Each year thousands of Americans are injured by dangerous or defective products. Fortunately, product liability laws in the United States hold persons and companies responsible for the damages that their products allegedly cause.
Product manufacturers have the duty to make a product that is as safe as possible. If they cannot do so, they must provide warning labels if any part of the product is deemed unsafe or hazardous. This concept extends beyond all normal or anticipated purposes of a product to include all dangers likely to arise even if the product is not being used for its intended purposes.
Three major types of product liability include:
- Manufacturing defects – Defects that occur in the manufacturing process, typically involving shoddy workmanship or poor-quality materials.
- Design defects – Defects that occur when a product’s design is fundamentally dangerous or useless. Either the product fails to satisfy consumer expectations for safe product use, or that the risk of using the product outweigh the benefits.
- Marketing defects (failure to warn) – Defects that arise when products carry unnoticeable dangers that could be mitigated through appropriate warnings. These dangers are there regardless of how well the product is made or designed.
In most states, however, a plaintiff will plead their claims in relation to the following theories of liability:
- Negligence: Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care, often resulting in injury or damage. In product liability law, negligence is often caused by carelessness, not intentional harm. Negligence requires proof that the product manufacturer’s conduct fell below the standard of care.
- Strict liability: Strict liability focuses on the product itself rather than the behavior of the product manufacturer. Under strict liability, the person making the claim only needs to prove that the product was defective, even if there was not negligence on the part of the manufacturer.
- Breach of warranty: Warranties are statements made by a product manufacturer with regards to a certain product during a commercial transaction. Warranties become part of the contract companies make with consumers. If a product manufacturer breaches a type of warranty, including express and implied warranties, then a claim may be made against the manufacturer based on those broken contracts or failure to cover expectations common to certain products.
- Consumer protection: Consumer protection statutes provide for specific solutions for a variety of product defects. Consumer protection laws protect consumers in cases where a product may be unusable and require economic compensation rather than compensation due to physical injury or harm.
A personal injury lawyer specializing in product liability law can help in a variety of ways. If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective product, contact a personal injury attorney at the Linville Law Group today.
You may be eligible to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Family members of those who have died may also be eligible to recover compensation for damages, including funeral expenses and the pain of losing a loved one.
Be aware: the law places a time limit on your ability to file a claim. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.