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Missoula Product Liability Lawyer

Missoula Product Liability Lawyer

When you take a prescription drug or drive your car, you expect those items to be safe. But unfortunately, product defects are not uncommon. Many of them can cause severe injuries, significant property damage, and even death. While some cases are purely accidental, others are due to the product manufacturers’ negligence.

Montana has taken an extra step, passing strict liability laws to protect consumers from these accidents. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be entitled to compensation for any damages and losses you have incurred from a defective or dangerous product. Take this time to talk to a Missoula product liability lawyer.

At Western Justice Associates, PLLC, we are committed to holding these negligent parties accountable for their actions and providing you with the support you need during this difficult time. Find out who we can help with your product liability case.

What Is Product Liability?

Over 12.7 million people were treated in emergency departments for injuries resulting from consumer products in 2022 (NSC). When there is a faulty product, the consumer who has experienced harm can start a product liability claim. The lawsuit is brought against parties involved in the product’s design, manufacturing, or distribution.

With that, the consumer (plaintiff) needs to establish these key points in the lawsuit:

  • The product was defective
  • They used the product as intended
  • The product caused them harm.
  • They can be compensated for the damage they endured.

Typically, product liability cases are associated with strict liability. In other words, defendants can be held responsible no matter the intent or knowledge. As a result, plaintiffs are not required to demonstrate negligence or intent on the defendant’s part.

Product liability is usually categorized into these classes:

  • Manufacturing defect: The product was made incorrectly.
  • Design defect: The product’s design itself is unsafe, and safer alternatives exist.
  • Marketing defect: There are inadequate warnings about the product’s risks.
  • Breach of warranty: The product breaches an express or implied warranty.

Product liability lawsuits hold companies accountable for pursuing, manufacturing, or selling unsafe products.

What Are Some Examples of Defective Products?

These cases can vary, with some causing minor injuries while others have resulted in death. Some examples of product liability cases include:

  • Prescription drugs: Pharmaceutical companies must conduct extensive testing and research to release safe products on the market. However, some companies have failed to disclose all potential side effects, which has led to harmful side effects to patients.
  • Hip replacement devices: Medical device manufacturers are also required to ensure their products are safe and effective. Recently, a hip replacement manufacturer produced a defective device that broke part inside the patients, causing significant pain and injury to these individuals.
  • Tobacco products: One of the most prominent industries hit by product liability lawsuits is the tobacco industry. Over the years, plaintiffs have filed claims against these companies due to their failure to warn consumers about health risks.
  • Defective airbags: Airbags are designed to protect passengers in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, when they are faulty, they can cause harm to both the driver and passengers.
  • Baby formula: Consumable products should be safe from contaminants and dangers. However, there have been a few instances where the formula has been contaminated with dangerous bacteria, leading to illnesses.
  • Motor vehicles: Automobile manufacturers run tests to ensure their vehicles are safe on the road, but sometimes, defects can slip through the cracks.

The key element in these cases is that the product was defective in some way, and that defect caused harm to the consumer. If a faulty or dangerous product has injured you, Montana’s laws provide you with a few legal options.

Montana’s Strict Liability Laws

In Montana, the laws governing product liability are some of the toughest in the country. These laws state that consumers are entitled to purchase and use safe products. With that, it is up to the business (whether the designer, manufacturer, or seller) to guarantee that their products are free of defects and safe for consumer usage.

If anyone suffers physical harm or property damage due to a defective or unreasonably hazardous product, these individuals have the right to pursue a legal claim.

Montana adheres to strict liability law, meaning that even if the manufacturer or seller was unaware of the defect or had no intention of causing harm, they are still liable for all damages. Under these laws, designers, manufacturers, and sellers are held accountable for their actions, and consumers are not left to shoulder the consequences of their errors.

What To Do If a Product Injures You

After a defective or dangerous product has injured you, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Even if it seems like a minor scrape or burn, make sure to have your injuries examined.

Sometimes, minor injuries can turn into major health issues in the future. Getting a medical examination is not only beneficial for your peace of mind, but it can set the groundwork for your lawsuit. You will want to keep all your medical records and doctor’s reports, so you have evidence of the injury.

Additionally, you will want to keep the product that caused the harm. Trying to repair or dispose of the item may be tempting, but the product will be your best evidence in the case. Often, from the damaged item, an investigative expert can determine whether the defect resulted from a manufacturing error, design flaw, or caused by inadequate warnings.

Make sure also to document the incident while all the details are still fresh in your mind. You may want to write how you used the product, what some observations were, and take photos or videos of your injuries or damages. If there are any witnesses, ensure that you also get their statements. All these pieces of evidence can help you build a strong legal claim.

Once you have finished those steps, make sure to contact a Missoula product liability lawyer. You need to take quick action as there are statutes of limitations for these accidents (three years in Montana).

An attorney specializing in these claims can help you navigate the process. While Montana’s strict liability laws may seem like this is an easy case, insurance companies prefer to avoid settling claims. They may try to blame the accident on your actions, such as saying you misused the item, causing injuries.

With an attorney working on your case, you can make sure that your rights are protected from the initial filing stage to the settlement phase. Along with that, a Missoula product liability lawyer can fully calculate your injuries and losses. In most cases, you may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, medications, and rehabilitation
  • Lost income and future potential earnings
  • Pain and suffering, including emotional trauma from the incident

Get the Help You Need for Your Missoula Product Liability Case

If you are looking for a legal team that will protect your rights and interests while filing a product liability claim, contact Western Justice Associations, PLLC. Our team will conduct an initial consultation to help you determine your next course of action.

Contact our office today and talk to a Missoula product liability lawyer.

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