When we purchase a product, we generally expect it to work as advertised and not cause us any harm. Unfortunately, there are times when products do not live up to our expectations and can actually pose a danger to us. This can be expressed in a variety of ways, but ultimately, if a product does not work as it should and causes us harm, it can be considered defective.
Luckily there are laws in place to protect consumers from these types of products. The legal term for a defective product is “strict liability.” This means that the manufacturer or seller of a product can be held liable for any injuries or damages caused by the product, even if they were not negligent in its design or manufacture.
A good and experienced Summerville defective product lawyer can help you determine if you have a case against the manufacturer or seller of a defective product.
What Are Defective Products?
In order to properly pursue a claim for damages caused by a defective product, you must first be able to establish that the product in question is in fact defective.
There are three main categories of defects that can render a product dangerous: design defects, manufacturing defects, and labeling defects.
A design defect exists when there is something wrong with the overall design of the product that makes it dangerous. This means that every single unit of the product that is manufactured will have the same defect. An example of a design defect would be if a car’s brakes were known to fail frequently. In this case, even if the brakes on a particular car were properly maintained, they would still be likely to fail because of a flaw in the design.
A manufacturing defect exists when there is something wrong with the way a particular unit of the product was manufactured. This means that only some units of the product will have the defect, not all of them. An example of a manufacturing defect would be if a batch of pills were incorrectly made and did not contain the proper active ingredient.
A labeling defect exists when there is something wrong with the way the product is labeled or marketed. This can include things like failing to warn consumers about potential dangers associated with using the product. An example of a labeling defect would be if a medication was improperly labeled and did not list all of the possible side effects.
If you have been injured or received hard by a product that you believe is defective, it is important to speak with an experienced Summerville defective product lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you investigate the circumstances of your case and determine if you have a valid claim.
How Do I Prove That a Product Is Defective?
Once you have established that the product in question is indeed defective, you will need to prove that the defect was the cause of your injuries. In order to do this, you will need to show that:
- You were using the product in the way it was intended to be used;
- The defect existed at the time you purchased the product; and
- The defect caused your injury or harm.
If you are able to prove all of these things, then you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.
It is important to keep in mind that even if a product is defective, the manufacturer or seller may not be held liable if they can prove that you were using the product in a way it was not intended to be used. For example, if you were using a power drill as a hammer and it broke and caused you an injury, the manufacturer or seller would likely not be held liable because you were not using the product in the way it was intended.
An experienced lawyer can help you gather evidence to support your claim and prove that the defect caused your injuries.
What If I Am Injured by a Defective Product?
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your damages. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to recover damages for things like:
Your medical bills
Should you end up having to receive treatment for your injuries, you may be able to recover the cost of your medical bills. This includes things like ambulance fees, hospitalization costs, and the cost of any surgeries or other treatments you may have had to undergo.
If your injuries have caused you to miss time from work, you may be able to recover the wages you have lost as a result. You may also be able to recover future lost wages if your injuries have caused you to suffer a long-term or permanent disability.
Pain and suffering
You may also be able to recover damages for the physical pain and emotional anguish that you have suffered as a result of your injuries.
It is important to note that in order to recover punitive damages, you will need to prove that the manufacturer or seller of the product acted with recklessness or negligence. This means that they knew or should have known about the defect and failed to warn consumers about it.
Product Liability Claims: Who to Sue?
Ideally its best to pursue all Parties in the Chain of Distribution, but typically the party with the deepest pockets is pursued. The following are liable in a product liability claim:
Obviously, the first party that will be sued is the manufacturer. If it can be shown that they were negligent in the design, development, testing, manufacture, or assembly of the product, then they can be held liable.
Component Part Suppliers
In some cases, a defective component part supplied by another company may have caused the accident. In these situations, it may be possible to sue the company that supplied the defective part.
Read More: Common Causes Of Auto accidents
If the retailer sold a defective product “as is” without disclosing any known defects, then they can be held liable. Additionally, if the retailer made modifications to the product that resulted in the accident, then they can also be sued.
Wholesaler or Distributor
If the accident was caused by a defective product that was purchased from a wholesaler or distributor, then they may be held liable. While the product was in their possession, they had a duty to ensure that it was not defective. If they failed to do so, then they can be held liable for any accidents or injuries that resulted.
When figuring out if you can sue the retailer, keep the following in mind:
You don’t have to be the buyer
If you were given the product as a gift or inherited it, you may still be able to sue.
The “unreasonably dangerous” must have caused your injuries. If you were injured while using the product in a way it wasn’t meant to be used, you likely won’t be able to sue.
You don’t have to be the product user
If you weren’t the one using the product when it malfunctioned, you may still be able to sue. For example, if your child was injured by a defective toy, you may be able to bring a claim on their behalf.
You might be able to recover for used products
In some states, you may be able to sue for injuries caused by a used product if the seller knew or should have known about the defect and failed to warn you about it.
Keep in mind that there may be time limits for filing a claim. These deadlines, known as statutes of limitations, vary from state to state. So, if you think you might have a case, it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Product Liability Claim?
The statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a lawsuit. In most states, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. This means that if you do not file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident, you will be barred from doing so.
Common Defective Products That Have Led to Lawsuits
There are many different types of products that can be defective and lead to accidents. Some of the most common include:
Automobiles: If a car or truck is defectively designed or manufactured, it can lead to accidents. Common defects include faulty brakes, steering problems, and tire blowouts.
Children’s products: Children’s products, such as toys and cribs, must meet certain safety standards. If they don’t, they can be recalled. Common defects include small parts that can choke a child, sharp edges, and toxic materials.
Electronics: Electronics, such as computers and cell phones, are common defective product claims. Common defects include overheating, fire hazards, and electrical shocks.
Household appliances: Household appliances, such as dishwashers and dryers, can be defective. Common defects include electrical fires, water leaks, and explosions.
Medical devices: Medical devices, such as pacemakers and hip implants, can be defective. Common defects include malfunctioning parts and infection risks.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. They can help you understand your legal rights and options.