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When a defective product harms a consumer, the consequences can be severe and life-altering. The damages resulting from a defective product can significantly affect the victim and their family, from physical injuries and medical expenses to lost wages and emotional distress. Has a defective product in North Dakota injured you or a loved one? If the answer is yes, it’s important to understand the types of damages that may be available in a product liability claim.

Types of Damages in a Defective Product Case

Damages in a defective product case can be divided into three main categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate the victim for the financial losses resulting from the defective product. These may include:

  • Medical expenses, including emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation
  • Future medical costs related to ongoing care or treatment
  • Lost wages due to time off work for recovery
  • Loss of earning capacity if the injury affects the victim’s ability to work in the future
  • Property damage caused by the defective product

These damages are typically calculated based on actual expenses incurred or expected future costs and losses.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more subjective and are intended to compensate the victim for the intangible losses resulting from the defective product. These may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium (damage to the victim’s relationship with their spouse)
  • Disfigurement or disability

These damages are more challenging to quantify and often require experienced product liability attorneys and expert witnesses to determine a fair and reasonable amount.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, where the defendant’s conduct is found to be particularly deplorable or intentional, the court may award punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for their wrongdoing and deter similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are rare in product liability cases and are typically only awarded when there is clear evidence of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Factors Affecting the Value of a Defective Product Case

The value of a defective product case can vary widely depending on several factors, including:

  • The severity and permanence of the victim’s injuries
  • The extent of the victim’s economic losses
  • The strength of the evidence linking the defect to the victim’s injuries
  • The defendant’s degree of negligence or fault
  • The jurisdiction and specific laws governing the case

An experienced product liability attorney can help you assess the potential value of your case and build a strong claim for the maximum compensation possible.

North Dakota Limits on Product Liability Damages

When pursuing a defective product case in North Dakota, it’s important to be aware of the state’s laws and regulations regarding damages. 

One significant limitation is the statute of repose, which sets a time limit for bringing a product liability claim, regardless of when the injury occurred. In North Dakota, the statute of repose for product liability cases is ten years from the date of purchase or 11 years from the date of manufacture. This means that if you are injured by a defective product more than ten years after its purchase or 11 years after its manufacture, you may be barred from bringing a claim.

Another important consideration is North Dakota’s modified comparative fault rule. Under this rule, a plaintiff’s damages may be reduced if they are found to be partially at fault for their injuries. If the plaintiff’s fault is determined to be 50% or greater, they may be barred from recovering any damages. This highlights the importance of working with an experienced product liability attorney who can build a strong case and demonstrate the defendant’s liability.

Fighting for the Rights of Defective Product Victims in North Dakota

If you’ve been harmed by a defective product, you shouldn’t have to bear the burden of your losses alone. The product liability attorneys at Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injury victims and holding negligent manufacturers accountable for their actions. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.