The Fundamentals of a Product Liability Claim
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Dec 19, 2018 in Defective Products
Products are supposed to be safe for consumers to use. If a person is injured when using a product, state law affords the victim the opportunity to pursue legal action against the manufacturer, distributor or retailer for the damages he or she sustained.
If you believe that your injury was caused by a defective product, contact an experienced Phoenix product liability lawyer at Phillips Law Group. We have extensive experience seeking compensation after our clients were injured by dangerous products. We can discuss your legal options during a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Is Considered a Defective Product?
Product liability cases are based on whether a product is defective or unexpectedly dangerous. A defective product is one that causes injury to a person or other type of damage due to a defect in the product, its intended use or its labeling. Manufacturers and other parties involved in the chain of commerce can be held liable for injuries stemming from the product’s use.
Types of Defective Products
There are three types of potential defects:
A manufacturing defect usually involves some type of mistake during the manufacturing process. Not all of the products are defective. Instead, there may have been a mishap that caused a batch of products to be defective or have some flaw or defect in their manufacture.
A design defect is when the original design of the product is unsafe. The entire product line is dangerous. For example, a drug manufacturer may neglect to use childproof lids for their medications. Design defects may also occur when the product was not properly tested.
A warning defect occurs when there are insufficient instructions or warnings that make the product dangerous for consumers. If the manufacturer fails to provide proper warning labels or clear instructions and a consumer is injured as a result, they can be held liable.
The above defects may apply to a number of products on the market, including the following:
- Car seats
- Safety devices for children
- Medical devices
- Automotive parts
- Elevators and escalators
- Safety equipment
- Building materials
- Toxic chemicals
If you think that a product defect resulted in your injury, it is important that you seek help from a qualified attorney to pursue compensation for the damages you sustained.
Establishing a Product Liability Case
There may be numerous legal theories that form the basis of a product liability claim, including the following:
Most consumers will try to bring their case under a strict liability claim because it requires less proof than other legal theories. In a strict liability case, the consumer does not have to show fault or negligence. Instead, you must establish that the product was defective and caused the injury.
In a strict liability claim, the at-fault party must have been able to anticipate that someone in the customer’s position could have been hurt by the product. This includes customers as well as bystanders. Additionally, the use must have been anticipated by the manufacturer. It includes intended use as well as other reasonably anticipated uses of the product.
The consumer is entitled to sue anyone in the chain of distribution, including design companies, component part manufacturers, assembly plants, suppliers and retailers. The seller must be a commercial seller who regularly sells these types of products.
If strict liability cannot be established, a consumer may bring a case based on breach of warranty. There may be express or implied warranties that cover the product. If this warranty is breached, recovery may be possible.
Another possible legal theory is negligence. This requires showing how the manufacturer was careless and breached its duty to provide safe products for consumers.
See How a Product Liability Attorney Can Help
Litigating a product liability case is quite complex. It requires an attorney to understand complex technical information and how to apply it to your specific situation. If you were injured by a defective product, it is critical that you retain the services of a qualified attorney.
The Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Phillips Law Group has successfully secured compensation for our clients who were injured by dangerous products. We charge no upfront fees and work on a contingency fee, so we only get paid for our services if we secure compensation on your behalf.