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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

A Guide on How to File a Lawsuit for Product Liability in Indiana 

Accidents can happen at any time, but many people get injured due to someone else's negligence. For instance, some manufacturers and businesses place products on the market in a defective condition that are unreasonably dangerous to users, causing injuries that can be life-threatening.


Indiana residents who are injured by a faulty item may be eligible to file a product liability claim or sue the at-fault party and seek compensation for their damages. However, it's important to understand the process and related laws.


This guide explores product liability in detail and outlines the steps involved in filing a lawsuit in Indiana. 


What Is Product Liability in Indiana?

What Is Product Liability in Indiana?


In essence, "product liability" is a legal concept that can hold various parties within the supply chain accountable for physical harm caused by defective items or materials.


These parties can include manufacturers, distributors, retailers, wholesalers, or any entity involved in bringing the product to market and ensuring it's safe.


There are three main categories of product defects that can lead to a product liability claim:

  • Design defects: They're inherent to the product's design itself, making it unreasonably dangerous even with proper use.

  • Manufacturing defects: These arise during the production process, resulting in a product that deviates from the intended safe design.

  • Defective warnings: They include products lacking adequate warnings or reasonably complete instructions on safe use, such as those with missing labels highlighting potential hazards or unclear or misleading guidelines.


Understanding Strict Liability and Negligence Claims in Indiana

When considering a product liability lawsuit in Indiana, it's crucial to understand the two main types of claims that victims can file, which are:


Strict Liability Claims

Indiana law recognizes "strict liability" in product liability cases. This means manufacturers can be held liable for injuries caused by defective products, regardless of whether they were negligent in the design, production, or sale.


When filing a strict liability claim, the injured party must prove the product was defective, the defect caused their injuries, and the product was unreasonably dangerous. For more information, an Indianapolis defective product attorney may be able to help.


Negligence Claims

In contrast, negligence claims require proving that the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer failed to exercise reasonable care when designing, creating, or selling the product, and this failure caused the injuries.


Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit in Indiana: Essential Steps


These are the steps victims need to take in order to file an Indiana product liability lawsuit:


Gather Evidence

People who have been injured by defective products need to gather evidence to support their cases and establish liability, focusing on the following:


  • The defective product itself, if possible

  • Medical records that provide information about the injuries and establish a clear link between them and the product's defect

  • Receipts or proof of purchase for the defective product

  • Witness statements from anyone who observed the incident where the product caused the injury

  • Reports filed with consumer protection agencies detailing the product defect and any reported incidents


Consult an Experienced Indiana Personal Injury Attorney

Product liability cases often involve complex legal proceedings and require technical evidence. Therefore, victims should contact an experienced attorney.


Indiana personal injury attorneys specializing in product liability claims can review the case, help gather additional evidence, navigate complex legal procedures, and represent victims throughout the process. They're also able to help with how to file a lawsuit for premises liability in Indiana. Moreover, these professionals can


  1. Send a demand letter to the potentially liable party, often the manufacturer

  2. File a product liability lawsuit with the appropriate Indiana court if a settlement cannot be reached through the demand letter

  3. Exchange information and evidence relevant to the case with the defendants and their legal teams

  4. Go through the mediation phase to try to settle the case without going to trial

  5. Represent victims in court if mediation fails


Trial

The next step is going to trial, which involves presenting evidence and arguments before a jury to establish liability.


How to Establish Liability

During the trial, product liability victims have to collect evidence and present their cases effectively to prove that:


  • The product was defective: This could involve presenting expert testimony, showcasing the defective product itself, or introducing documents highlighting design flaws or manufacturing errors.

  • The defect caused their injuries: Plaintiffs can use medical records and testimony from medical professionals to demonstrate the link between the product defect and the injuries they sustained.

  • The defect made the product unreasonably dangerous: Attorneys can argue that the defect was not readily apparent and couldn't be anticipated by a reasonable consumer using the product as intended


Damages 

If the court rules in favor of plaintiffs, they may be awarded compensation for various damages, including:


  • Medical expenses: This covers past and future medical costs associated with treating the injuries caused by the defective product.

  • Lost wages: It includes compensation for wages victims lost due to their inability to work as a result of the injuries.

  • Pain and suffering: These awards cover the physical and emotional pain victims endured due to the injuries.

  • Property damage: This reimbursement addresses any property damaged by the defective product.


Why Seek Legal Counsel?

Why Seek Legal Counsel?


Product liability lawsuits can be complex and lengthy. That's why an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney with expertise in these claims can offer invaluable guidance to victims. They're also able to advise on how to file a lawsuit for nursing home abuse in Indiana.


Finding the Right Attorney

Many Indiana law firms specialize in personal injury and product liability claims. When searching for an attorney, victims should consider the following factors:


  • Experience: Attorneys should have a proven track record of success in handling product liability cases.

  • Knowledge of Indiana product liability laws: Lawyers must have a deep understanding of Indiana's specific product liability laws and how they apply to the victim's case.

  • Resources: Victims should choose an attorney with the resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation and effectively represent them throughout the legal process.


Final Thoughts 


More often than not, product liability claims are complex and tedious. Manufacturers and other businesses often invest a lot of money in seasoned legal teams with aggressive lawyers and are prepared to face any allegations.


However, with the right guidance and support, victims can hold at-fault parties accountable for their negligence and pursue compensation for the damages caused by a defective product.


At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, we have a team of passionate lawyers ready to help victims. Whether they plan to file a product liability lawsuit based on strict liability or negligence, we can assist them throughout the legal process. Contact us today and request a free consultation!

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