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Product liability is an area of law that pertains to the manufacturing and design of various types of products used by consumers, or products used at various workplaces or jobs by employees. If a manufacturer fails to inspect its products prior to releasing them to the public, and those products turn out to be defective or dangerous, the manufacturer could be found liable for any injuries and/or damages caused by the item.
If you or someone you love has sustained injuries from a defective product, you may have questions. The following information is provided to help injured victims learn more about their rights and options. None of this information is meant to replace the current, case-specific information you should receive from your attorney.
Yes, there are. Most claims can be placed into one of three categories: defectively manufactured products, defectively designed products and claims involving a failure to warn or include proper instructions regarding use.
Defectively manufactured products include those in which a mistake was made during either the manufacturing process at the factory or during a point between the factory and the location where the product was bought. Defectively designed products are those that turned out to be dangerous despite the fact that they were properly manufactured.
Products that did not include proper warnings or instructions with respect to using them would fall under the “claims involving a failure to warn or include proper instructions” category (which are also known as defective marketing claims).
Your attorney will discuss the entire process with you as it specifically relates to your particular set of circumstances. However, in general, there are several elements that must be proven in a products liability case.
First, you will need to show that you have been harmed or suffered some other type of damage. Next, you must demonstrate that the product at issue was defective in some way or that it lacked appropriate instructions and/or warnings.
You, as the harmed party, must also show that the defect is what caused the injuries you sustained and lastly, you must show that you were using the faulty product the way it was intended to be used.
Depending on the specifics of your case, a number of parties may be subject to liability for your damages. Typically, in products liability cases, everyone from the manufacturer of the product to the distributor may be held responsible. Defendants might also include product designers, quality-control engineers, consultants and contractors.
Products liability cases typically involve complicated, lengthy battles with manufacturers and others who argue that the injuries you sustained had nothing to do with the product at issue.
Whether it’s a ladder to be used at home to help you reach the gutters for cleaning or a chain saw that lacks a proper safety mechanism, consumers buy such products assuming that they will be safe when used as intended. Sadly, this is not always the case. Every year, various products cause injuries to individuals and subsequently, many of those products are deemed to have been defective.
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