In today’s world, we rely on manufactured products countless times a day. From driving a car to taking your morning vitamins, we entrust the companies behind these products with our well-being. Unfortunately, this trust is not always warranted — you always run the risk that a product may fail or not work as intended. In order to mitigate this risk, state and federal laws have been designed to ensure that products are safe. Warning labels, instructions, and certifications are typically a result of these laws. They help to keep our products, and in turn us, safer on the day-to-day.
The practice of law associated with such issues is known as product liability law. Product liability is defined as the legal responsibility that a manufacturer or trader holds if they sell a faulty product to the consumer. Essentially, the company that creates or sells a product is held liable for its performance. If anything goes wrong, and someone is injured by the product, the company will likely have to pay out money to the victim. We have experience obtaining damages in cases involving automobiles, toys, appliances, medical devices, and more. Our product liability attorneys will fight alongside you to get the compensation you deserve.
Types of a Product Liability Cases
Although most product liability cases seem similar, a defective product causes the user injury, there are more variations than one may think. It is important to note these distinctions, as each variation holds a different party responsible. Sometimes the product designer may be at fault, other times the manufacturer or the retailer may be liable. Consumers have the right to file a product liability claim when any one of the following are present:
- Design Defects – A design defect is a problem with the design of the product, making it inherently dangerous before it even enters the manufacturing process. Thus, even if the user uses the product exactly as instructed, they can still be injured due to defects. One example of a design defect was with the Samsung Galaxy phones. Due to a flaw in the design, they would overheat and melt or cause fires when in the users’ pocket. Unfortunately, this led to many burns and other heat-related injuries.
- Manufacturing Defects– A manufacturing defect is an unintended imperfection in a product that occurs during the production process. Thus, the product becomes more unstable and dangerous than it was originally intended to be. For example, some Ford cars had an issue during manufacturing that prevented the airbags from successfully deploying in an accident. Naturally, this led to injury, and Ford was held liable for their faulty product.
- Lack of Warning/Incorrect Advertising– Lack of warning/incorrect advertising occurs when the manufacturer does not properly warn the customer of the potential injuries that they may incur. Further, if the product is advertised as being capable of something it is not, the producer is likely liable. An example of such a product liability case is a bottle of pills that do not include a warning label with side effects if mixed with another medication. Without proper knowledge of this, the user could easily get injured without even being aware that they did anything wrong.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a faulty product due to a design or manufacturing defect, or through incorrect advertising, you are likely eligible to receive compensation.
Proving Liability In A Lawsuit
After contacting a product liability attorney, they will help you determine the best plan for your case. Often, this involves a product liability lawsuit against the company that manufactured it. In such a lawsuit, the most important aspect is proving that the company’s product was in fact defective. There are three ways to do this: strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. The most common way to prove a product was defective is through strict liability. This allows the victim to sue the manufacturer without knowing exactly where and when the defect occurred. In other words, it allows you to sue without holding a specific individual responsible.
Although the manufacturer or distributor will likely list the steps and safety precautions they took when producing, handling, or shipping a product, these do not always matter for a liability suit. Rather, you can file a strict liability case without knowing if they acted recklessly, as long as the following apply:
- The defect caused the product to be “unreasonably dangerous,” and thus it injured the consumer.
- The product was being used as it was intended to be used, and it still caused an injury.
- The product was not significantly modified from its original sale condition (ie. replacing the engine of a car may rid the manufacturer of their liability).
Contact Our Product Liability Lawyers
If you or a loved one believe you have been injured by a defective product, it is imperative to contact an experienced product liability attorney. Fighting these cases is not easy, as often you are up against big companies. They will employ defense strategies in an attempt to void your claim, such as saying that you were aware of the defect and continued to use the product. Our team has experience with such arguments and will work tirelessly to make sure you are fairly compensated. Damages may be recovered for lost and future wages, property damage, pain, and medical expenses. Contact us to further discuss your case today.