Q: If a tool I was using has a known defect but I also misused it when I got injured, does that negate any claim I might
A: A full answer would require additional consultation. However generally speaking if you "misused" the product, it will make your claim difficult. Under Idaho law, a jury would ultimately be asked to proportion the negligence of both you and the manufacturer (or possibly the retailer/distributor). If a jury finds that you are 50% or more at fault for your "misuse" and the manufacturer is 50% or less at fault for the defect, you would not recover anything. If the manufacturer is 51% or more at fault, you could recover that percentage of the total damages that the manufacturer is responsible for (i.e. manufacturer is 75% at fault and jury finds you were damaged $100,000.00, you could recover $75,000.00). It really depends on the specific facts of your case, what the product was intended to do, and how you were using it when you got injured. You should consult with an experienced personal injury/product liability attorney for more details.
There aren't details here about the manner of the misuse. Many product liability attorneys give free consultations and it could be worth your time to allow an experienced attorney to evaluate your use of the product, considering such factors as the extent of warnings and how such tools are similarly used in the industry.
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