Have you recently purchased a product that was defective or malfunctioned? If so, you may be wondering if you can sue the manufacturer. You may even be asking yourself, “Can I sue if I’m not injured by the defective product?”
There are some elements of a product liability claim that must be met in order to successfully pursue legal action. If you purchased a defective product and wonder if you can sue the manufacturer and other parties, contact our Santa Fe product liability attorney at Slate Stern Law to discuss the specifics of your case.
What Is a Defective Product?
A defective product is one that does not work as intended, is not safe for use, or is not of the quality that the consumer reasonably expects. In order for a product to be considered defective, it must have been used as intended and in the manner in which it was intended to be used.
What are the Elements of a Product Liability Claim?
In general, in order to make a successful product liability claim, it must be demonstrated that the manufacturer was negligent in some way. To do this, you need to prove that the company knew about the defect and either failed to take any action or took insufficient action to remedy it. Additionally, you must show that the defect was present when you bought the product and directly led to your damages, including injuries. These are all essential elements of any successful product liability claim.
Note: Under New Mexico law, manufacturers and sellers of defective products are held strictly liable for injuries caused to consumers (New Mexico Statutes Chapter 41. Torts § 41-3A-1).
Can You Sue for a Defective Product if You are Not Injured?
Generally, it is not enough to show that a product is defective in order to sue the manufacturer and other parties via a product liability claim. Each plaintiff – the person who brings legal action – must prove that they were injured or harmed by the defective product to be entitled to compensation.
Thus, in order to bring a claim for damages resulting from a defective product, you must have suffered some type of injury. The injury can be physical or financial. It does not have to be physical harm to your person. Being able to document this injury, such as with medical records, is key to proving your case. The more documentation, the stronger the case.
How to Get Proof of Injury for Your Claim?
In order to prove your case in court, it’s important that you have evidence showing that the defect existed prior to purchase—such as photos taken at the time of purchase—or evidence showing the damages or injuries it caused (e.g., photos after an accident).
However, the most critical piece of evidence will be medical records following the accident. The medical records will generally be enough to show proof of injury.
Additionally, having testimonies from witnesses who saw first-hand how you got injured can also help strengthen your case and serve as additional evidence should you decide to sue for a defective product.
Consult With a Santa Fe Product Liability Lawyer Today
If you are considering making a product liability claim, you need to understand all elements needed for a successful claim before you take legal action against the manufacturer, seller, or other parties. Consult with our results-driven and knowledgeable product liability lawyer at Slate Stern Law to discuss your situation and determine if you have grounds to file a lawsuit. Call (505) 814-1517 to set up a case evaluation.