At Dunk Law Firm, our product liability lawyers are fluent in the laws that protect consumers against the risk posed by faulty products. When a consumer sustains an injury as a result of a faulty product, a number of parties can be held responsible for releasing a product that they knew or should have known presented a threat to users.
The jurisdiction wherein the product liability case is filed will establish the liability of those associated with the chain of commerce as the defective product passes from the manufacturer to the consumer. An individual or company can be held accountable for a variety of products ranging from defective medical equipment to foods that cause food poisoning.
If you or somebody you know has been hurt by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at our law practice have a successful background of litigating product liability claims and recovering compensation for their clients. To see if our lawyers can help you, please complete our no cost, no obligation case review form today.
Manufacturing, Design, and Marketing Defects
If someone is hurt by a defective product, they may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, wholesaler, or distributor, depending on the kind of defect The two primary categories of product defects under federal law are design defects and manufacturing defects.
These are due to an error in assembly and are not intended to be part of the product. This type of defect will usually just be found in a small portion of a company's manufactured products. Based on the theory of strict liability, a manufacturer is responsible for any manufacturing defects that happen due to faulty construction, regardless of whether they took care throughout the manufacturing process. The plaintiff needs to show that the defect apparently responsible for their injury was present at the time of departure from the manufacturing facility where the goods were produced.
A design defect is a defect in the original blueprint of a product that causes it to be unreasonably dangerous and creates a risk for potential users. This kind of defect will generally be found in all of a company's manufactured products.
Three questions are asked to determine whether a design defect exists:
- Was the product's design unreasonably hazardous prior to manufacturing?
- Was it plausible to expect the design of the product could harm a potential user?
- Could the manufacturer have used a better design that was economically possible and also would not alter the function of the product?
If any of these questions are answered affirmatively, the injured party might have grounds for a design defect case and should speak to one of our attorneys as soon as possible.
Failure to Warn
A products liability lawsuit can also be brought for a manufacturer's failure to warn of potential hazards. Any party in the chain of distribution can be accountable if warnings or instructions could have prevented injury from foreseeable hazards or if the warnings themselves, when followed correctly, caused the injury.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Faulty Product Injury?
Depending on the specifics of the claim, an injured consumer can seek compensation from one or more liable parties, including manufacturers, wholesalers, and/or retail outlets. Identifying the defendant in a product liability case is not a matter of choosing one liable party over another; any party associated with a faulty product's chain of distribution might be held accountable with a product liability claim. When starting to put together a claim for a faulty product, it is important to include any party associated with the chain of distribution.
- Manufacturer: This can consist of a large multi-national company, an individual working out of their garage, or any parties involved in the design or marketing of the product. Depending on the size of the product, claimants can include the manufacturer of the defective part, as well as the manufacturer of the entire product.
- Retailer: When a retailer markets a product to buy, it is impliedly guaranteeing the product is safe and appropriate for use. If a consumer buys a faulty product, the seller of that item, even though they were not associated with its manufacture, can be held responsible for damages.
- Wholesaler: The wholesaler is considered the "middleman" between the manufacturer and the retailer.
Any or all of the above parties could be held responsible for damages resulting from an injury caused by a faulty product.
What Damages Can an Attorney Help Me Recover in a Product Liability Lawsuit?
Damages for injuries caused by faulty goods are generally compensatory, special, or punitive. When a product liability claim succeeds, the plaintiff may be eligible for damages covering:
- Compensatory Damages: These damages are meant to make the plaintiff "whole" again after the accident or injury. They can be divided into two different categories: actual and general.
- Special Damages: These damages compensate the plaintiff for any type of calculable out-of-pocket expenses or financial losses, including the following: medical and hospital expenses, lost income, cost of substitute transportation and the cost to fix or replace damaged property.
- General Damages: These damages try to compensate the plaintiff for losses that can not be easily calculated, monetarily. These typically include the following: pain and suffering, mental suffering, medical costs, value of future lost wages, loss of consortium and loss of life's enjoyment.
Medical bills can also spiral out of control, especially when it comes to major accidents or malpractice, which can also be associated with your product liability case.
Elements of a Successful Product Liability Case
In a product liability lawsuit, plaintiffs are required to show the following aspects in a negligence case:
- The plaintiff was hurt or suffered losses: The plaintiff has to present actual injury or monetary loss as a result of using the defective product. Without actual injury or damage, there is no case.
- The product is faulty: The plaintiff needs to prove that the product either had a design defect or manufacturing defect, or that the company failed to warn of the risks of the product.
- The defect was the actual and proximate source of the injury: The injury sustained must have been caused by the defect itself. The faulty product must also be the proximate cause of the injury. Therefore, the defendant will not be liable where an intervening act supersedes the defective product as the proximate source of the injury.
- The product was being used as intended: The product has to have been used in a way the manufacturer meant to be used or in a way the manufacturer might expect a sensible person to use it.
Injuries resulting from faulty products can lead to substantial physical, emotional, and financial stress. If you or somebody you know has been injured by a faulty or defective product, the lawyers at our firm might be able to help. To get in touch with one of our product liability attorneys, please fill out our no charge, no obligation case review form today.
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