We all use a variety of products every day–phones, food, transportation, medications, and personal care. We often don’t expect that these types of commonly used products will be defective and harm us. Unfortunately, defective or faulty products can result in serious or fatal injuries to consumers.
When a faulty product or marketing scheme results in injuries to consumers, product liability law holds manufacturers and those in the product line responsible. If you were injured due to a defective product, the product liability attorneys or defective product lawyers at Shegerian & Associates are standing by ready to hold negligent parties accountable, no matter how big or powerful they may be.
3 Types of Product Liability Claims
There are three types of product defects that product liability law can cover. These are design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects:
A Design Defect
A design defect is a flaw in the original design of the product, meaning that the intended use of the product is faulty from the start. This impacts the entire product line because it is considered flawed from the initial design.
A Product Defect
A product defect occurs when a product fails due to a manufacturing error, resulting in an unintended consequence. These types of defects can occur if a company uses substandard parts to produce a product in order to save on costs.
An Inadequate Warning
Also known as a marketing defect, an inadequate warning occurs when a product is not properly labeled or is missing important information regarding the recommended use of the product or potential hazards. This includes failure to warn against foreseeable misuse, which is why a “do not put in water” is labeled on electronic devices.
How to Know If a Product Is Defective
Not every product that breaks or fails is considered legally defective. In general, if you were injured by a product and the following are true, you may have a product liability claim:
- You were using the product as it was intended.
- The injury was not related to normal wear-and-tear of the product.
- The injury was not related to improper use of the product.
The Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC) allows consumers to use their updated database to search for recalled products and posts news releases and safety education materials that keep consumers well-informed of product safety and potential hazards.
When in doubt, it is recommended that you contact a product liability or defective product attorney who can review your case for free and determine whether you were, in fact, injured by a defective product.
Common Types of Product Defects
Consumers interact with countless products on a daily basis. Some of the most common product defects involve:
- Auto defects
- Defective car seats
- Baby products
- Gas wall heaters
- Medical devices
- Construction equipment
- Safety devices
Product Liability Law and Consumer Rights
When an injury occurs due to a product defect, plaintiffs may sue under several different legal theories. Negligence is one theory which involves proving that, but for the product defect, the plaintiff would not have been injured. Negligence also involves proving that the injury was a reasonably foreseeable result of the product defect.
Strict liability is also a way to successfully bring a products liability case to court. Unlike negligence and other theories of liability, strict liability claims do not involve proving that the maker or seller of a product is somehow at fault for the injury sustained. Strict liability is often associated with manufacturing defects.
A products liability claim may also be brought under a theory of breach of warranty. This theory rests on the fact that all American products carry an implied promise that the item sold is free of unsafe defects. Once injury occurs, this warranty has been breached and there could be sufficient grounds for a lawsuit.
How to Prove a Product Liability Claim
As with all types of claim involving injury, it must be shown that the injury you sustained due to a defective product was the result of negligence. Parties that may be found to have acted with negligence and are thus liable for your injuries include:
- The product manufacturer
- The parts manufacturer
- Sales outlets
Your product liability lawyer and their team of investigators will need to uncover evidence in order to prove how you were injured and what action occurred to cause the defective product. Evidence that your product liability attorney will work to gather includes:
- Retrieving the products for expert testing
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Site investigation
- Machine and equipment records
- Maintenance logs of machinery
- Formal reports, such as police or fire reports
- Government data and reports
Product Liability Defenses
Just about anyone in the product line from manufacturers to wholesalers to retailers could be held liable for product defects. Once legal action is taken, plaintiffs can expect these entities to submit a number of defenses in product liability claims.
For instance, a defendant may argue that the defendant’s own negligence caused the injury, the improper use of the product caused the injury or the injury resulted from the plaintiff’s failure to heed noticeable warnings about the product.
Whether you should file a product liability lawsuit or join a class action will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. If you and your product liability attorney uncover that there were other individuals injured because of the defective product, entering a class action lawsuit may be beneficial. If your case is unique, filing a product liability lawsuit on your own may be the best route to maximum compensation.
Get Fierce Legal Advocates in Your Corner
The complexities of a product liability claim call for only the best legal representation possible. If you think you may have a case involving a defective product and would like to hold the proper entities accountable, contact a product liability lawyer at Shegerian & Associates right away to get the justice and fair compensation you deserve.