In some cases, people will use a product and become injured or suffer other damages. In these cases, they will have a defective product liability claim. The claims will typically fall into these categories: defective manufacture, defective design, or failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions concerning the proper use of the product.
Defectively Manufactured Products
When a defectively manufactured product is flawed because of an error in making it, there could be a product liability claim. Some examples could include a swing set that has a cracked chain or a tainted batch of cough syrup that contains a poisonous substance. The injury must have been caused by the manufacturing defect. You need to show that the defect caused the accident that injured you.
Defectively Designed Products
Defective design claims do not arise from some error or mishap in the manufacturing process. Instead, they involve the claim that an entire line of products is dangerous, regardless of the fact that the injury-causing product was perfectly made according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Examples can include a model of car that has a tendency to flip or a type of sunglasses that fail to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays.
Failure to Provide Adequate Warnings or Instructions
Failure-to-warn claims involve a product that is dangerous in some way that isn’t obvious to the user or requires the user to exercise special precautions when using it. Examples might include an electric teakettle that is packaged without sufficient warning concerned an oddly positioned steam valve, or a corrosive paint-removing chemical that is sold without adequate instructions for safe handling and use.
Furthermore, to win a case, you must prove a few elements in your claim. These include being injured and suffering losses, having a defective product, the defective product caused your injury, and you were using the product as it was intended.
You Were Injured or Suffered Losses
It never depends on what almost happened to you – it always depends on what actually happens to you. Without an actual injury or monetary loss, you are missing a critical element in a product liability claim. You will need to have sustained an injury from a product to even consider filing a claim.
The Product is Defective
The product that injured you must be defective, and the easiness of proving this depends on the type of claim you are making. There could have been a manufacturing error, the product could just be unreasonably dangerous, or there could have been a failure to warn issued to a hazardous product.
The Defect Caused Your Injury
You must be able to demonstrate specifically that your injury was caused by the defect itself. If you were injured in a car accident, for instance, and the car flipped over when turning corners but you were speeding, the manufacturer may argue that your reckless driving caused the accident and not the car’s design.
You Were Using the Product as It Was Intended
You must have been using the product in a way that the manufacturer intended a consumer to use it. If an ordinary consumer would not use it the way you did when you sustained an injury, then you may not have a claim. This doesn’t mean that the way you used the product must completely conform to the manufacturer’s specifications; if a manufacturer could reasonably expect an ordinary consumer to use the product in the way you used it, you have likely met the requirement.
Defective product claims can be very complex. The basic elements involved in your state may be tricky. Depending on the case you believe you have, you may definitely want an attorney on your side. A personal injury lawyer at WTW will be able to speak with you about your claim and review a possible case for you.