If you suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one due to a defective product, you may be able to pursue financial restitution through a defective product liability claim. In determining whether you have a valid claim, it is helpful to be familiar with what Virginia law requires you to prove. This is because in civil claims, the burden is on the plaintiff (i.e. the injured party) to “prove” their case against the defendant.
Here is the legal obligation of a product manufacturer under Virginia law – a product must be reasonably safe for its intended purposes and for its reasonably foreseeable uses.
Products liability law requires that you (the plaintiff) prove all of the following elements in your claim:
- You, or a loved one, were injured or suffered losses as a direct result of a defect in the product,
- The product was defective at the time of the harm,
- The product directly led to the injury or death,
- You, or a loved one, were using the product as it was intended.
What action can you take if you or a loved one was injured by a defective product?
- First and foremost, keep the product in a secure location (i.e. do NOT return it to the manufacturer). Keep the product in the same condition it was at the time of the incident.
- Retain all documents related to the product including the following: receipts, warranties, instructions, etc.
- Once again – do NOT give or return the defective product to the retailer or manufacturer, even if they have promised to return the product after “testing”.
Take Action Sooner Rather Than Later
In Virginia, the statute of limitations for a product defect claim is two years from the date of injury or death. If you attempt to file a lawsuit after two years has elapsed, you run the risk of having your case thrown out of court as barred under the statute of limitations.
If you plan to take legal action, be sure to retain an experienced Virginia product defect lawyer. These types of cases can be quite complex and may take a while to litigate (remember, you may be taking legal action against big manufacturers with deep roster of defense lawyers). You need a lawyer with a track record of success handling complex product defect claims.
Rick Shapiro, one of the partners at Shapiro, Appleton & Duffan, obtained a $2.5 million jury verdict in a product defect wrongful death case. Learn more about this multi-million dollar verdict here.
If you have questions about your particular case, consider contacting our firm to set up a free, confidential consultation. Our main office number is 757-460-7776. If you cannot get through due to high call volume, please leave a message and an attorney will return your call promptly.