Each year, billions of products are introduced into the United States marketplace. As a consumer, you undoubtedly trust that the products you purchase and use are safe and free from harmful defects. Although the U.S. has some of the most stringent safety laws in the world, the reality is that defective products to still make it into the hands of consumers. As a victim, you may wonder what kind of damages you can sue for in a defective product lawsuit in New York.
A product can be defective in one of three ways:
- Design defect - if the defect is inherent in the design of the product, all products produced with that design will have the defect.
- Manufacturing defect - the design may be defect-free; however, a defect could be introduced into the product during the manufacturing stage.
- Failure to warn - for products that cannot be made safe, adequate warnings are required. Failing to provide those warnings is considered a product defect.
The victim of a defective product may be entitled to compensation for the injuries suffered as a result of the defective product. As a general rule, both economic and non-economic damages may be available to a victim. By way of illustration, assume that you are involved in a car accident that causes you to suffer several broken bones as well as lacerations to your face. Ultimately, it is proven that defective brakes in the vehicle caused, or contributed to, the collision. Your economic damages would include things such as the cost to repair your vehicle, the medical bills associated with treating your physical injuries, and your lost wages caused by your inability to work.
Non-economic damages are what people often refer to as "pain and suffering" damages. The emotional trauma you suffered as a result of the collision as well as the mental distress caused by any scarring or disfigurement would all potentially be compensable as non-economic damages.
Both economic and non-economic damages are compensatory in nature, meaning they are intended to compensate a victim for actual damages. Punitive damages, on the other hand, or intended to punish the wrongdoer. As such, punitive damages are only awarded to a victim when the defendant's conduct was particularly egregious. Typically, a victim must prove malice or something similar on the part of the defendant to be entitled to punitive damages in a defective product lawsuit.
If you have been injured by a defective product in New York, contact the defective product attorneys at SIMON & GILMAN, LLP to schedule a consultation.