3 Things To Know About Product Liability For Latent Injuries

Sometimes when using a product that produces an injury, the injury is evident right away, and it is easy to take action. For example, if your phone explodes and burns you, it is obvious that the phone was defective at the time the injuries occurred. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes, it is not obvious that the product was defective because the injuries don't show up right away. In the case of latent injuries, personal injury-based product liability lawsuits are still possible.  

The Statute of Limitation Starts When One Know the Product Harmed Them

With latent injuries, the status of limitations doesn't start when the injury occurred or even when the injury was detected. Rather, the statute of limitations starts when the plaintiff figures out, or should have reasonably figured out, that the product caused their injury. 

For example, a player wears a helmet and thinks that the helmet protected them from injury. Later on, they realize that they have brain damage, and then they conclude that the brain damage was linked to the helmet they wore not protecting them as it was supposed to. The status of limitations started when the player was aware that they had brain damage and could link the brain damage to the wearing of the helmet, and not another event in their life.  

Early-Discovery Injuries Are Different Than Late-Discovery Injuries

Second, when the injury was discovered matters. Going back to the helmet issue, if one suffered a concussion while wearing the helmet, that was an early-discovery injury that started one clock for filing a lawsuit. If later on, the plaintiff discovered that they had a variety of brain issues not detected with the concussion, then they have a late-discovery injury that starts a new clock on a personal injury lawsuit. The clock for an early-discovery injury and a late-discovery injury are different, even if they were caused by the same product.  

Proving a Connection Is Important

With latent injuries related to a defective product, proving a connection between the injuries and the product is really important. This can require one to really do some investigating and digging, which is why it is wise to work with a personal injury attorney who has experience with this particular type of work. One needs to investigate the product as well as your medical history to prove the connection. 

When it comes to product liability with a latent injury, the status of limitation starts when the use of the product is connected to the injury. Early-discovery injuries and late-discovery injuries have different time clocks for filing a personal injury lawsuit. It is important to work with a lawyer who has experience collecting the type of evidence necessary for this type of case.