Some people think that the simple discovery of a defect in a specific product can serve as the basis for a product liability claim. Yet the law makes it clear that the plaintiff needs to show that the defective item harmed him or her in some way.

Essential elements of a product liability claim

Proof that the product in question contained a dangerous defect
Proof that the same defect caused the product’s user to suffer some type of injury

Types of injuries

• Physical
• Financial: The plaintiff cannot claim pain and suffering, if claiming a financial injury.
• Emotional
• Psychological

Steps that can strengthen the plaintiff’s case

It helps if the plaintiff arranges for testimony from an expert. The expert’s testimony should confirm the existence of a link between the defect in the product and the plaintiff’s injury. For instance, suppose that someone got in an accident with a fairly new car. At the time of the collision, the air bag came out from its hidden location with too much force. As a result, the occupant of the seat next to the driver suffered a head injury.

The injured passenger could work with the driver to sue the company that made the air bag. Still, they would have a stronger case if a medical expert could explain the link between an impact to the head and the chances for an injury. In other words, the expert’s words should work to prove that the defect in the air bag caused the harm that was done to the passenger’s head. The air bag’s premature and extremely forceful appearance would be proof of the defect’s existence.

Suppose that a different passenger hurt her knee, after benefiting from an air bag’s presence, at the time of a collision. Suppose that she tried to win a product liability case. No expert would have reason to link a knee injury to the emergence of an air bag, no matter how forceful that bag’s impact on the target/passenger might be.

In the absence of an expert, even a good lawyer would struggle to link an air bag’s force to development of a knee injury. The Injury Lawyer in Mississauga could not dig up any scientific evidence that would support the client’s claim. When lawyers pay for an expert witness, the size of their consignment fee gets reduced. That is why some lawyers try to avoid adding to their out-of-pocket expenses. Still, such a strategy does not yield the desired result.

It can mean no win, and thus no consignment fee. The pennies saved by the thrifty attorney do not translate into dollars won by the client. If the client does not win money, then the lawyer gets no money.