Damages Available in a Defective Product Lawsuit

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What are the Types of Damages Available in a Defective Product Lawsuit?

Most defective products lawsuits are based on some form of negligence or strict liability theory.  Thus, the damages available in a defective product lawsuit usually consist of compensatory damages.  These are meant to compensate the injured party for the losses connected with the defective product. 

Punitive damages aren’t usually available in a defective products or products liability claim.  This is because punitive damages require that the defendant acted purposefully or with malicious intent in harming the plaintiff.  And, since defective products are usually based on negligence or strict liability, the defendant usually wasn’t acting with purposeful intent. 

What do Compensatory Damages in a Defective Product Lawsuit Cover?

As with most personal injury claims, compensatory damages can be further divided into two subcategories:  Economic losses and Non-economic losses.  Economic losses are those that are easily calculable into monetary dollar amounts.  Non-economic losses are those that are relatively more difficult to calculate.  

What do Economic Losses Include?

Economic damages in a defective products claim may often cover the following types of losses:

What About Non-Economic Losses?

Non-economic losses are often called “non-monetary losses”, or sometimes, “general damages”.  These are less frequently issued due to the difficulty in quantifying their amounts.  Many jurisdictions place limits or caps on the amount of non-economic losses that can be awarded for defective products claims.  Non-economic losses usually include:

Thus, there may be a number of different types of damages in a single defective products lawsuit.  It’s common for the damages award to cover both economic and non-economic losses.  The laws governing damages awards may vary by state and jurisdiction.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Damages in a Defective Products Claim?

Understanding the different types of damages available in a defective products lawsuit can be very confusing.  There are many different types of damages, and not all of them may be available in a given case.  It’s to your distinct advantage to hire a lawyer when it comes to recovering losses due to a personal injury.  An experienced lawyer will be able to represent you in court and can help you obtain full compensation for the losses you have suffered. 

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Last Modified: 12-10-2015 11:04 AM PST

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