The steering column in a driver’s car is faulty and causes the driver to lose control and crash. A hair dryer overheats and catches fire, badly burning a woman’s hand. A tractor begins moving erratically and throws the operator to the ground, resulting in paralysis.
Almost everything we buy or use is made by someone else—the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the toys our children play with, the equipment we use to do our jobs. It’s all manufactured somewhere using processes that have little to do with our daily lives. We rely on designers and manufacturers to be aware of potential dangers and to make products safe for our use.
If you are injured or a family member dies because of an unsafe product, the person or company responsible for the defect should be held accountable. Vermont law allows for that accountability through product liability lawsuits. In a product liability lawsuit, if you have been hurt you can sue the designer or maker of the defective product.
YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MAY BE ABLE TO RECOVER MONEY DAMAGES THAT COVER:
- Medical Expenses – This includes expenses for immediate treatment of injuries as well as the cost of future treatments, such as surgeries or ongoing therapy.
- Loss of Income – This includes temporary time lost from work because of injuries and also may include the value of lifetime lost income if you are permanently disabled by your injuries.
- Pain and Suffering – Vermont law allows juries to place a value on the emotional distress and trauma you may experience because of your injuries.
- Disability and Disfigurement – Any loss of ability because of injuries, or for scarring or other impacts on your appearance.
- Loss of Normal Life – If the injuries prevent you from engaging in hobbies or activities or performing household tasks, you can be compensated for the disruption to your life.
- Loss of Consortium – If you are the spouse of a seriously injured person, you may also be entitled to compensation for your “loss of consortium,” which is the loss that occurs when you lose your spouse’s companionship and marital relations.
- Punitive Damages – Less frequently, a jury may award punitive damages when the dangerous defect was the result of reckless or intentional actions by the designer or manufacturer.
VERMONT LAW ALLOWS YOU TO RECOVER MONEY DAMAGES FOR:
- Design Defects – When a product’s design makes it dangerous when used as intended or causes it to malfunction, there may be a product liability claim. An example might include failing to design the product to current safety standards or regulations.
- Manufacturing Defects – When a product is made or assembled in a way that makes it dangerous or likely to fail, there may be a product liability claim. Examples of manufacturing defects include using substandard materials when manufacturing the product or sending the product to market with defective parts.
- Failure to Warn – When a product might be dangerous to a user in some way that isn’t immediately apparent, the product must include a warning or instructions for how to use the product without being hurt. When a product fails to include a warning or instructions, you may have a product liability injury claim.
SOME COMMON PRODUCT LIABILITY LAWSUITS INVOLVE DEFECTS IN:
- Medical Devices
- Prescription Drugs
- Household Products
- Children’s Toys, Playpens and Car Seats
- Industrial Equipment and Machinery
- Swimming Pools