Product liability claims are common, but sometimes it is hard to determine whether the individual user is at fault for their injury from a product, or if the company is at fault.
Product liability is a type of claim filed by someone who has been injured by a faulty or defective product. In order to prove liability in a case like this, the injured person has to prove several things:
1) They were injured (easy to prove with hospital bills, etc.)
2) The product caused the injury.
3) The product that caused the injury was “defective” (and the injury wasn’t caused the by the injured person’s misuse of the product).
If someone has been injured by a product that was recalled, it is easy to show the product was defective – and the manufacturers are already aware. But often in product liability cases it is more difficult to prove that a product is defective, how it is defective, and how that defect caused the injury.
There are three ways that a product can be “defective” in a product liability claim:
1. Design defect: If a product is designed improperly, or not tested sufficiently, there can be problems that the manufacturers are not aware of when they release the product. In this case, the entire line of products could be dangerous and will likely be recalled. Examples of poorly designed products include top-heavy SUVs, toys that become choking hazards, and appliances that easily catch fire. All of these are prime examples of defective products, and all of these have had product liability claims brought against their manufacturers.
2. Manufacturing defect: A product can be designed to be perfectly safe, but if there is a problem in the manufacturing stage, the product can become unsafe. Errors made during the manufacturing can result in any number of problems. Food with salmonella is a good example of this, but if the salmonella makes you sick you can still file a products liability claim because the manufacturer should be held accountable for these errors.
3. Marketing defect: When a product has been designed perfectly and manufactured perfectly, there can still be cause for a product liability claim if the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings or information about dangerous side effects. For example, if a product does not come with clear and detailed safe-handling instructions, a case could potentially be made that the manufacturer did not fulfill their duty to keep consumers safe and a product liability claim is possible.
Determining product liability can be complicated, but a Portland product liability attorney can help you with the legal procedures. If you’ve been injured using a product, it’s important to seek legal advice. Sometimes filing a product liability claim is the only way to alert manufacturers to the dangers of their products – and prevent further injuries.