Experienced Product Liability Attorneys in Boulder Protecting Consumer Rights
Has a defective product injured you?
Consumers expect the goods they buy to work properly, and when they malfunction, you can pursue financial compensation for your bodily injuries. A claim can be made against the manufacturer, designer, or seller of the product; or multiple parties who were involved in the manufacture of a single product. Often, the retailer can be held liable as well.
At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, our Boulder personal injury attorneys help injured consumers get the money they need to repair their lives. For over 25 years, we have been handling these claims and obtaining full compensation for folks who have been hurt by unsafe products. We look forward to putting our experience and skill to work for you.
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How You Can Be Injured By a Dangerous Product
Most consumers don’t think about all the different ways a product they use every single day can cause harm them.
These are some of the most common:
Many of these injuries can lead to steep medical bills and force you to make significant, lifelong changes. Regardless of the type of injury you received, you’ll want to pursue justice and seek compensation.
Who Is Responsible in a Product Liability Case?
In order to hold someone liable for your injuries, you must prove that party was negligent in some way. When it comes to product liability, it can be extremely difficult to prove how a manufacturer acted negligently when developing a product. Because of this, product liability laws involve what is called “strict liability.”
Strict liability works by placing the responsibility on the non-manufacturers of the product. That is, the business that sold or rented the product to you is the party that is responsible, but only if they regularly sell those particular products.
Types of Product Defects
If a product causes injury while being used for its intended purpose, it’s defective.
There are three main categories of defective product claims.
Something about how the product was designed makes it unreasonably dangerous. For example, the legs on a highchair might be too close together, making the chair tip over too easily. Or the design of a seatbelt might make it useless in a crash. A design defect tends to show up in the entire product line.
Even if there is nothing wrong with the design, the way a product was put together can make it defective. For example, a missing screw might cause a steering column to separate from a vehicle. We’ve handled claims involving failed front forks on bicycles. The forks were manufactured defectively and failed under normal strains of hitting a pothole or another bump in the road, sending the rider face-first into the pavement. Other examples include ladders that collapse or break, defective child safety seats, or airbags that fail to deploy.
Failure to Warn and/or Inadequate Instructions
Sometimes, a product can be made safe if consumers are given appropriate safety instructions or warnings. For example, prescription drugs should warn you not to take them if they will worsen certain preexisting conditions. Products that lack instructions or warnings can become unreasonably dangerous.
Finding a defect is difficult, especially for consumers who are not product engineers. You may need an expert to examine the product or its design to identify what is wrong with it. For this reason, we recommend that clients hold onto their product, regardless of its current condition, so that your lawyer can show it to an expert if necessary.
One important limitation on the ability to receive compensation is that you can’t have misused the product at the time of injury in a way that the manufacturer could not have foreseen.
If you did not use a product safely, then the court may reduce the amount of compensation you receive by your proportion of fault for the accident. For example, if you were 33% responsible but suffered injuries worth $120,000, you can only receive $80,000.
Compensation for Economic Losses
Bodily injuries can cost a lot of money to treat, and you can receive compensation for sums spent on:
- Medical care, including transportation to the hospital, surgery, hospital stays, doctor appointments, equipment, and prescription drugs.
- Future medical care, if you need rehabilitation or other medical needs into the future.
- Lost wages, if you could not work while recovering.
- Lost future wages or reduced earnings capacity, if your injuries interfere with your ability to make as much money as you used to.
To estimate the amount of compensation you can receive, keep all medical bills, receipts, pay stubs, and repair estimates. Your lawyer can use this information to calculate your economic losses. Continuing medical care and lost future earnings are harder to calculate, but our Boulder product liability lawyers know how to estimate these costs.
Compensation for Non-Economic Losses
Our clients have recovered money for more than their economic losses.
They have also received compensation for less tangible harms, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Scars or disfigurement
- Lost consortium
These injuries, though very real, are harder to calculate in monetary terms. Nevertheless, juries are empowered to award victims compensation for their suffering, and experienced lawyers can maximize these amounts by presenting credible evidence of your losses.
Statutes of Limitations
Generally speaking, Colorado has a two-year statute of limitations for defective product claims. However, there are many exceptions to this rule, which can either SHORTEN the time or LENGTHEN it, so it is important to consult with an experienced Boulder product liability lawyer right away.
Limitations on Financial Recovery
Like many states, Colorado has passed tort reforms that limit the amount of compensation that injured victims can receive after accidents. These damage caps do not limit the amount of compensation you can receive for economic losses like medical bills and lost wages. Instead, if you prevail you can typically receive 100% of those economic losses.
Instead, tort reform has limited the amount of compensation injured victims can receive for non-economic injuries like pain and suffering or emotional distress. According to Colorado Revised Statute 13-21-102.5, you cannot receive more than $250,000 in non-economic losses, although that amount is adjusted for inflation each year.
Colorado law makes an exception for physical impairments or disfigurement. The damages cap does not limit these non-economic losses. In theory, you can receive much more than the statutory limit if you can show that you are entitled to more.
Work With an Experienced Product Liability Lawyer in Boulder
If you’ve been seriously injured by a defective product, you might be tempted to accept the offer given out by your insurance company. If you choose this option, while it may be a faster process than going to trial, you may end up receiving lackluster financial compensation for your damages.
Instead, you should contact a product liability attorney with experience fighting for cases just like yours and winning you the damages you rightfully deserve. The team at Tenge Law Firm, LLC, will negotiate with insurance companies, gather evidence, and work with experts to ensure that your future is protected. We are proud to have represented numerous victims in their fight to receive financial compensation. We have represented clients injured by defective automobile parts, prescription drugs, and ordinary household items.