Product malfunctions and faulty equipment can lead to serious medical issues and debilitating complications. In fact, in the worst case scenario, these can even put individuals immediately out of work and cut down their financial assets. Also, they can result in immense pain and Suffering and loss of consortium with their spouse.
Thus, if a victim of a product malfunction takes their case to court, there are multiple types of damages they may be able to recover if they win their case. At the time of evaluating a product liability case, you need to co-operate with your lawyer in order to determine which of these damages you have suffered. You ought to work on all of these ahead of time so that you can decide whether or not you truly have a viable case. Also, it gives you an idea as to what it is that you shall be fighting for during litigation.
What are damages?
Damages can be defined as specific amounts of money that are rewarded to plaintiffs in lawsuits in order to compensate them for injuries, financial losses, and other hardships. Damages are usually rewarded to the plaintiff only after it has been proven that the defendant(s) were guilty of negligence or other wrongdoing.
There are many types of damages that can be rewarded. When you are a plaintiff, it is you and your lawyer’s duty to name the damages that you feel you are deserved and to prove to the judge or jury the defendant’s wrongdoing so that you may be rewarded these damages.
Damages are usually meant to rectify a product malfunction and the ensuing destruction. The defendant may have been negligent. This causes prolonged injury, pain and suffering for the plaintiff. The defendant will pay the plaintiff back in that case.
Not all situations can be righted completely. It is a sad fact that permanent injuries and disabilities cannot be undone. Thus, a dollar amount is attached to all of the negative results in a case. These dollar amounts add up to form the cumulative total damages. Ultimately, these are an attempt for the at-fault party to do as much as possible to compensate for the unfortunate results of their actions.
Here are the types of Damages Awarded in Product Liability Cases
In general, there are two main types of compensatory damages awarded in product liability cases:
- damages paid for economic losses
- damages paid for non-economic losses
As far as economic loss damages are concerned, they are paid to the plaintiff in product liability cases to compensate them for the loss of finances caused by the product malfunction or defective product. For non-economic loss, the damages are paid to the plaintiff in product liability cases to compensate them for non-financial losses. These damages will compensate for emotional suffering, physical suffering, and other losses that are difficult to quantify.
Economic Loss Damages
- Expenses related to Medical Bills
When you are a victim of a serious accident involving a faulty or malfunctioning product, serious injuries might require expensive medical bills to be paid. These expenses might be related to pharmacies, hospitals, doctors, physical therapists, and other institutions and parties. There is the ongoing medical care like long hospital stays or prescription medications will require ongoing medical expenses as well.
- Lost Wages
In case someone is seriously injured and incapacitated, they will not be able to fulfill their duties at work fully or partially. They might not be able to go to work at all. This might result in a loss of wages. For those who own their own business, this implies a fall in profits too. In addition to the cost of medical bills and other medical expenses, there are many people who have been seriously injured due to a faulty or malfunctioning product will demand loss of wages damages.
- Compensation for Disability
Sometimes, the individual is injured in a way that causes a lifelong disability. This will result in ongoing medical expenses and ongoing loss of wages lifelong. In certain cases, the individual cannot go back to work at all and will call for compensation for this loss too.
- Loss of Property
In certain cases, injuries are not the actual issue. A product malfunction or defective product might have caused physical damage to your property or land. In such a rare case, the plaintiff has the right to ask for the compensation for the money that will go toward replacing or repairing their lost property.
Non-Economic Loss Damages
These type of damages include pain and suffering and loss of consortium. These are non-monetary losses or general damages. These damages have nothing to do with money.
- Pain and Suffering
This type of noneconomic loss damages refers to compensation for pain and suffering caused by a faulty or malfunctioning product. Certainly dollars cannot be measured for the amount of pain and suffering. However, this is what the courts will attempt to do if you are awarded these damages in a product liability case.
Attorneys usually reference dollar amounts that were awarded to other plaintiffs in past cases who had similar injuries. This is why you want to have a great lawyer who will fight for the money that you deserve genuinely because of the pain and suffering you sustained.
- Loss of Consortium
Personal injuries caused by malfunctioning products or defective products usually result in issues between spouses. In such situations, you might receive compensation. It is also termed as “loss of society”. Loss of consortium usually includes issues involving loss of emotional support, loss of affection, and sexual relations problems.
At the time of suing for damages in a product liability case, you need to hire an attorney as early as possible. After all, only a reputable attorney can help you organize what damages you deserve and want to sue for and then file the proper paperwork to bring your case to court. Make sure to talk with an attorney who specializes in product liability cases today to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and pain and suffering.