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Defective product law, or product liability, is a rather interesting area of personal injury laws. No two cases are ever the same. There are literally billions of products on the marketplace, and many of them, even the seemingly innocuous ones, have the potential to cause harm. In fact, product liability claims make up a large portion of personal injury law, and they also have some of the highest payout averages.
Damage awards are the second highest, falling just behind medical malpractice suits. Perhaps that’s because many product liability claims include punitive damages, or fines intended to “punish” the company. It could be because there are simply so many ways a person can be injured by a defective product. Whether it’s a recall on a vehicle, birth control medication that causes serious side effects, or a defective child’s toy, the company can and should be held responsible for releasing an unsafe product.
Product liability law is broad and diverse. There are so many kinds of products and many ways they can “malfunction.” Generally, a defective product claim will fall into one of these three categories:
As you can imagine, there are infinite combinations of ways this could occur. A child’s bike with a wobbly seat could be considered a manufacturing defect. A laptop that has a tendency to overheat is an example of flawed design. A medication that doesn’t have a list of side effects is an example of failure to warn. No matter the case, if a defective product caused you harm, you have the right to sue for damages.
All personal injury cases, whether a product liability claim or otherwise, depend upon proving negligence. Essentially, negligence means acting in a way potentially harmful to others. That could mean driving a car recklessly, or in the case of a product liability claim, releasing a product that has a defect. As the plaintiff in the case, you’ll have to prove two things:
How you approach your situation will depend on the nature of the product and the type of defect it had. For example, claiming a product has a manufacturing defect will require you to prove it’s different from all the other products with the same specs. On the other hand, defective design requires you to demonstrate that the entire line of products is dangerous. Furthermore, a defect must be linked to your injury. The manufacturing defect itself must have caused the accident, not the product in general.
Pharmaceuticals tend to be in a category of their own when it comes to product liability laws. This is because they can sometimes fit into all three categories. A defective drug could have been tainted during manufacturing, could be generally dangerous by design, or could fail to warn about its side effects. Regardless of the product in question, a personal injury attorney will help you decide the best course of action for claiming damages. Damages generally include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Combined, these claims will help you acquire compensation to become financially whole again.
Knutson+Casey Law firm in Mankato, has a wealth of experience with personal injury law and product liability claims. We work with clients who have been injured as a result of defective manufacturing, defective design, or failure to warn. We believe manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are safe for the general public. When they fail to fulfill this duty, they need to take responsibility for the consequences. We help our clients get the most compensation possible for their injuries. Contact us today to see how we can help you.