Nearly any product can have a defect, and while most things we interact with on a daily basis are safe, it only takes one damaged of faulty product to cause serious harm. If you’ve been injured by a defectively designed or manufactured product, you have the right to receive compensation. From whom, though, is another issue. Before you can file a claim, you will need to first determine who may be liable for your injuries.
The Chain of Distribution
A single product passes through many, many hands before it comes to your home. Known as the chain of distribution, the path a product takes from manufacture to distribution is filled with many opportunities for things to go wrong. When you first begin a product liability claim, your lawyer will most likely recommend casting a wide net and involving the entire chain of distribution in your claim, from the companies responsible for the design, manufacture, and marketing of the product to those involved in transporting, distributing, and selling the product to consumers.
It is important to note that you may be able to file a claim even if you were not the purchaser or product user. What this means is that you may still be able to get compensation for your injuries if you were injured by a product purchased by another, such as a gift, or if you were injured by a product being operated by another, such as a faulty appliance that causes a fire. You may also be able to recover compensation for used products if you discover that they were defective after purchasing them from a second-hand shop, consignment store, or other used goods dealer.
In modern times, it seems like more and more corporations are involved in the process of supplying consumers, which means that you can face unique challenges when filing your claim. From a legal standpoint, a corporation can be held responsible the same way an individual can, but it may not be so straightforward. Mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, spin-offs, name changes, and more can make it a challenge to keep up with the responsible corporation. What is important, though, is that the successor of a defunct corporation inherits the liability of the parent company. It can take some investigation, but it is possible that you may still be able to file a claim against the successor company.
Joint & Several Liability
The joint and several liability doctrine is an important reason to identify all possible defendants in your claim. These doctrine outlines your ability to hold each defendant liable for your injuries both jointly, or together, and severally, or separately. What this means is that if any one party cannot pay, the others involved must pay their share so you receive full compensation. In some states that follow pure joint and several liability, all defendants are responsible for the total amount, which means that if the only company who can afford the claim was only marginally involved in the defective product’s chain of distribution, they still can be forced to pay the entire claim amount. This liability doctrine ensures that you receive what you are owed, no matter how the defendants need to split the bill.
If you’ve been injured by a faulty product, don’t hesitate to reach out and get help from our Kansas City product liability attorneys. At Bertram & Graf, L.L.C., we are dedicated to being a voice for those injured by the negligence of others. Schedule a free consultation with our team to get started on your claim.
Contact our firm today by calling (888) 398-2277.