If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a defective drug or medical device, it’s important to know your rights. Depending on the circumstances of your claim, you could be entitled to receive compensation from doctors, drug companies, and manufacturers. If you want to file a product liability claim to get the compensation you deserve, you’ll need to work with an experienced Alabama personal injury attorney who can help you investigate these large corporations and sift through medical records for the proof you need.
Keep reading to learn more about what determines whether you have a valid product liability claim and what compensation you have a right to receive.
Do I Have the Right to File a Medical Product Liability Claim in Alabama?
If you’re considering filing a product liability claim in Alabama, these three state laws will determine whether you can start the filing process.
- Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations for product liability cases in Alabama is two years. This means you have two years from the date you suffered your injury from a defective product to file your claim.
- Discovery Rule: If you do not discover the defect within the two-year statute of limitations, the discovery rule states that you can file up to a year from the time you discovered (or should have discovered) the defect.
- Economic Loss Rule: The defect must damage you, another person, or other property to file a claim. You cannot file a product liability claim if the defective product only damaged itself.
Product Liability Issues in Alabama
There are three types of product liability issues that may be used in defective drugs or medical devices claims. In order to file a product liability claim, you need to meet the criteria outlined in the previous section and prove that at least one of these circumstances applies to your defective product.
- Design Defect: Product has a defect that was included in the original design, and an alternative design could have been used to produce a safer product.
- Manufacturing Defect: Product deviated from the intended design during production, resulting in a defect.
- Failure to Warn: The manufacturer knew about the potential dangers and failed to include proper safety instructions or warnings with their product.
What Compensation Do I Have a Right to Receive in a Medical Product Liability Claim?
Once you’ve established that you have a right to pursue compensation through a product liability claim, it’s important to understand other factors that may affect your compensation.
Compensation and Types of Damages
If you have a valid claim, you are entitled to receive compensatory damages — which can include compensation for both financial losses related to your injury and any suffering you experienced.
In addition to compensatory damages, you may also be entitled to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the responsible party for their wrongful acts. A judge will only award punitive damages in cases where the defect resulted in a death or if the defendant acted fraudulently or maliciously.
The Effect of the Contributory Negligence Law
Each state decides how negligence is determined for personal injury and product liability cases. Many states use a comparative fault model for this determination and rule that if you are partially to blame for an injury, your compensation will be decreased by the percent of your blame. However, Alabama is one of the few states that follows a contributory negligence law.
Under contributory negligence, if the defense can prove that you were even 1% responsible for your injury, you will not be entitled to receive any compensation. This is one of the most common ways the defense will try to counter your claim. For product liability cases, the easiest defense is to claim that the victim used the product improperly or did not take the medication safely or as directed. It is up to you and your attorney to prepare strong evidence to refute these allegations.
Andy Citrin Helps Victims Protect Their Rights
If you’ve been the victim of a dangerous drug or medical device, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and suffering. But hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, large manufacturers, and insurance agencies will try to take this right away from you using the contributory negligence law and other tactics. Contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys for help protecting your rights and pursuing justice through a medical product liability or defective drug claim.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.