right away. Our law office serves clients throughout the state of Vermont.