Compensation You May Receive in a Product Liability Case
May 23, 2019
Defective products have the potential to cause serious injuries. If you have been injured by a defective product, you may be wondering about what compensation you can receive in a product liability claim. The type of compensation you may be eligible for will depend on the specifics of your case.
Our Phoenix product liability attorneys at Phillips Law Group discuss several forms of compensation in detail below. Learn more about your legal rights during a free, no obligation consultation.
In a product liability claim, compensatory damages seek to reimburse or compensate the victim for the harm he or she has suffered. These types of damages are divided into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are easily identified based on a dollar value of expenses associated with an injury. These include:
- Medical costs ”“ Medical bills from hospitals, doctors, therapy and other treatments; cost of prescription and over-the-counter medications required for treatment; mileage to and from medical appointments; future medical treatment required due to the injury.
- Lost wages ”“ Total lost income due to time off work for the injury and treatment; lost revenue and business profits; lost earning capacity if the injury results in a permanent disability that prevents the victim from earning their previous wages.
- Property damage ”“ If the defective product caused damage to the victim’s property, costs associated with replacement can be claimed.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify because there is no specific dollar amount attached. These include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium, for spouses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are rarely awarded in Arizona product liability cases. These damages are solely meant to punish the at-fault party and to discourage others from behaving in the same way. In other words, these damages are intended as a punishment for a manufacturer or supplier’s clear disregard for safety.
Punitive damages are based on factors such as:
- The supplier or manufacturer’s awareness that the product posed a potential to cause serious harm
- The likelihood that serious harm would arise from the questioned behavior
- Profitability for the supplier or manufacturer to participate in the misconduct
- Attempts to hide misconduct
- Length misconduct occurred
- Responses from the supplier or manufacturer once made aware of misconduct
- Whether the supplier or manufacturer ended the misconduct once it was made apparent
Limits on Damages
In Arizona, you may still recover damages even if you are found partially to blame for the accident. Those damages will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. This is known as the comparative negligence fault law. The state follows the pure comparative negligence rule, which means that the only way for you to be barred from recovery is if you intentionally caused or contributed to the accident.
For example, if $100,000 is awarded in damages but you are found to be 70 percent to blame for the accident, your award amount will be reduced to $30,000.
Arizona’s intermediate economic loss rule also allows you to potentially recover damages in a situation where no contract existed between you and the supplier or manufacturer and the only damage caused was to the product. If it can be proven that the product presented an unreasonable danger and its loss happened in a sudden, accidental way, damages may be awarded.
Time Limits for Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims in Arizona must be filed within the state’s statute of limitations, which is two years from the date of the injury. If your claim is not filed within this time frame, it is likely that you will not be able to recover damages.
Speak with Our Lawyers Today
If you have been injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our lawyers have experience handling many different types of product liability cases. We can investigate your case and inform you of the legal options which may be available to help you pursue maximum compensation.
Schedule your free, no obligation consultation to learn more. There are no upfront fees and you only pay if we recover compensation for you.
Call 1-800-706-3000 or complete our free online form now.
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