When consumers select a product such as an electronic device, appliance, or vehicle, they assume that the product is safe. However, people throughout West Virginia are injured by harmful products each year. Companies have an obligation to deliver safe products, and if they fail to do so, they should be held liable for any injuries that ensue. If you were hurt by a dangerous item, the West Virginia product liability lawyers at Rich & Gutta can assess the circumstances surrounding your injury and advise you on your possible claims. We have the skills and experience needed to handle these complex cases. We do not charge fees to our clients unless we recover compensation for them.Pursuing a Product Liability Claim
Dangerous products can cause a variety of injuries, such as chemical and thermal burns, lacerations, crushing injuries, or cancer and other illnesses. A product may be dangerous due to a design defect, a defect that arises during the manufacturing process, or a failure to warn of the risks associated with the use of the product.
In West Virginia, a product liability lawsuit may assert claims of strict liability, negligence, or breach of warranty. A plaintiff is not limited to one theory of recovery but instead can choose to pursue damages under any combination of claims, each of which requires proof of different elements. For example, in a strict liability claim, the plaintiff does not need to prove any negligence by the defendant. Instead, the plaintiff and a product liability attorney in West Virginia must show that the product in question was not reasonably safe for the use for which it was intended and therefore was defective. The standard used in evaluating whether a product is reasonably safe is the standard to which a prudent and reasonable manufacturer would have adhered when the product was created.
In a negligence claim, it must be proven that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty regarding the manufacturing or design of a product or warnings associated with it, a breach of the duty occurred, and harm resulted from the breach. Finally, in a breach of a warranty claim, the plaintiff is required to demonstrate that the manufacturer made an express or implied promise that the product would perform in a certain way, but the product failed to do so.
The evidence that a plaintiff must produce to demonstrate the defective nature of the product varies based on the type of defect alleged. For example, in design defect cases, a court will usually conduct a risk-utility analysis to determine whether the product was unsafe, while in manufacturing defect cases, a plaintiff and a West Virginia product liability attorney must show that the defect was present when the product left the manufacturer’s control. In failure to warn cases, the plaintiff is required to prove that the product did not have a warning or that any warning was inadequate, and the lack of sufficient warnings caused the plaintiff’s harm.Damages Recoverable in a Product Liability Case
In West Virginia, a plaintiff who proves liability in a product liability lawsuit will typically be awarded compensation for the economic and non-economic harm caused by the defendant’s acts. Economic harm usually includes the cost of any medical treatment that the plaintiff needed or will need in the future, out-of-pocket expenses, and damages for lost wages and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic harm generally refers to the mental trauma, pain, and anguish that the plaintiff endured.Contact a Skilled Product Liability Lawyer
Many products suffer from hidden defects that render them unduly hazardous and ultimately lead to significant injuries. If you sustained harm because of a dangerous product, you may be owed compensation and should consult a product liability lawyer in West Virginia. At Rich & Gutta, we are proficient at navigating the complexities of lawsuits arising out of harm caused by dangerous products, and we will aggressively argue in favor of your recovery of the maximum amount of damages available under the law. We have an office in Morgantown, where you can reach us by calling (304) 924-7001. You can also contact us through our form online to schedule a free and confidential meeting.