Generally, consumers have faith in manufacturers. When they buy a product, they believe it will function as advertised. They trust manufacturers to produce products that are safe for use.
Unfortunately, some defective products come out of the production line despite safety regulations and testing. Manufacturing problems, design defects, and misleading marketing claims cause unsafe products to reach the consumer market.
Defective products can cause serious injuries or illness. Fortunately, you can seek compensation for loss of income, pain and suffering, medical costs, and physical impairment through product liability laws.
Your responsibility as the consumer is to prove injury and liability, which can be challenging. Taking specific steps can help you succeed in your product liability case, but first, it would help to understand other pertinent details.
Types Of Product Defects
Product defects generally fall under three categories.
- Design Defects: These are products with a flawed design from conception. The manufacturer might not have used a safe or quality design, making the product unreasonably dangerous for consumers.
- Manufacturing Defects: These are product flaws that occur during the production process. These defects can result from equipment failure or human error, commonly affecting some lots and not the whole product line. It might involve attaching parts incorrectly, using expired or faulty components, and incorrectly installing electrical circuits.
- Marketing Defects: This relates to the information about the product to the public. A manufacturer should warn consumers if a product has a safety risk. They should also instruct the consumer on how to use the product safely. Failure to warn through the provision of relevant information may establish that the manufacturer was negligent.
Who Is Liable?
It may seem that the manufacturer is the most likely party responsible for a defective product, but this is not always the case. Many parties are involved in the supply chain, and they’re potentially liable. They include importers, distributors, and retailers.
It depends on the source of the negligence, as everyone in the distribution chain must ensure that the product functions as intended and that it won’t cause any injury to the consumer. To help determine who is liable for damages, you may need to contact experienced lawyers, such as those from https://www.hopkinsroden.com/ or other reputable law firms.
How To Prove Liability
To be eligible for compensation, you must establish that the product was defective and that the injuries you suffered are due to the defect. You must prove that the product was flawed when it left the manufacturing facility or the distribution chain and that they knew or should have known it was dangerous.
Another way you can establish negligence is by showing that the manufacturer failed to give sufficient warning about the dangers posed by the product. You must also show that the manufacturer’s negligence contributed to your injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help you with this.
Steps To Take When Injured By A Defective Product
Here are the steps you should take if you have been injured by a defective product.
1. Seek Medical Care Immediately
Health and safety are a priority; thus, you should seek immediate medical attention in an incident involving a defective product. Seeking treatment will provide you with proper medical care and create documentation of the injuries caused by the product. The medical records will serve as evidence in your product liability case.
You must also follow the doctor’s treatment plan; otherwise, it could adversely affect your claim for damages.
2. Gather Evidence
You should gather as much information as possible and document the incident. Evidence is critical to the success of a product liability claim and will help you prove that the defective product caused your injuries.
Take photos or videos of the product, its defect, and your injuries. Include details of how you purchased the product, how you used it, what happened, and the location, date, and time.
Get witness statements, if possible. Furthermore, secure a copy of your medical records.
3. Preserve The Product
Keep the defective product and proof of purchase, including the product packaging, receipt, instruction manual, and warranty. Store the defective product safely and avoid handling it until you talk to a lawyer.
If you can’t keep it because it might be hazardous or for any other reason, take as many photos or videos as possible of the product.
4. Document Your Healing Process
Have a diary with detailed notes about your healing process. Showing evidence of how long your injury took to heal and the recovery process at different times will help support your claim for damages.
You can document how the injury has affected you psychologically and emotionally, aside from the pain you’re going through. You should also include the medications, the impact of the physical impairment on your daily activities, such as days off work, how family relations are affected, and any other necessary details related to your recovery.
5. Stay Away From Social Media
Social media is easily accessible, and you might be tempted to share your encounter with a defective product but don’t. Posting the incident online can harm your claim, as the defendants can access your posts.
The photos you share after the accident might not reflect the gravity of your injury, and insurance companies can use them against your claim. The defendants can also twist the words you use in your description to form an argument against your case, thus jeopardizing your case.
6. Contact A Product Liability Lawyer
Product liability cases are complicated, and suing a company can be costly and intimidating. It’s best to contact a product liability lawyer as soon as you realize you have an injury caused by a defective product.
A product liability lawyer has the experience and resources to investigate and establish liability. The lawyer will also protect your evidence and help you recover reasonable compensation.
Filing a product liability claim can help you recover compensation for damages due to a defective product. If you follow the advice given above and with the assistance of an experienced product liability lawyer, you may get fair compensation for your losses.
In many states, product liability cases have a time limit of two years. Thus, you should be swift in contacting a lawyer.