Injuries and Product Liability: Do You Have a Case?

ISTOCK IMAGE ID 16435334You may have grounds for a defective product liability case if you were injured or suffered damages because of a defective product you used. If you are wondering if you have a defective product liability case, it is helpful to know what the law requires you to prove in your case. In general, you will need to prove the following elements:

  • You were injured or suffered losses
  • The product is defective
  • The defective product caused your injury
  • You were using the product as intended

First of all, you need to show that were injured or suffered some sort of loss, Showing that something almost happened to you is not enough to have a case. If you did not get injured or suffer monetary losses, you probably do not have grounds for a product liability case.

Next, you need to show that the product you used was defective. A product can be deemed defective for a few different reasons:

  • A product can be defective because of a manufacturing error. . If you are claiming the product was defective because of a manufacturing error, you are claiming that there was an error when the product was being made. This kind of claim can be fairly easy to prove.
  • A product can also be defective because of a design defect. In this kind of claim, the product was manufactured correctly, but the design of the product is flawed or inherently dangerous. This claim can be more difficult to prove. It is important to note that just because a product is dangerous does not mean the manufacturer is liable. Some products, such as cooking knives, are inherently dangerous but not unreasonably so. Determining whether a design is unreasonably dangerous can be complicated.
  • A product can also be defective if it did not include sufficient warnings about the product’s potential danger. With this claim, you must demonstrate that the dangerous quality of the product is not obvious to the ordinary consumer. This type of claim often depends on whether the manufacturer or supplier provided adequate warnings and instructions.

In order to have a defective product liability case, it is not enough to show that you were injured and that you used a defective product. You have to prove that the defect caused your injury or losses. Sometimes, proving how the defect caused your injury is straightforward. An example might be if an electric teakettle was manufactured with a crack in it, and the crack in the kettle caused you to get severe burns from leaked boiling water.

Finally, you need to prove that you were using the product as it was intended. If you were injured by a product, but you were not using the product in the way a reasonable consumer would use it, you may not have a case. For instance, if you used your electric tea kettle to heat your child’s wading pool, which caused your burns, you probably would not have a case. However, even if you were not using the product as it was expressly intended, you could still have a case if you were using the product in a way an ordinary consumer would reasonably use it.


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