If you have suffered injuries or other damages as a result of using a defective or dangerous product, you may be able to file what is known as a “product liability claim.” Manufacturers have a duty to make and sell products that are safe for consumers to use.
If a defect, flaw or danger is detected in a product, the manufacturer is required under the law to notify federal authorities right away. A recall must be issued if warranted.
Product Liability Claim
In a product liability case, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff (the injured person). This means that the plaintiff must prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer in order to receive compensation for his or her losses.
These are some of the elements that plaintiffs must prove in order to be successful with their product liability claim:
- The product is defective: You have to prove that the product that injured you is in fact defective or flawed. The defect could be a manufacturing error, which means the product is flawed because there was a problem in the manufacturing process. It could be a design defect, which refers to issues with design that gave rise to the defect. This is why in any product defect claim whether it’s a vehicle or a tea kettle, it’s important to preserve the product so it can be thoroughly examined for potential defects and malfunctions.
- Your injuries: Even if the product was actually defective and caused an incident – if you have not been injured by it, then your product liability claim may be weakened. Evidence of injuries and losses is one of the most critical elements of a product liability claim.
- Failure to warn: Product manufacturers can also be found negligent if they fail to warn consumers about the potential dangers of their products. Manufacturers are required to provide adequate and appropriate instructions for the product’s use.
- Use of the product: The consumer must have suffered the injuries using the product as it was designed and meant to be used. A product manufacturer may not be held liable if the consumer who was injured used the product in a dangerous manner.
- The defect caused your injury: Plaintiffs must also be able to prove that the product defect directly caused their injuries.
Damages in Product Liability Claims
Injured victims of defective products can seek compensation from negligent manufacturers for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering. Families of those who were killed as a result of defective products can also file a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer. Juries and courts may impose punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. This occurs in egregious cases where the court wishes to set an example for other manufacturers.
An experienced product defect attorney will be able to ensure that an injured client’s rights are protected and the negligent product manufacturer is held accountable. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, please call the Demas Law Group P.C., at (916) 444-0100 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.