A product liability lawsuit is a lawsuit common with companies with defective products. This lawsuit seeks compensation for injury from using a defective product. The manufacturer must be held accountable for the defective product.
Any product must meet certain requirements as the manufacturer stipulates. As a consumer, you have the right to certain expectations when you buy a product. If a product sufficiently fails to meet these expectations, you may file for a product liability claim.
In this piece, we’ll look at the basics of product liability lawsuits. We’ll look at what situations make such a lawsuit applicable. The article will also highlight the various types of product defects and responsible parties in such claims.
First, however, let’s get a clear understanding of what a product liability lawsuit is.
What Is a Product Liability Lawsuit?
A product liability lawsuit is under the umbrella of personal injury claims. This lawsuit claims compensation for defective products that led to an injury. The culpable parties may be the manufacturer, supplier, or distributor.
The claim isn’t limited to tangible products only. Services a company provides that lead to injuries are also included. Take, for instance, a defective amusement park ride that causes accidents.
Perhaps you give or receive a defective gift. You might apply for a product liability claim if you got injured while using it.
Exposure to harmful chemicals or poisonous substances by a service-offering firm may also warrant a product liability lawsuit. Any services or products sold to the general public that causes harm is applicable for such a claim.
What Is Product Defectiveness?
Everybody knows what a defective product is. That said, what is usually defective may not be legally defective. According to law, a product may be defective in three ways.
(a) Manufacturer Defects
Manufacturer defects arise from errors in the manufacturing process. These errors may be machine or human error. Regardless, the company is still responsible for the defective product.
Faulty wiring, for instance, is a good example of a manufacturer defect. Loosely secured components is another manufacturer defect. Lastly, improper assembly of parts is also a manufacturer defect.
Wrong color indicators for hazard symbols is a pretty common manufacturer defect. For example, using the wrong colors for the live and neutral wire in electrical devices. This improper coloring could lead to an electrical hazard.
(b) Marketing Defect
Contrary to popular belief, a marketing defect has nothing to do with advertising. Instead, it is the failure of the manufacturer to declare any potential hazards.
It is the responsibility of the seller and manufacturer to announce any potential hazards. There is, however, some limitations to marketing defects. A product cannot be marketing defective when the potential hazards are obvious and evident.
A car manufacturer doesn’t have to warn that turning at high speed could make the vehicle overturn. The same goes for evident potential hazards when using large machine apparatus.
There is somewhat a grey area when it comes to marketing defects. The court will determine whether a product is sufficiently marketing defective. When a manufacturer exaggerates the safety of a product, then the product is also marketing defective.
(c) Design defect
A design defect is when the manufacturer improperly designs a product. This improper design causes injury in one way or the other. Especially if manufacturing fails to follow strict manufacturing regulations.
The manufacturer must make a product with a specific design. If the product with the intended design cause injury when used properly, then the manufacturer is held accountable.
A common design defect is when a product becomes unexpectedly flammable. When you use the product near heat, and it ignites spontaneously, the fire then burns the consumer during use.
When manufacturers create toys with small parts, they must ensure the parts aren’t choking hazards. If these small parts become a choking hazard for kids, then it is a design defect.
How Do You Prove a Product Liability Claim?
Product liability claims vary from state to state. There are, however, some criteria that stand across the board. Here are a few ways to substantiate a product liability claim.
Proof of Negligence
You have to highlight a manufacturer safety duty that the manufacturer didn’t adhere to. In doing so, you prove the manufacturer takes liability for the product defect and the injury.
In this case, you don’t need to prove any negligence. You also don’t have to demonstrate sufficiently that the manufacturer or seller overlooked a duty.
All you need to do is prove beyond doubt that the product is the manufacturer’s sole responsibility. In doing so, any mishap during use ascribes directly to the manufacturer. After all, the product is the manufacturer’s creation in this case.
A warranty is like a guarantee that a product will do its intended function. Failure to which, the company must be held accountable. If the company breaches warranty, you could file a product liability claim.
What Compensation Should You Expect from a Product Liability Lawsuit?
If you win a product liability claim, you should receive some damage. Damage, in this case, means compensation for the injury acquired during product use.
You may merit compensation for medical expenses, pain experienced, or even disfigurement. In some cases, the court may entitle you to punitive damages.
A product liability claim may coalesce with a wrongful death lawsuit. This combination is possible if the victim dies as a result of using the defective product. You should consult with your attorney to find out what type of case you have on your hands.
You Need a Good Attorney
Remember, you’re filing a claim against a manufacturer. Any good manufacturer has a strong legal team. You need to win against this team to receive your damages.
As such, you need an attorney who can hold their own against such a legal team. Get a good lawyer on the case, and you’re set for a product liability lawsuit.
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