Manufacturers have a legal responsibility to ensure that all of their products meet safety standards. In some states, there may be other entities involved in assuring the quality of products before they reach consumer markets, including distributors, wholesale suppliers, and retailers. For the consumer, it’s often difficult to determine whether or not an incident meets the legal requirements of a product liability lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer can go over the specifics of your case to determine whether or not there’s grounds for a lawsuit and which entities may be at fault.
Basic Elements to a Product Liability Case
Every state has its own parameters on what must be proved to meet the necessary requirements in a product liability lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer works specifically with the statutes in their state and can determine whether an incident meets all of the requirements. There are some elements which are fairly universal in every state when seeking product liability damages.
- The product caused injury, loss of property, or damages to property.
- The product was being used as it’s intended during the incident.
- The product is defective due to a mistake in manufacturing or a flaw in the design of the product.
Injury and Property Damages
A personal injury lawyer can help you assess the damages and whether or not they merit a strong case. In most circumstances, a product liability settlement is determined based on a monetary amount assigned to the damages incurred when the fault is found to be that of the manufacturer or company. You may have a product that malfunctions in some way but, if that product doesn’t directly cause damage or injury, there may not be a legal case for liability.
Injury is not the only element to a product liability personal injury case. One large consideration that your personal injury lawyer will need to verify is the way the product was being used at the time it malfunctioned. If the consumer is using the product according to its instructions and in a reasonable way, there may be reason to pursue a lawsuit. However, if injury occurred because the product was being used in a way other than it was intended, the fault may well fall on the consumer.
Warnings and Finding of Fault
Most products come with a large list of warnings. Consumers often make jokes about the different things that companies add to their product warning lists, but those things are specifically there for a reason. When an injury or property damage is the result of a situation which was clearly stated in the product warnings and literature, there may not be any legal grounds for a lawsuit. Your personal injury lawyer can better address the specifics of the case and whether the company’s written directions and warnings served as reasonable notice to avoid injury.
In product liability cases, the malfunction would likely need to be caused by either a mistake in the manufacturing of that product or it would be caused by a design flaw. Design flaws are not as common and would mean that many consumers have suffered similar injuries and damages from the same product line. More common cases might include a flaw in manufacturing or some anomaly to your specific product which made it defective.
Did You Suffer an Injury or Loss of Property From A Malfunctioning Product?
Do you think you might have a product liability case? The best route to know for sure is to contact a personal injury lawyer to go over your case and explain your options. You may be eligible for compensation for your damages.
Contact our law firm today and fill out our free case evaluation form to find out your options and secure the compensation you deserve.