If you suffered severe adverse effects after being exposed to pepper spray, your options for filing suit may depend on the actions you take immediately after your injury. Even if the manufacturer of the product you were sprayed with was negligent, it may be difficult to recover compensation without conclusive evidence connecting their product directly to your injuries.
Fortunately, professional help is available if you are considering filing a pepper spray lawsuit. A qualified pepper spray lawyer could help you gather evidence of liability, construct a strong case for compensation, and work diligently to get you the recovery you deserve through either a private settlement or a public lawsuit.
Important Steps to Take Before Filing
In the aftermath of a pepper spray injury, there are several things a plaintiff must do to ensure their ensuing claim is as strong as possible. First and foremost, pepper spray injury victims must seek immediate medical attention as soon as they notice any lasting symptoms from their exposure to this substance. This is important not only to protect their physical wellbeing, but also to establish medical documentation showing that pepper spray exposure either directly caused or contributed to cause their injuries.
It is also wise to preserve the container of pepper spray used in the incident, as well as any clothing worn by the victim at the time of exposure. Finally, plaintiffs should collect or create documentation of their losses in addition to medical expenses. For example, they should collect their pay stubs showing lost work wages, contemporaneous notes detailing physical pain and suffering, and testimony from family members regarding their emotional and psychological trauma.
What Makes for a Successful Pepper Spray Lawsuit?
Generally, a plaintiff who sustained injuries from pepper spray exposure will pursue their case under the product liability laws applicable in the state where the incident occurred. This is a unique kind of civil case that works similarly to a standard personal injury claim, but with a few key differences. Most notably, the defendant’s negligence does not need to entail a single reckless or careless act.
Instead, most successful product liability cases establish that some kind of defect was present in a product when it left the control of its manufacturer, and the manufacturer negligently failed to either remedy the defect or inform customers of potential dangers associated with normal use. The latter approach typically produces better results in pepper spray litigation, since pepper spray manufacturers have historically resisted disclosing the ingredients that go into their products. The manufacturers also never previously disclosed the risk that exposure could pose to individuals with asthma, pepper allergies, and preexisting heart conditions.
A Skilled Attorney Could Help with Filing a Pepper Spray Lawsuit
Ultimately, the process of filing a pepper spray lawsuit will be different for each individual plaintiff, as every situation that leads to this kind of case is unique. However, the importance of preserving key evidence and being able to establish fault by a pepper spray manufacturer cannot be understated, no matter what circumstances created the grounds for a particular claim.
Working with an experienced pepper spray lawyer could be essential to achieving a favorable outcome in your pepper spray case. To find out how legal counsel could help you, call today to schedule a consultation.