What kind of damages can I get for a product liability case?
It depends on how severe the injury was. You might be able to recover your medical expenses, damages for pain and suffering, damages for emotional distress, or various other kinds of damages to try to make you whole. It’s hard to predict how much verdicts will be because juries vary dramatically. Many cases settle as well, so it could depend on whether there is insurance and whether the company that’s at fault has admitted to the issue.
Another issue affecting damages is how many companies have liability. Under product liability law, there is a concept called “strict liability,” which means that a company can be liable whether they were negligent or not. In other words, it doesn’t matter if they knew, and it doesn’t matter if they had any bad intent. The law holds them liable anyway. And in many states, the retailer or distributor are strictly liable as well. That means if you bought a product on Amazon that injured you, you might be able to sue Amazon–even if they aren’t the one who made it. The idea is to protect consumers from danger. So if it’s a dangerous product from China, who are you supposed to sue? You can’t go to China. But if Amazon imported it here and sold it here, then by doing so they’ve assumed responsibility for any product defects in the things they’re selling you.
Can I sue for wrongful death in a products liability case?
If a loved one has died from a defective product, you may have a wrongful death claim if you’re a family member or part of their estate. You may have rights to claim damages for emotional distress you’ve suffered, for what’s called “loss of consortium” - in other words, loss of that person from your life, or for lost wages that might have been earned during that person’s life. You might also be able to recover burial or funeral expenses, or for medical bills that are owed by the estate.
These kinds of cases can be more complex, and may involve other family members as well. If you’re not the one who was injured, you also will want to take steps to preserve any evidence about the product you think was responsible (including the product itself). Part of any products liability case involves analyzing the product, and sometimes expert testimony. So if a family member has died, you need to make sure that any important evidence is preserved before their estate is sold or given away to family.