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Types of Product Liability Claims

Product Liability Claims: What You Need to Know

Product liability is a term used to describe the legal responsibility of manufacturers, distributors, and sellers for the products they produce and sell. It is a form of consumer protection designed to ensure that products sold to consumers are safe and that they perform as intended. In today's global market, product liability has become more important than ever, as consumers have access to a vast array of products from all around the world.

There are three primary types of product liability claims: manufacturing defects, design defects, and inadequate warnings or instructions. Each type of claim can have different impacts on the consumer, the manufacturer, and the retailer. Below, we will discuss the three primary types of claims in further detail.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects occur when a product deviates from its intended design during the manufacturing process. This means that the product is different from what it was supposed to be, and the deviation makes the product unsafe for its intended use. For example, a bicycle made with a faulty brake system due to a manufacturing error could be considered a manufacturing defect.

Manufacturing defects are the easiest type of product liability claim to prove, as there is clear evidence that the product was not made according to its intended design. If a consumer suffers injuries or damages when using a product, the manufacturer or seller of the product may be held responsible for these injuries or damages and could be required to pay compensation to the consumer.

Design Defects

Design defects occur when a product is inherently dangerous due to a flaw in its design. This means that even if the product is manufactured perfectly, it will still be dangerous when used as intended.

For example, a ladder with an unstable center of gravity could be considered a design defect, as it will always be dangerous to use. Design defects are more difficult to prove than manufacturing defects, as it is necessary to show that the design itself was flawed and that a safer alternative was available. To prove that a design defect led to an injury, the following essential steps should be taken:

  • Establish the existence of a design defect. Show that the product's design is inherently flawed and unreasonably dangerous. This may require comparing the product to comparable products on the market, demonstrating that safer alternative designs exist, or identifying industry standards that the product fails to meet.
  • Prove causation. Demonstrate that the design defect directly caused the injury or damage. This will require showing that the product was being used as intended, and that the injury would not have occurred if not for the design defect.
  • Show damages: Provide evidence of the harm suffered from the design defect. This may include medical records, bills, lost wages, and other documentation of the injury and its fiscal impact.

Evidence that may be required to support a design defect claim includes:

  • Injury reports. You should produce documentation of the injuries sustained, including medical records and bills.
  • Expert testimonies. Testimony from experts in the relevant field (e.g., engineering, product safety, etc.) to establish the existence of the design defect and its link to the injury can be valuable evidence.
  • Product testing data. You should find and submit the results from tests or evaluations of the product that reveal the design defect and its potential for causing harm.
  • Eyewitness accounts. Testimony from individuals who witnessed the incident, which can help establish how the product was being used and the circumstances surrounding the injury can also be valuable.
  • Comparative evidence. This includes information on similar products or alternative designs that demonstrates the existence of safer options.

Inadequate Warnings or Instructions

Inadequate warnings or instructions occur when a product does not contain sufficient warning labels or instructions for safe use. This means that the consumer is not properly informed about the potential risks associated with using the product.

For example, a hair dryer that does not contain a warning label advising the user not to use it in the shower could be considered to have inadequate warnings or instructions. Inadequate warnings or instructions can be difficult to prove, as it is necessary to show that the warning or instruction was necessary and that it would have prevented the injury or damage suffered by the consumer.

What Consumers Can Do If They Have Been Injured

If you believe you have been affected by a product liability situation, you should contact a qualified attorney who can advise you on your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and other damages.

To avoid product liability issues, consumers should stay informed about product recalls and other safety alerts. You can sign up for email notifications from the Consumer Product Safety Commission to stay informed about product safety news, recalls and other alerts. Reading product instructions and warning labels carefully before use can also help prevent accidents and injuries.

Contact Our Firm Today!

At the Law Offices of David Henderson, our attorney has decades of legal experience and is known for providing high-quality, aggressive legal counsel. If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product, we can advise you on your next steps as well as support you through the case legalities.

Call (888) 295-6566 to schedule an initial consultation.