It is standard for today’s products to be manufactured under strict safety regulations, but unfortunately, defects are a common result of any mass-produced item.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Administration, 28,000 Americans die, and 33,000 more are injured because of faulty consumer products.
Manufacturers have a responsibility to make sure their products operate safely when used as directed.
Here are some important things to know if you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product.
There are three types of product defects.
- Design: The product does not operate or malfunctions because the parts were not arranged properly.
One example of a design defect was the Remington Rifle model 700 and 710, which had a firing pin that could fire the rifle with only a nudge of the safety latch. This defect caused a Texas man to accidentally shoot himself in the foot.
2. Manufacture: A defect that occurs when the product is not made according to instruction.
Installing electric circuitry backward or attaching parts of a product together incorrectly are types of manufacturing defects.
3. Marketing: Improper labeling, insufficient instruction, and inadequate warnings.
A pack of cigarettes that does not include information about the health risks associated with smoking is an inadequate warning marketing defect.
Winning Your Case
If you or a loved one have been injured due to a defective product, there are three things you must prove.
The product was used according to design and not for other purposes.
Let’s assume you have purchased a lawnmower with a safety guard. If the mower is designed to be used with the safety guard but you later remove the guard, then that would not be considered a product defect because you changed the way it was designed to be used.
The product was defective.
If you did not change the lawnmower in any way, and it is being used according to the manual, but the safety guard comes loose and falls off while mowing and you are hurt, the mower could be deemed defective.
You were hurt and the injury was caused specifically by the product defect.
If the safety guard loosens and is the cause of your injury, then the manufacturer can be held responsible.
Any company or organization involved in the product’s distribution can potentially be held liable including:
· The maker of the products’ parts
· The manufacturer of the product
· The wholesaler
· The installer or assembler
· Retail outlets selling the product
Anyone injured due to a defective product can claim compensation for financial loss, medical costs, and pain and suffering. However, an injury caused by a product does not guarantee you will win your court case.
Companies can and will defend themselves by attempting to prove the injured party used the product incorrectly and with full knowledge of its hazards.
Therefore, it is important that you speak with an attorney who is knowledgeable in product liability. The attorney will use available resources and expertise to protect your rights under the law.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the use of a defective product, call the attorneys at Timberlake & League. We can help.