Halifax Product Liability Lawyers Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve
As product liability lawyers located in Halifax and serving all of Atlantic Canada, NOVA Injury Law handles cases where serious injury has resulted through the expected use of a product. All companies who manufacture products must ensure the products they offer are safe to use. Nova Scotians regularly purchase consumer products from retailers with the reasonable expectation that these products will be high quality and safety. Likewise, Nova Scotians also have the right to believe any medical devices or pharmaceuticals used to treat them will be free from defects. From personal products to hair color to medications, we as a society operate under the assumption that day-to-day use products are harmless. Thus, when something goes wrong with a product we use that leads to harm, it has the power to turn our entire world upside down in a matter of minutes.
While it is true that most products meet the standards required by the Canadian government, sometimes unsafe products make their way into the mix. When this happens, defects may only become apparent after the product has been used, sometimes over time. By this time, it is often too late. Defective products and the injuries they cause often leave people feeling confused and angry. It is important to know that when a defective product has injured you, you are entitled to compensation from the designer, the manufacturer, or both. If possible, hang on to the faulty product and any related receipts or paperwork, including any documentation you receive from medical professionals regarding your injury. This will be important if you pursue a claim against the manufacturer. Good cases are built on solid medical evidence, and that’s why we make medical experts support our specialty.
Be sure to speak to your family doctor or attend a walk-in clinic to discuss any injuries you have sustained. Your health is second to none. Why not take advantage of our no-risk, free case assessment? At worst, you’ll understand the law related to your claim, have a good understanding of your product liability claim, and have an indication of any compensation you may be entitled to receive. At best, you’ll have an experienced Halifax product liability lawyer working directly on your case from start to finish.
What is a Product Liability Claim?
How many products, devices, or public resources do you interact with on any given day? From the toothbrushes we use in the morning, to the coffeemakers, to children’s products like strollers, to the benches we rest on to wait for the train, our lives are filled with products designed to make our lives easier. Unfortunately, sometimes an oversight in the design of a product can lead to a serious unexpected injury for the consumer. When this happens, victims can be left feeling frustrated, confused, and defeated – especially if that product was meant to keep them safe from danger, like an infant’s car seat or a motor vehicle’s airbags. If you have been injured while attempting to correctly use a product, whether at work or in the safety of your own home, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.
Product liability claims in Canada are typically tort law actions that arise when someone uses an unsafe or defective product that injures them in some way. While not every time someone is injured using a product will give rise to a product liability claim, some situations may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Common product liability claim triggers are:
- Negligent Design
This situation arises when a manufacturer had a safer design available to them at the time of development but failed to use this reasonable alternative in favor of another design. Cases surrounding negligent design focus a lot on the product development process and how design decisions were made. If it is proved that safer designs considered were just as logically and financially viable, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injury.
- Negligent Manufacture
This situation arises when a product was not made in accordance with the manufacturer’s design specifications, causing the product to be unreasonably dangerous. However, not all these situations lead to a viable claim. This design defect must be proven to be the result of non-compliance with manufacturing standards. An example of this may be a fault in medical devices made by a particular manufacturer, like surgical mesh. While some mesh may be fine, people using negligibly manufactured mesh may suffer complications following surgery. If a product you use has been recalled due to negligent manufacturing, an injury sustained by this product may qualify for financial compensation.
- Breach of the Duty to Warn
This arises when there is a reasonably known risk of harm from the product’s use that is not obvious to foreseeable users, both for correct and incorrect use. If the manufacturers fail to warn users of this risk, injuries sustained while using the product may qualify for compensation. An example of a breach of duty to warn might be failing to place a warning label on a piece of machinery.
Who is at Fault in Product Liability Claims?
Now that we have established common types of product liability claims, it is important to know exactly who may be responsible or liable for these defects.
Liability can potentially fall on any participant throughout the supply chain, from the retailer to the manufacturer. However, the standard of care will change depending on where the defendant is in the supply chain. Product designers and manufacturers play different roles in the creation of a product; while they both can be held accountable for problems their products cause, they will ultimately be responsible for different levels of compensation. Retailers, people that merely hand the product from the manufacturer to the consumer, play the smallest role. Generally speaking, the highest standard of care will be held by manufacturers and the lowest by retailers.
