Maryland product liability lawsuits allow consumers to pursue a claim for compensation against the manufacturers, distributors, and resellers of hazardous products. A product liability suit filed against a responsible party may permit an injured plaintiff to recover a range of damages, and it is important for an accident victim to fully understand what may be available when determining the best course of action for their family.
The term damages refers to the financial compensation owed to an accident victim based on the other party’s wrongful conduct. In Maryland, damages are generally made up of compensatory damages, which are divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, also referred to as special damages, are damages that consist of a fixed dollar value, such as past and future medical bills, loss of income, transportation costs, and others. Non-economic damages, also referred to as general damages, are damages that do not have a fixed value, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and mental anguish. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate the victim for their pain and losses. Generally, damages must be proven by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means that it is more likely than not to be true.
Punitive damages are also available in some Maryland cases. For a punitive damages award under Maryland law, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant acted with knowing and deliberate wrongdoing. This must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. Punitive damages are generally reserved for cases involving egregious conduct, such as deliberately selling a defective product that the seller knew could cause physical harm without proper warnings. Punitive damages are meant to punish wrongful actors and to deter others from similar behavior. Statutory damages are also available in some cases based on mandates under the law.