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Our Shreveport Injury Attorneys Can Help
After a serious injury involving a defective or dangerous product, you need to act quickly to get the recovery you deserve. Unfortunately, time and health are working against you. In Louisiana, you only have a year from your injury to file a suit against the company or companies that caused the harm.
If you’re facing a product liability case and need a Shreveport product liability lawyer, Morris & Dewett is the team you need. When you have a complicated legal matter, we have the experience and technical know-how necessary to fight for the compensation you deserve. You can focus on recovering from your injuries and returning to your family. Our team will manage the legal documents and keep you up to date throughout the process.
Morris & Dewitt Injury Lawyers is one of the premier personal injury law firms in the United States. We proudly serve the people of Shreveport, Louisiana, and have built a first-class reputation as top-tier product liability attorneys. We care about our clients and are prepared to go all the way for them. Most of our claims end in settlements, but we are always ready to take your case to trial.
To that end, we prepare every case as if a trial is expected. We do all our research, get independent experts, propound depositions early and often, and more. We have the resources to do most of our work in-house, so costs stay low, and quality stays high. Because of Morris & Dewett’s attention to detail, insurance companies and their lawyers know us by name.
Our reputation speaks volumes. Other firms know that we mean business and that we come to each case prepared to win. More than 95% of our cases end in fair settlements, often in seven figures. Because we prepare 100% of our cases for trial, only 5% ever go to court. We will work to help you get the settlement and justice you deserve in your product liability claim.
Sometimes, accidents happen. However, when you buy something from a reputable company or reliable manufacturer, you should be able to trust that it will work as advertised. You shouldn’t have to test your own food for freshness or your own medicines for purity.
Manufacturers, distributors, and even retailers are said to have a duty to the public. That means they are responsible for ensuring that everything they sell is safe and fit for use. When they breach that duty, they should be held accountable.
At Morris & Dewett, we want our clients to get just compensation for their injuries. We believe that careless or negligent companies should pay for their actions. Their carelessness should not be the cause of your suffering.
Product liability is the area of law that holds everyone in the chain of commerce responsible for injuries or illnesses stemming from a dangerous or defective product. The federal government has laws regarding product safety, such as what types of chemicals may be used or what materials are allowed in manufacturing.
However, there are no federal product liability laws. Each state sets its own laws, usually modeled on the Uniform Commercial Code. In Louisiana, for example, there is a one-year statute of limitations, no limit on economic damages, and courts follow the comparative negligence rule.
If a dangerous or defective product has injured you, you can sue anyone responsible for bringing that product to market, including:
In a product liability case, attorneys use the legal theory of strict negligence. This means that you as the plaintiff do not have to prove the manufacturer or seller was negligent in allowing a defective product into the market. Negligence is presumed. All you need to do is show that you were injured and suffered harm by using the product.
To establish strict liability, Louisiana’s legislature enacted the Louisiana Products Liability Act. The act allows consumers and attorneys to file claims for injuries and deaths due to defects in a manufacturer’s product. The act defines a “manufacturer” and how they can be held accountable.
For purposes of the act, a manufacturer is any “person or entity” who:
Proving your claim under the Louisiana Products Liability Act means showing that the product was “unreasonably dangerous” either in its design, its manufacture, or in a lack of warning or warranty.
There are three basic types of product liability claims. Your claim will depend on the nature of the flaw and the type of injury you suffered.
These are defects in the design of the product itself. Some products cannot be manufactured safely no matter how well they are built in the factory. The company’s quality control testers do not always catch these errors. A product that seemed useful on the drawing board may not be worthwhile when used in the real world.
One of the most widespread examples has been asbestos. Although products derived from the mineral are useful and indeed life-saving (since asbestos is very fire-resistant), there is no way to prevent particles from becoming airborne and causing a deadly form of lung cancer.
Sometimes a product is perfectly designed and works well most of the time, but something happens during the manufacturing process that makes a few of the items (the “product run”) hazardous. Manufacturing defects affect only a few of the products, so while the product itself is not dangerous, the items in the affected run must be recalled.
Recent recalls include salad vegetables contaminated with E. coli bacteria during the packaging process, and toy recalls because of loose or broken parts.
Failure to warn, sometimes called “marketing defects,” refers to dangers in the product or in its use that are not obvious but could be reduced with appropriate warning labels or instructions. Although people laugh at the ridiculous tags on many products, such as “do not use hairdryers in bathtub,” most of these labels have been placed on items that have an actual risk and require warnings.
Perhaps the most famous failure-to-warn product liability cases were the tobacco industry cases. Philip Morris lost multiple cases because courts found they failed in their duty to warn consumers about the risks associated with smoking.
Louisiana recognizes a fourth type of product liability related to express warranties. Consumers have a right to rely on the seller’s word that the product is safe for use. If you purchase a product and the seller promises you (“warranties”) that it is safe to use under particular conditions, then you must be able to use the product in that way.
If you do so and the product is defective or unreasonably dangerous, you have a cause of action against the seller because the warranty was wrong.
Some of the most common product liability cases are things people use casually every day. Because they’re so ubiquitous, we seldom think about them until they break.
