Defective products can cause chaos in a victim's life. All consumers are entitled to safe products. The makers of products owe consumers that much. Unfortunately, people are hurt by bad products every day and must deal with the damages. When it comes to damages, it's important for victims to understand what that word means and how much money they are entitled to be paid.
Damages Are About Money
The word damages mean several things. When you are dealing with the harm done by a faulty product, damages cover an expansive host of issues. Damages lead directly to financial compensation based on how a victim is harmed. Look at a few examples of damages due to a faulty product:
- Repeated surgeries caused by the explosion of a pressure cooker in a victim's kitchen.
- Payment for lost career opportunities because of sickness due to contaminated peanut butter.
- Pain and suffering because of a faulty airbag that caused facial lacerations and chemical burns.
Damages, then, are all the issues affecting a victim after an accident with a faulty product.
Compensation for Victims
Damages are often referred to as either compensatory or punitive. Compensatory damages are based on known and obvious financial factors. For example, if your future medical needs are calculated to total $250,000, then that is the exact amount that you, as the victim, are asking to be compensated for.
Within that category, economic damages are based on dollar amounts owed to the victim. Medical expenses, lost wages, lost or damaged personal property, etc. are all categorized as economic damages. On the other hand, non-economic damages refer to pain and suffering and sometimes psychological trauma. These kinds of damages are not necessarily connected to a specific dollar sum but may be calculated based on the total of the medical expenses.
Punishing the Product Maker
In certain cases, victims may also be eligible for punitive damages. This is a unique category of damages because the victim doesn't ask for punitive damages. Rather, it's up to the jury and judge to award them if they see fit. With product injuries, the court often decides to make an example of the defendant. Punitive damages tend to garner publicity and send a message to the product maker. When awarded, particularly when the defendant is a large corporation, the level of compensation can be hundreds of thousands of dollars over and above compensatory damages.
Bad products can cause devastating injuries to victims. Get the help of a personal injury lawyer so you can be sure you are paid what you deserve.
Contact a firm like Bradley Drendel & Jeanney for more information.