When you use a product as intended, you expect it to work as intended. In most cases, that is exactly what happens; in other cases, a product might not work and you simply head back to the store to get a refund or a replacement. However, there are cases where a defective product ends up injuring the person using it. When that happens, the injured person is eligible to file a product liability claim.
Product liability is a subset of personal injury law, which means that negligence plays a part in the case. With product liability, that means negligence was involved in the manufacture, design, or distribution of the product and that negligence led to a defect, which led to an injury. That means a personal injury lawyer is necessary to help the person injured by the defective product. Product liability can be complicated but a personal injury attorney can handle the legal burden if you know little to nothing about product liability law.
The Three Categories of Product Liability
While product liability cases can get complicated, each case usually falls into one of three categories. That means if you believe that you have been injured because of a defective product, then you should know the category in which your case falls.
This is one of the most common types of product liability and one that is relatively easy to prove. A product is defectively manufactured when an error occurs during the manufacturing process that renders the product unsafe for use. There are many examples of this among a broad range of categories: a car might get recalled because a manufacturing error might not cause the brakes to not work properly in certain situations or salad kits might carry e-coli or other dangerous bacteria. In these examples, it is a defect in the manufacture of the product that leads to problems.
In this category, the defect is inherent in the design of the product itself. That means it presents a danger no matter if it is manufactured properly or used correctly. Even though most companies thoroughly test their products to make sure that they are safe, there are still some instances where a defectively designed product makes it to the market and ends up hurting people.
Products that have inherent design flaws tend to be recalled en masse once that defect is discovered. When that happens it is easy to know whether the defective product that caused an injury was due to a manufacturing error or a flaw in the design.
If a person gets hurt because a dangerous product did not have proper warning labels or instructions, then that person could file a product liability case. There is some subjectivity to these kinds of cases since the manufacturer could claim that their warnings or instructions were adequate but that the user did not follow them correctly.
In this category, inadequate warnings or instructions only apply to products where the danger is not immediately obvious. That would exclude products like knives, razors, or scissors, where the danger is clear and obvious. An example of an inadequate warning would be a brand of cough syrup that does not inform consumers that it could cause heart problems if it is used in conjunction with other types of medication.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You With Your Product Liability Claim
If you have been injured because of a defective product, then you don’t necessarily have to worry about in which category the defective product falls. That is because a personal injury attorney can help sort out the legal aspect of the case for you. Once they discover what type of product liability case that you have, they can then target the right party so that they will compensate you for the losses brought on by your injury. So if you have been injured by a defective product, make sure that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.