Each year, thousands of product liability lawsuits exist in the United States. From high-profile cases like the infamous Liebeck v. McDonald’s to simple vehicle brake defects, product liability laws are there to protect the consumer. They also hold businesses responsible for any harm their products cause to the victims.
What Exactly Is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to a company’s seller or manufacturer’s responsibility for any products they make and distribute to a consumer. With 11.7 million people treated for consumer product-related injuries in 2021 alone, product liability laws protect you in these specific circumstances. They require every company to meet minimum requirements to ensure your safety, and failure to do so holds them liable for damages caused by their goods. While no product liability laws are in place at the federal level, every state has laws relating to these cases.
Common Types Of Product Defects
Knowing what kind of product defects caused you harm will be essential for your lawsuit. Here are three common ones you can find in most legal cases.
Whenever you use a product, a manufacturer needs to include a warning of any hazard associated with using it. This notice must also include specific directions to help you use the product safely without causing harm to yourself or others. Lastly, a company needs to warn you of any potential danger or defect after you buy an item.
A design defect is when a company’s product isn’t designed correctly and may cause harm to the user. For example, a car defect can be considered a dangerous design flaw if it causes a driver to crash while using it.
Defects in manufacturing are among the most common types of product liabilities, and this can affect an entire product line or one faulty item. Even if the design is safe, the product itself wasn’t made correctly, which made it unsafe for the customer.
Types Of Liability Claims
There are three major claims you can make when filing your liability lawsuit.
Breach Of Warranty
You can establish a breach of warranty claim when the company or seller doesn’t keep their product’s guarantee or promise to their customers. With an express warranty, the breach can be in the form of advertisements or other documentation associated with the product itself. An implied warranty legally applies to all consumer goods. It ensures that you can use the product for its intended purpose. If it doesn’t, you can file a claim for any injuries or damages you sustain from the breach.
Cases of strict liability arise after you suffer a severe injury from the product, regardless if it was caused by negligence. All you have to prove is that the product the defendant sold you was hazardous when you bought it, and these defects directly caused your injuries.
If you’re filing a negligence claim, you need to prove that the manufacturer had the duty to provide a safe product to consumers but failed to follow safety procedures. It would help if you connected the manufacturer’s negligent actions and the injuries you sustained from the product. Moreover, when a product has a higher risk, manufacturers have a greater duty of care to ensure the customer’s safety.
Who Is Responsible For A Product Liability Incident?
The responsibility of a product liability incident varies depending on the case. For instance, a strict liability case would focus on the defective product itself, not the manufacturer or the seller’s role. However, in other lawsuits, any person involved in the product’s distribution chain can be held responsible, such as in design, marketing, or manufacturing defect claims.
Let A Professional Attorney Help You With Your Case
A product liability incident can be a traumatic experience for the victims. If this is your case, you may be thinking if filing a lawsuit would be the right decision for you. Every case is different, and a professional product liability lawyer will help you navigate the legal system to ensure you receive compensation for any damages and injuries.
With 60 years of combined experience, Edelman, Krasin, & Jaye, PLLC is committed to holding manufacturers and sellers of defective products in Nassau County, Suffolk County, and all five boroughs of New York City accountable for their actions. If you have any questions, call us at 855-208-7783 or use our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.