If you are considering taking legal action for an injury sustained while using a poorly designed or manufactured product, consider reaching out to the experienced lawyers of NOVA Injury Law for a free consultation. You are at no obligation following this consult, and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have about how Canadian law might apply to dangerous products and personal injury law. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How do I Prove That I am the Victim of a Faulty Product in a Product Liability Lawsuit?
In Canada, claimants must demonstrate negligence on behalf of the manufacturer or retailer beyond what might be considered acceptable for a large operation.
The product must create an unreasonable risk of harm when used as it was intended to be used. This must be due to the negligent manufacture, design, or warning of the product.
Specifically, the plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that:
- The defendant (a company with the faulty product) owed a duty of care
- The defendant breached their duty of care
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of this breach
- These damages are causally linked to the defendant’s breach of their duty of care to you.
This portion, known as causation, is evaluated on what is called the ‘but-for’ test. Here, claimants must establish on a balance of probabilities that they would not have suffered damage but for the defendant’s breach of its duty of care. Many companies and their insurers will often argue that the dangers inherent in using the product were obvious or that the injured person’s use of the product fell outside the definition of appropriate use and, therefore, could not be planned for. Major manufacturers and companies dealing with a defective product are capable of utilizing vast resources to try and take apart your case when it comes time for legal action. Working with lawyers with experience in the right practice areas will help ensure that your claim stands up to their arguments.
While this will change slightly depending on the specific type of product liability claimed, this is the general layout of a negligence claim.
Sometimes, when multiple individuals can prove that they have been injured by the same defective product, these individuals can group together to pursue one big case against a company. This group, called a “class”, can bring about a class action lawsuit. Class proceedings are meant to make it easier for courts to deal with a large number of cases regarding the same problem. While class actions often involve more resources being made available to victims for dispute resolution as well as reduced cost of legal services, they can also take longer to process and might provide the victims involved less freedom than they would have if filing on their own. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you decide if it is in your best interests to file independently or as part of a class action lawsuit.
What Kinds of Damages and Compensation do Victims in Product Liability Cases get?
While this varies depending on the specific facts of the situation, the general idea in tort law regarding damages is that the system should restore the injured person to the position they would have been in had the defendant’s negligence not occurred. This is known as indemnification.
Some typical damage categories found in product liability cases include:
- General damages for pain and suffering (case law in Canada has capped this at around 380k)
- Past and future loss of income
- Past and future cost of care and medical expenses
- Property Damage caused by the defective product
- Loss of valuable services or pure economic loss – this accounts for the inability to perform tasks like household chores that the injury victim used to be able to do prior to the injury, not just services provided in a workplace setting
Remember, these are only some forms of damages you may be entitled to. For an accurate assessment, it is always best to consult a proven product liability lawyer for quality legal services. They will be able to tell you which kinds of compensation apply to your case and will help you determine the amount that you are eligible for.
How Will a Halifax Product Liability Lawyer Help Me with My Case?
NOVA Injury Law works so our clients can focus on what matters most, healing. This is why we advance a personalized legal strategy based on the specifics of every claim and guide clients through each step of their claims. During our free case review, one of our proven product liability lawyers explains each component of the claim with no risk or obligation. We want to ensure injury victims know the important details of their claims, their value, and whether a product liability lawyer will add value on their behalf.
From here, if they feel that NOVA Injury Law is the right firm to win their claim, we offer a ‘no-win, no-fee’ guarantee, meaning our services come at no cost until a settlement is reached. If we don’t help you win, you don’t pay. Aside from the free case review, the no-obligation consultation, and contingency fee agreement available for many types of claims, NOVA Injury Law is a proudly Nova Scotian law firm that offers something that other law firms in Nova Scotia do not – we are the only injury law firm in Atlantic Canada with a doctor as part of our leadership team.
Dr. Laura Mitchell is a practicing emergency room physician with special training in occupational medicine, meaning she specializes in injuries and illnesses caused at work, sometimes by faulty products. Working directly with a knowledgeable medical professional allows the experienced injury lawyers at NOVA Injury Law to properly support personal injury claims with the most complete, accurate, and convincing medical evidence that is gathered by a reputable consulting expert.
If you or one of your loved ones has been the victim of an accident, injury due to a faulty product, or any other type of injury caused by the negligence of another party, please contact the veteran personal injury lawyers of NOVA Injury Law today. For more information or to set up an initial consultation for legal services, you can reach us by calling 1-800-262-8104 at any time; no obligations attached. Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to support you and your loved ones via email, text, Facebook messenger, and more.