We’re in the midst of the giving season and perhaps you and your family have decided to treat yourselves to a few new gadgets and gizmos this year. We know it’s not typically top of mind when making purchases, but you should be aware that if you buy a product (regardless of the time of year) that comes with an express warranty, the warranty gives you clear legal rights. Express warranties create a binding contract between the seller and the purchaser, and a breach of this contract justifies legal action. You can hire a breach of express warranty lawyer to help you argue your legal rights—and if you suffered a product-related injury, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
Do you have questions about filing an express warranty claim for a product-related injury? If so, here is a brief overview of what you need to know.
Do Express Warranties Cover Product-Related Injuries?
Generally, express warranties do cover product-related injuries. An express warranty is a promise that a product will function in a certain (and safe) way. If a product is not as safe as its warranty represents it to be, this is a breach for which the seller can—and should—be held fully accountable. When you speak with a breach of express warranty lawyer about your warranty claim, your lawyer will explain in detail the losses you are entitled to recover.
Who Can File an Express Warranty Claim for a Product-Related Injury?
While an express warranty creates a binding contract between the seller and the purchaser, the purchaser isn’t necessarily the only person who can file a claim. Express warranties can have various “third-party beneficiaries” as well.
For example, if a member of your household bought the product that injured you, you could still have an express warranty claim. Likewise, if your child was injured by a defective product that you purchased, you can file a claim based on your child’s injury. House guests, employees, friends and neighbors who borrow products, and various other individuals can also pursue express warranty claims for injuries caused by products they did not purchase themselves.
What Information Do You Need to File an Express Warranty Claim?
When pursuing an express warranty claim for a product-related injury, it is helpful to have as much information as possible. If you still have the receipt, the product and/or the product’s packaging, you should keep these in a safe place. You should also write down details such as:
- When did you purchase the product (if applicable)?
- When did the accident happen?
- How did the accident happen?
- Did the product malfunction? If so, how?
- Did anyone witness the accident?
To pursue an injury claim, you will also need copies of your medical records. If you have missed time from work, you will need your employment records as well. As you move forward, you should keep all records you receive together in a file, and you should try to document the effects of your injuries on a day-to-day basis. A good way to do this is to keep a journal on your phone where you write down your daily pain levels, record your doctor’s appointments and make note of anything your injuries prevent you from doing.
What Damages Can You Recover for a Product-Related Injury?
Individuals who suffer product-related injuries can seek just compensation for the losses they incur (and will incur) as a result of their injuries. In many cases, this includes compensation for financial and non-financial losses such as:
- Medical and prescription costs
- Transportation, cleaning, landscaping and other out-of-pocket costs
- Lost income and benefits
- Pain, suffering and emotional trauma
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship, consortium and society
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Depending on the circumstances involved, victims of product-related injuries may be able to pursue claims for punitive damages as well. These are “extra-contractual” damages that are based not on victims’ warranty rights, but rather on statutory rights that allow victims to hold companies accountable for gross negligence and intentional misconduct. For example, if a manufacturer knowingly sells a defective product, this can justify a claim for punitive damages.
What Should You Do If You Have Suffered a Product-Related Injury?
If you have suffered a product-related injury and think you may have an express warranty claim, there are some steps you should take promptly. Most importantly, you should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment right away. You should also keep records and take notes as discussed above, and you should schedule a free consultation with a breach of express warranty lawyer as soon as possible.
At this point, you should not contact the manufacturer or seller directly. If you have a claim, you will want to have your lawyer make contact on your behalf. Before doing so, however, your lawyer will need to gather all relevant information to ensure that he or she presents your claim as effectively as possible. Your lawyer will rely on you to provide much of this information, but he or she will be able to investigate as necessary as well.
What If You Don’t Have an Express Warranty Claim?
Let’s say that for some reason you don’t have an express warranty claim. Maybe the product’s warranty expired, or maybe the issue that caused your injury falls outside of the warranty’s scope. What are your options in this scenario?
Even if you don’t have an express warranty claim, a lawyer may still be able to help you recover just compensation. For example, many products are defective. If you were injured by a defective product, then the status and scope of the product’s express warranty (if any) do not matter. Defective product claims are governed by “products liability” law, and this is entirely separate from the law governing warranties. When you speak with an experienced breach of express warranty lawyer, your lawyer will go over all of the options you have available.
Discuss Your Legal Rights with a Breach of Express Warranty Lawyer Today
If you have questions about filing a claim for a product-related injury, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with an experienced breach of express warranty lawyer at Brais Law Firm in confidence, please call 800-499-0551 or tell us about your claim online today.