Should I hire an attorney after being the victim of a defective product?
Suffering harm from a defective product is a life-changing experience, but it isn’t one for the better. Before you know it, the goods you thought you could trust can cause irrevocable tragedies. From toxin-laden toys to improperly prepared food, items that fall short of your expectations wreak utter havoc. Although you can walk away from some adverse outcomes relatively intact, others utterly defeat you with severe injuries.
After getting hurt by a consumer item, the first question you’ll probably have is how you’ll recover. The next thing to consider is what kind of legal action you should take. Hiring a lawyer could be the smartest way to get back on your feet. Here’s how to know whether legal action is advisable.
Why Might You Need Legal Aid After a Defective Product Injury?
Attorneys advocate for victims when the legal system fails them. Although consumer protection laws are designed to safeguard you from harmful products, they often exemplify too little, too late. Working with an attorney might be a good way to
- Seek monetary damages that you can use to pay off your hospital bills,
- Get a judgment that helps you prove you deserve an insurance payout,
- Find out about alternative resources for victims, or
- Learn about ongoing class-action lawsuits against the defective items’ manufacturers, retailers or distributors.
One big advantage of legal aid is that it frees you to concentrate on healing. Product-related injuries can be severe, and they don’t always leave you with the time or resources you’ll need to bounce back to your former self. Sound legal advocacy gives victims more leeway to explore viable options. It also enhances your ability to manage complex court affairs, such as meeting the filing deadlines and formal requirements that could ultimately determine whether you win an award.
Can Victims Win in Court Without Legal Help?
In legal cases, winning isn’t just about making a sound argument. You’re also responsible for meeting something called the burden of proof— a standard that you’ll need to live up to if you want your claims to be accepted as factual.
Standards of proof vary widely. Your obligations might differ depending on where you reside, where you were injured and the circumstances of your accident. This means that it’s critical to build a case on the appropriate grounds for your situation and jurisdiction.
Even though self-representation might seem like a great way to fight for what you believe is right, it’s not easy. Cases can get dismissed, or thrown out, on minor technicalities, and victims found to have wasted the court’s time may end up having to pay the other party’s legal fees on top of their own. Other pitfalls can include failing to file evidence properly or submitting incorrect paperwork — both may seem minor, but they can spoil an otherwise sound legal strategy.
When you’ve been hurt by a product, you also need to draw a connection between the other party’s actions and the adverse outcomes you suffered. For instance, a court might not agree that a business should be responsible for your broken leg even though it sold you a shoddy pair of rollerblades. It’s critical to file a suit against the correct party, and having an attorney usually makes it easier to identify who’s likely at fault.