What Is Product Liability?

Defective or dangerous products cause injuries all the time.

When somebody makes a product or makes it available to the public, they become responsible for any injuries or other damages caused by their product. As an area of law, it is all about determining who is at fault for damages, and to what degree. This means that in cases where a product causes injury or damages, not only is the creator of the product liable, but also the distributors, suppliers, retailers, vendors, or anybody else who might have had part in getting the product into your hands.

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Defective or dangerous products cause injuries all the time. You’ve probably heard about recalls on cars or cribs. Visit any big-box retail store and their customer service area will certainly have pages of recalls posted on the walls. Many of these recalls are a response to a lawsuit where the manufacturer was held liable for causing injury because of the quality of their product.

The law requires that a product meet reasonable expectations of the average consumer. If a product has an unexpected problem it does not meet that standard. No consumer expects to be hurt by a professionally designed and built product.

When does Product Liability law apply?

For product liability to apply, the product must have been sold at some point. However it does not mean the product must have been sold to you. If you were given the product by a third party, but that third party purchased it, Product Liability still applies.

When somebody sells a product at a garage sale, or gives a product as a gift, that person is not usually a part of the supplier’s business chain. Thus such a person is usually not involved in product liability cases.

 

Types of Product Liability Defects.

There are three types of defects that might cause injury and thus cause liability.

Design Defects

Design Defects are problems in the very design of the product, even before it is created. For example, a car part may not have been designed to support the stresses of normal use, and thus breaks. A designer may be liable if they were negligent, or if they chose not to use a cost-effective alternative which would have prevented the injury, or if the product was unreasonably dangerous and should not have ever been manufactured.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing Defects occur when the product does not meet the specifications of the designer or manufacturer. These types of cases are often the easiest to prove because the records of the manufacturer show how the product should have been made, thus revealing the defect clearly. In many cases it becomes the burden of the manufacturer to prove that they were not negligent. In some cases, simply showing a defect exits becomes sufficient reason for liability.

Marketing Defects

Marketing Defects are cases when a product causes injury because of improper labeling, poor or unclear instructions, or failure to warn of dangers. More uncommon is when a intentional misrepresentation about a product is made. Some products are unavoidably unsafe, and thus must include proper warnings of the dangers and risks of their products so that buyers can make informed decisions.

What happens when I’m hurt by a defective product?

When something you bought becomes a source of injury, it’s time to consult with a product liability lawyer. The manufacturers’ insurance companies will do everything in their power to avoid paying a claim. They’ll put immense pressure on you, downplay your injuries, and try to make you feel bad for wanting fair compensation. In cases of product liability it is very important that you do not speak with representatives from the manufacturer until you’ve found a lawyer to represent you.

Even in minor cases it’s important to discuss liability with a lawyer not only to protect your own rights, but to protect others who have purchased the same product. Your lawyer may find that the same injury has happened before, but a manufacturer may not feel inclined to change design or issue a recall unless legal pressure is applied.

A product liability lawyer can help you navigate the very complex world of product liability. They can leverage their own financial resources to find experts in the field who can examine the product and prove when defects have occurred. If you have been injured because of a faulty or defective product, don’t hesitate to call Morris Anderson Law today. (702) 333-1111

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