Personal injury claims get a bad rap. Media headlines often twist jury verdicts in personal injury cases to seem unfair or overboard. Oftentimes, a certain case is presented to appear as though it was not meritorious. Product liability and injury cases are no exception.
As defective product injury lawyers, it is our job to ensure that we bring only meritorious claims. The vast majority of us do just that. Not only is a professional reputation at risk, many court rules prohibit lawyers from filing frivolous claims. For example, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 prevents the filing of frivolous claims; a lawyer may be sanctioned for trying to institute a claim with no merit.
In addition, the design of the civil justice system really does prevent the success of frivolous claims. Bringing a lawsuit is not easy work, going through the discovery process is even tougher, and then standing in front of a jury to present a client’s case is not for the faint of heart. Trying a case is probably one of the most complex, yet professionally rewarding and important things a trial lawyer does.
Ensuring Validity of a Defective Product Injury Lawsuit
Initial Evidence of the Defect
In the case of a defective product injury case, filing a defective product injury lawsuit requires at least some evidence of the defect, enough evidence to pass initial motions to dismiss the case (preliminary objections, etc.). This means that the alleged defective product will probably need to be tested by an expert in the field of defective products before the lawsuit is commenced. Obviously, if the expert does not believe the product was defective or caused the injury, then there is no lawsuit. The case ends there; no defective product injury lawsuit goes forward.
The Discovery Process in a Defective Product Injury Lawsuit
The discovery process is rigorous. The parties exchange evidence, documents, pictures, etc. and also depose each other, witnesses, their experts, etc. This process is incredibly time-consuming and labor intensive. A lawyer may spend hundreds of hours going through the discovery process in a defective products injury case. The opposing side, the corporation or company being sued, will defend the case rigorously and point to internal studies and research suggesting the product was safe or designed well. If there are any weaknesses in a given defective product injury lawsuit, they will be exposed during the discovery process.
At the conclusion of the discovery process, the plaintiff’s (the injured party) case may be subjected to a second round of legal motions, one of which can end the case entirely. A Summary Judgment motion may be presented to the court, asking for a dismissal of the case with prejudice, meaning permanently. If the plaintiff’s case lacks sufficient evidence, then the case would be dismissed. If the case passes this stage, it goes to a jury to be decided. A jury trial is the ultimate test to determine the validity of a given case. Read more about jury trials in accident and injury lawsuits.
Ultimately, the legal justice system is designed to ensure valid and legitimate lawsuits. There are multiple quality checks, if you will, to ensure that only meritorious claims are brought. From the initial pleading stage, to the discovery phase, through Summary Judgment motions, and ultimately a jury trial, the odds are that only valid lawsuits make it through and remain in the civil justice system.
Related Defective Products Content:
Pennsylvania Defective Tool & Products Injury Lawyers
Our defective tool and products injury lawyers are licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but may accept cases in other states on a case by case basis. Our product liability trial lawyers welcome calls from local counsel to discuss any defective product cases. Call 800.220.7600 for a free consultation about a defective product injury case.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.