Hawk Law Group | April 19, 2022 | Product Liability
Manufacturers and other parties involved in designing, producing, and selling products have a responsibility to consumers to ensure that products are safe. When a defective product injures someone, the parties responsible for the defective product can be held liable for damages under product liability laws. Product liability claims involve products that cause injuries, illnesses, and deaths.
What Are the Most Common Product Liability Claims?
Product liability refers to the liability of a manufacturer or other party for the damages caused by a defective product. The three primary product liability claims filed by consumers are:
1. Product Liability Claims for Design Defects
A design defect is a common cause of action for product liability lawsuits. It is based on an inherent defect in the product’s design that makes the product dangerous to use. Therefore, each product has the same risk of injuring or killing a person.
2. Product Liability Claims for Manufacturing Defects
Manufacturing defects occur when an error during the manufacturing process makes a product unsafe. The original design of the product is safe, but a change made during manufacturing causes the product to be dangerous to use.
In some cases, the change could be intentional. For example, a manufacturer might substitute a less expensive material to save money. However, the change causes a defect that makes the product unreasonably dangerous to use.
In other cases, a manufacturing defect may occur because of negligence. For example, the manufacturer may fail to keep the premises clear of contaminates or fail to conduct quality control inspections.
3. Product Liability Claims for Warning or Labeling Defects
Manufacturers and other parties in the supply chain have a duty to provide adequate instructions for use. They must also include proper warnings of known risks and hazards. Warning and labeling defects can occur with any product, but are common in cases involving medications.
Proving Fault and Liability for a Product Liability Claim
When a product causes an injury or death, the injured party must prove the elements of a product liability claim. In many cases, more than one party may be responsible for the damages caused by the defective product. Therefore, your claim may involve several parties.
Winning a defective product claim requires you to prove:
- The party is responsible for creating the product, placing the product on the market, and/or selling the product to the consumer;
- A defect made the product unreasonably dangerous to use in a manner reasonably foreseen by the party and as an ordinary customer would expect to use the product;
- The defect caused your injury; and,
- You sustained damages because of the defective product.
You are not required to prove negligence to hold a party liable for damages. Likewise, a party can be held liable for a defective product even if they did not intend to injure someone. They can be strictly liable for damages once you prove that they were responsible for the defective product and the defective product caused your injury.
What Damages Can I Receive for a Product Liability Claim?
The damages you could receive include, but might not be limited to:
- Past and future medical bills and treatment costs, including medications, therapies, surgeries, medical devices, etc.
- The cost of personal care and long-term nursing care
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries
- Loss of income and benefits, including future lost wages and a decrease in earning potential
- Physical pain and discomfort
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Disfigurement, impairments, and disabilities
- Diminished quality of life
The amount of compensation you receive for a product liability claim depends on several factors. For example, sustaining permanent impairments and significant disfigurement generally increases the value of a product liability claim. A Thomson product liability lawyer can review your claim to give you a better idea of the types of damages you could receive based on your situation.
What Should I Do if a Product Causes an Injury?
Immediately seek medical treatment for your injuries. Tell your physician that a product caused the injury. However, avoid providing too many details about how the accident occurred until you speak with a personal injury lawyer.
Take photographs of your injuries to document their severity. If possible, secure the product, packaging, and instructions in a safe place. However, if the product could cause a fire, explode, or cause other injuries, talk to the fire department or other agency about how to secure the product without causing further damage or risk of harm.
As soon as possible, talk to a lawyer about your legal options. Product liability claims are complicated personal injury cases. Receiving sound legal advice as quickly as possible can help you take the steps necessary to recover fair compensation for the injuries and damages caused by a defective product.
Contact the Product Liability Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and its surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.