Children’s toys. People of a certain age brag about playing with lawn darts as kids, but in reality, these toys were dangerous metal spears. Toys that are too small present a choking hazard for toddlers. Toy guns with projectiles have been known to damage eyes, throats, and other body parts. Children’s toys often lead to design-defect cases, because a product that seems acceptable to adults is dangerous in the hands of children.
Medical devices and pharmaceuticals. These can range from faulty pacemakers or insulin pumps to inadequate “black box” warning labels on medications. Medical product liability cases are sometimes manufacturing-defect cases, as in a recent pacemaker recall. They can be problematic, because of the risks of having to operate on patients a second time to remove malfunctioning medical devices.
Auto parts. Because they are manufactured in large numbers and shipped internationally, automobile parts are prone to manufacturing defects. These can result from flaws in raw materials, a hiccup in the assembly line, or mismatches between parts. The end result is that many products must be recalled, such as the 50,000 Firestone tires that had to be recalled in the 1990s because of a flaw.
The statute of limitations is a prescribed period of time that plaintiffs have to bring a claim for personal injury. In the case of product liability, the Louisiana statute begins, or “runs” from the date of injury and lasts for one year. You have a very narrow window to file a claim in a Shreveport product liability case.
If you believe you have been injured by a defective product, or that you have a claim against a product manufacturer, don’t wait. Contact a product liability attorney right away.
Filing your own product liability claim is filled with difficulties. First of all, if you’ve been hurt by a defective product, you have enough to deal with in recovering from any injuries, getting back to work, and other medical issues.
More important, proving that your injuries were caused by the defective product requires legal know-how. The companies that make and sell commercial products have teams of attorneys hired to make sure they aren’t liable for any damages caused by their products. Their insurance companies will deny your claim or offer you unreasonable settlements in an attempt to make you go away.
Remember, you only have a year to file your claim in court. Big companies with high-powered legal departments can drag out your claim until it’s too late to file. That’s why you need a good legal team of your own that knows how to deal with insurance companies and can get you the compensation you deserve.
Every year, thousands of people are injured and even killed by dangerous and defective products that make their way into the marketplace. Of course, any product can be dangerous if misused, but hazardous products should be taken off the shelves as soon as they are recognized to be dangerous.
Our clients’ well-being and satisfaction are our top concerns. We handle legal matters and keep their interaction with the system to a minimum. Our attorneys are available to answer questions and keep clients in the loop until their case is over.
Morris & Dewett set a Louisiana record with a $409 million judgment for one client. We’ve redefined the personal injury trial throughout the South. When you come to our firm, you will get some of the best legal representation available on the Gulf Coast.
Fifty percent of our cases are referrals from other firms who want the best outcomes for their clients. They know that we are prepared for trial from the outset. Smaller firms who lack the resources for a major case send us complex cases knowing that their clients will have the best representation possible.
We take our cases with the expectation of going to trial. All our attorneys have extensive trial experience, and our staff knows how to prep a case for court. By preparing each case as if it were heading for court, we are ready for every eventuality. No matter what happens, our attorneys have already planned for it and have the resources to meet the situation.
In a product liability case, much of the evidence hinges on expert testimony. Morris & Dewett has professional relations with doctors, engineers, and other technical experts across the country. When we need to demonstrate how or why a product is dangerous, these experts are available to describe what made it hazardous in your case.
Juries today want to see evidence, not just hear about it. We take the time to make clear, understandable presentations. Video, audio, and computer media help support your case and make it understandable to the jury without overwhelming them with flashy CGI graphics. Our team uses state-of-the-art technology to help support your case.
The entire firm of Morris & Dewett is invested in your case. Communication with our client is essential. We will keep you updated on your case and will not make any decisions without your input. When you have questions or concerns about your case, we’ll take the time to fill you in and make sure you understand how things are going.
We have an effective trial strategy that’s been honed over many cases. Every argument is practiced before a focus “jury” to assess its impact on the case. If an argument is not persuasive, it won’t be used. We know the value of all evidence before we present it in court.
In Louisiana, courts follow the comparative negligence rule. This means that even if you are partially at fault for your injuries, you can still recover partial damages. This is most often seen in auto accidents, where people may share some of the blame for their collision.
In a product liability case, it can be important to your claim because manufacturers and retailers may try to claim you didn’t use the product as intended. In states where they use the contributory fault rule, this could prevent you from recovering damages. However, in Louisiana, comparative negligence does not prevent you from recovery. Merely having some share of responsibility does not relieve the defendant of their share of blame.
For instance, everyone knows knives are sharp. Suppose you used your knife on a countertop instead of a cutting board, and while slicing bread, a rivet broke and the blade cut your hand. You weren’t using the knife as you should have been (not using proper equipment). Nevertheless, the cause of your injury (the broken rivet) caused more harm than your failure to use a cutting board.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you need the legal assistance of Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers. We are here to help you through the legal process. Contact us 24/7 at (318) 221-1508, or fill out the intake form on our website.
We’re here to help you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries and return to your life. We provide the same kind of legal advocacy we would want if we were injured by a defective product. Call today to discuss your case and learn if you have a valid product liability case.