The United States has one of the biggest markets of consumer goods. According to the latest statistics, the average spending on consumer goods in America amounts to 63,036Dollars. These products go through various delivery stages with safety and routine checks to ensure safe use of the product. But what if a defective product caused your injury, resulting in damages or loss?
Defects in products cause injuries and even deaths around the globe. From defects in mobile phones to heavy machinery, many people suffer losses due to deficiencies in a product. These defects can be due to faults credited to stakeholders involved in the delivery stages:
If you have suffered an injury that resulted in losses or suspected a defect in a product, learn about the laws that allow you to claim product liability to make the responsible person settle for the damages.
What is a Product Liability Claim?
A product liability claim is when an individual involved in an accident files a lawsuit claiming that they have suffered injury or losses due to unreasonably dangerous defects in the product. The laws of product liability claims do not involve personal injuries due to self-negligence.
After an investigation, you can make a case against the manufacturer, retailer, designer, or party involved in the delivery stages. The final verdict may force the defendant to settle for hefty amounts. The victim can claim that:
- The product is defective
- It caused injury due to its defective nature
- The product caused an accident that resulted in losses
- Insufficient or false instructions were provided
- An insufficient warning was provided
What Are the Types of Product Liability Claims?
The product owner or the person who has suffered a loss due to a defective product can make a claim. There are three different types of product liability claims you can make.
Design Defect Product Liability Claim
If a product has defects in its design that may lead to accidents or injuries, a person can file a lawsuit against the designer. The person filing the claim needs to prove that they were following the instructions for use properly and demonstrate how the defect may have harmed them.
A case based on the design defect product liability claim does not blame the manufacturer for the poor or unsafe design of the product. Only the person using the defective product doesn’t need to claim product liability. Any bystander or victim of the loss can also file a case.
Manufacturer Defect Product Liability Claim
The manufacturing defect product liability claim is the most common type of case against defective products. The product liability law suggests that a claim can be made against the manufacturer if the product’s design is completely safe. Still, it is the manufacturing process in which the defect came into being. Faults in manufacturing can be due to:
- Usage of harmful, wrong, or insufficient raw material
- Faults in assembly
- The manufacturing does not follow the design intended
All of these reasons lead to the product not performing as designed. Thus, posing a threat to anyone who may come in contact with it.
Warning and Instructions Defective Product Liability Claim
In this type of claim, the case is against the marketing and distribution department. A person can claim damages because there were not enough instructions or the instructions were false for the proper usage of the product.
The claim can also be made if a warning was not clear or insufficient and labeling was not done properly. A famous example of this is the case against the pharmaceutical company responsible for the distribution of Zantac. It was claimed that an overwhelming use of Zantac was causing Cancer symptoms at an alarming rate.
What Steps Can You take if you Suspect a Defective Product Liability?
If you have suffered an injury or any loss due to a defective product or suspect a defect in a product, these are the steps you can take:
Hire a Lawyer
You should seek an attorney if you have to claim damages or suspect a defective product. The lawyers for defective product liability claims are specialized in corporate matters. A personal injury lawyer might not be able to help you efficiently.
Show of Proof
After hiring your lawyer, you will need proof that the product has harmed you or posed a potential threat. To prove in court the defectiveness of a product, you will need:
- Evidence of purchase of the product
- Proof of any instructions or warning labels
- Demonstration of how the product caused you harm
- Proof that you were using the product according to the instructions and as it was intended to be.
- Show property damage
- Any medical receipts that came in your possession for medical treatment you received
- Details of any witnesses
The defendants will try to find an escape route from wherever possible, so make sure you have as much information as possible.
From the Business Point of View:
Whether you are a designer, manufacturer, importer, or anyone in the chain of command, you will want to avoid any lawsuits and public displays that lead to a negative image. If you catch any defective aspect in the product, before or after the sale, you can:
- Make a public announcement acknowledging the faults in your product.
- Ask the buyers to return the products immediately with a full refund
- Contact the related parties in the chain of command to figure out the issue
- Make a plan to fix the defect and gain public trust without losing reputation
In 2016, numerous cases were reported worldwide claiming that Samsung’s Note 7s were exploding due to faulty batteries. Samsung acted quickly and asked customers to return the phones and get immediate refunds.
There are cases every day claiming that injury or even death is caused due to a product defect. However, you can claim product liability by these steps and make the responsible at-fault party compensate you for your damages.