Product liability is an area of law that ensures consumer safety from hazardous, defective or unsafe products or items that are offered for sale in the marketplace. If or when a consumer is harmed by a defective product, a product liability lawyer can advise the person injured on any claim or cause of action against the responsible party. Those who manufacture, sell, design or distribute a product have a legal responsibility for its safety once it enters the marketplace. If the product fails, the consumer can hold the responsible party liable for injuries sustained in using it.
The basis for product liability claims by consumers are most commonly a result of defective automobile parts or design, vehicle recalls, unsafe or recalled pharmaceuticals, recalled baby toys or child safety seats, food recalls as a result of poor packaging or contamination, poorly designed medical devices, recreational equipment, defective power tools, and industrial equipment defects.
Though there are numerous instances in which a defective product could injure a person, defects that give rise to supplier, seller, or manufacturer liability are categorized by three types of product defects: design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. Defects may occur due to poor workmanship, careless packaging or assembly, faulty design, failure to warn of risks or hazardous consequences if a product is not used as intended, and so on.
Liability for a defective product that causes injury is the responsibility of all sellers in its distribution chain. A product must meet ordinary expectations by those who purchase it. When the product poses an unexpected danger or risk to a consumer, i.e., it does not meet ordinary expectations of the consumer, then the parties responsible for selling it can be held liable for the product’s defect. In a case of liability, an injured party, the plaintiff, must show that the product that caused the injury was defective and that defect caused the product to be unreasonably dangerous or unsafe in its use, causing injury.
By consulting with a product liability lawyer, he or she can help establish a case for product liability not the result of user error. With nearly four decades of experience, the product liability lawyers of Hardy, Wolf & Downing have sought damages for their clients injured by defective products. Hardy, Wolf & Downing has long established a network of qualified industry experts who can determine a product’s defect, whether by fundamental design flaws or faulty manufacturing. To establish liability for a defective product, your product liability lawyer will look at the three types of product defects to decide which cause of action against the responsible party to pursue.
A product liability lawyer will first determine if a design defect caused the injury. A design defect results from a poorly designed or improperly tested product or item. Poor design will show that all the products are more than likely defective and unsafe or dangerous to consumers.
If design defects can be eliminated as a cause of action then a product liability lawyer will look to manufacturing defects as the cause. A manufacturing defect is not a result of a product’s design but the process, meaning, what made the product unsafe was introduced when it was made.
The third type of product defect is referred to as marketing defects. These types of defects relate to the warnings and instructions that are included with a product. Failure to provide clear instructions or warning labels on a product by the manufacturer can result in the manufacturer being held liable if a consumer is injured.
There are many times that a product is defective but does not cause injury or other times that injuries are caused by simple human error. However, if you believe you have been injured as a result of a defective product it is important to meet with a product liability lawyer—for your own sake and the sake of others who use that defective product. A product liability lawyer at Hardy, Wolf & Downing will help protect your rights and ensure you receive just compensation for those losses associated with medical expenses, lost income, diminished earning capacity, pain and emotional suffering.