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When consumers purchase a product from the marketplace, they usually do so with the assumption that normal operation of the product’s essential functions will not cause harm. Despite hundreds of rules and regulations regarding the quality and safety of consumer items, manufacturers make mistakes that lead to dangerous and defective products all the time. When a product defect, such as a mechanical malfunction or lack of proper warning, leads to injury or losses for the product user, the user can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer to recover compensation for the damages. Such a suit deals with product liability laws to determine who is responsible.
Product defects can take many forms, but typically fall into three main categories: manufacturing errors, defective design, and failure to warn. Manufacturing errors create products that would otherwise be safe for use, were it not for a mistake during creation or assembly. Defective design means a product is inherently dangerous due to a design flaw. Failure to warn is a company’s mistake that leads to consumers being in the dark about potential hazards relating to the item’s use. All three can lead to defective products, recalls, and lawsuits. Here are a few examples:
The party found responsible for the harm the product defect caused could lie anywhere in the product’s chain of distribution. Depending on the defect and how it came to be, the manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer could be found liable. In rare cases, the injured party may be at fault if he or she wasn’t using the product for its intended purpose, and the user could have reasonably foreseen the resulting harm.
To establish a case for product liability, there must be a reportable injury or loss. Items that cause potential harm are typically quite frightening and can also cause emotional damage. If you have a record of the damages you experienced, such as hospital bills, property repair or loss of income, that is the first step to filing a product liability claim. If the manufacturer’s created an essential component of the product’s function in such a way that it caused significant injury to the user or the surrounding area, there are grounds for a product liability case. Try to catch the defect in action with a picture or video, if possible.
If the way a manufacturer created a product causes injury, the law calls it a manufacturing defect. Manufacturers don’t intent to create a defect – that is to say, they are not part of the design. Instead, most manufacturing defects are a fluke in the system or caused by a negligent worker. The liability for manufacturing defects falls on the manufacturer.
When the innate structure of the product is flawed, it has a design defect. This could be a wrong choice of materials, an incorrect measurement or an unintended chemical reaction. Design defects can be costly to the producer because they typically require a total product recall, making all products a manufacturer creates with the defective design worthless.
The courts consider misleading, incorrect or inadequate information regarding a product a marketing defect. Failure to warn a consumer about the potential dangers of a product or an incomplete ingredient list are examples of marketing defects. If the user could not have reasonably foreseen the consequences of operation or had injury directly resulting from incorrect instructions, the manufacturer will likely be at fault.
If you suffered an injury or major losses from a product defect, contact Knutson+Casey to start forming your case. The professional team has 25 years of experience handling more than 2,000 cases to recover compensation for victims of negligence. They can take care of your legal needs to relieve your stress during a trying time.