Have you or a loved one been harmed by a product? You may have the right to claim compensation for losses that you have incurred as a result. Idaho holds manufacturers, retailers, and others liable for products that cause harm because they are defective or due to negligence.
But how do you know whether or not you can claim damages in a personal injury case and who you should be suing?
At Boise Personal Injury Lawyers Group, we specialize in product liability cases and are here to assist you in claiming compensation. Give our Boise product liability lawyers a call today to schedule a free consultation so that we can assess your case.
Product Liability Laws in Idaho
Product liability lawsuits fall under the umbrella of personal injury law. As such, the statute of limitations on product liability claims is 2 years in the state of Idaho. This means that you have 2 years from the date that you suffered harm to claim compensation. If this period expires, you will no longer be able to claim compensation. It is crucial to call a lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline.
In order to claim compensation, it is necessary to prove that you suffered an economic loss. In other words, that the harm that was caused to you resulted in a financial loss of some kind – for example, medical bills or the cost of repairs or replacement of items that were damaged. In some cases, it is also possible to claim for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, mental or emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of activities that you were able to partake in before you were harmed.
Certain limitations are placed on the amount that you can claim. Idaho uses modified comparative negligence in deciding liability and the amount that should be awarded in product liability cases. So if you are found to be partially at fault for causing your injuries, the compensation will reflect this. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 in damages but were found to be 30% at fault, you will be paid $70,000 in compensation. However, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault, then your claim will be prohibited.
Common Causes for Product Liability Claims
- Design defects hold the manufacturer at fault and need to prove that there is something inherently dangerous about the actual design of the product.
- Manufacturing defects also hold the manufacturer liable and evidence needs to be provided that something went wrong during the manufacturing process that led to the product being defective and causing harm.
- Labeling defects where the product fails to warn consumers of any hazards or dangers in using the product or a failure to provide proper instructions for use that results in harm from the incorrect use of a product. For example, the manufacturer can be found to have been negligent in providing warnings within reason if they were aware of a product defect or potential harm that a product can cause.
These definitions are quite broad but are there to protect consumers while ensuring that manufacturers can’t be held liable when they aren’t at fault for their product causing harm. This determination is used to prove the percentage of fault or negligence that can be attributed to each party involved.
How Is Liability Determined?
Liability is a term that is used to describe who is responsible for the harm that was caused and the resulting damages or losses that were incurred. In product liability cases, there are 3 ways in which liability can be determined:
- The liable party had a duty of care towards the plaintiff. For example, the manufacturer had a duty of care to provide user instructions or information regarding the potentially hazardous nature of the product.
- The liable party was in breach of their duty of care. Using the example above, the manufacturer failed to provide adequate user instructions or warnings.
- The breach of duty of care resulted in injury or harm to the plaintiff.
- The harm resulted in damages or losses.
Liability can be a result of negligence or intentional actions. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove liability through the actions or negligence of the liable party.
It is not necessary to prove that the liable party was aware of the defects and failed to provide a warning in order for them to be held liable. Strict liability allows the victim to hold a party liable regardless of whether they were negligent. You only need to prove the following:
- The product had an unreasonably dangerous defect that caused you injury.
- You were using the product as intended when you were injured.
- The product was not substantially altered from the condition in which it was originally sold.
You can file a strict liability case against a manufacturer or a business that sold or rented the product directly to you.
Breach of Warranty
Breach of warranty is not used often to determine liability because it is difficult to prove and there are severe limitations. In order to prove breach of warranty, it must be shown that there was a contract of warranty between the liable party and the injured party. This contract can be explicit or implicit. For example, a retailer can provide implied assurance that the product they are selling is not defective, hazardous, or harmful. The manufacturer can provide explicit assurance that their product isn’t defective and won’t cause harm if used according to the instructions provided on a label.
A manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer is in breach of warranty when their explicit or implied assurances are not upheld. In other words, if the product that they sold was defective or they didn’t provide adequate warnings of the potential harm that it could cause.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Your Damages?
In product liability cases, there are 3 parties or entities that can be held liable to pay compensation:
- The manufacturer of the product. This is the party that manufactured or produced the product. Normally, the manufacturer is held responsible in the event of a design defect, manufacturing defect, or inadequate labeling or warning.
- The wholesaler can be held liable for distributing goods that they were aware were defective or if they stored the goods incorrectly resulting in a product becoming hazardous.
- A retailer can be held liable for selling goods that they are aware are hazardous or defective or if they sold the goods contrary to the manufacturer’s instructions. For example, selling expired food, beverages, or medication.
In the case of medical products, there are two other entities or parties that can be held responsible:
- The hospital, clinic, or medical center that distributed the product in question.
- The doctor or medical practitioner who provided the medical product.
Types of Product Liability Cases That Boise Personal Injury Lawyers Group Is Currently Accepting
Our team at Boise Personal Injury Lawyers Group are currently accepting product liability cases involving the following products:
- Hernia Mesh
If you or a loved one have suffered harm or injury as a result of using one of these products, give us a call today to find out if you have a claim to compensate you for the damages that you have incurred.
Product liability cases can be extremely complex and difficult to prove. In most cases, the liable party (manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer) is a large corporation that can afford expensive legal representation and defend itself in a lengthy lawsuit. It takes an expert Boise product liability lawyer to rise to the challenge of ensuring that these large corporations are held liable no matter the cost or the time needed.
Our attorneys will first attempt to negotiate a settlement with the liable party. A settlement is always the best bet because it is certain and far less costly than a lengthy court trial. When you go to court, you can never be sure whether the decision will go in your favor or if you will be awarded an amount that is fair and covers your losses. Remember that Idaho is a comparative negligence state which means that you could be awarded nothing should the liable party be able to prove that you were more than 50% at fault in causing the harm or injury to yourself.
If a settlement agreement cannot be reached, we will prepare your case for court and present it to improve your chances of a favorable outcome and maximize the compensation that you are paid.
Contact a Boise Product Liability Lawyer to See If You Have a Case
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations for product liability is 2 years in the state of Idaho. While this may seem like a long time, it can pass quickly. It is critical to ensure that your claim for compensation is filed before the deadline. If it isn’t, you may not be able to recover the losses that you have experienced.