When you purchase a product, such as a beauty or kitchen appliance, you likely expect it to operate and perform as advertised. While most products usually work as intended, some fail to meet expectations and, even worse, cause injury. That is why it is essential to know a defective product lawyer who can help you in the event of an accident related to a product you’ve used or purchased.
There are several types of product liability cases. The most common product liability claims have to do with defective auto parts, medical devices, lawn equipment, children’s toys, home improvement tools, and medications. Manufacturers are responsible for every product introduced to the marketplace. When these products injure consumers, manufacturers should be held accountable for the resulting injuries.
If you were hurt after using a defective product, it is important to speak with a defective product attorney to learn about your options. A lawyer will be able to explain the next steps in your case and detail the requirements of a product liability claim. Until your meeting, you should be aware of a few important considerations about defective product cases.
Types of Defective Product Liability Claims
You could have a product liability claim if you have been injured while using a product. These types of claims fall into three main categories. The categories are:
1. Defective Manufacture
One of the most common product liability claims is a defectively manufactured product. A defectively manufactured product fails to perform as intended because of an issue involved in making it. Examples include a car with brakes that do not respond, chicken contaminated with salmonella or E. coli, or baby formula containing a poisonous substance. In these cases, a manufacturing defect must have caused the injury. If you are driving your car and rear-end the car in front of you, your car accident must have been caused by the faulty brakes to make your claim successful.
2. Defective Design
Defective design lawsuits claim that a product is inherently dangerous due to its design alone, making it a risk to the public. An example of a design defect is a car that is so top-heavy that it flips when making routine turns. In this type of case, you must be able to prove that the accident and injuries you sustained were caused by the car’s inability to turn properly.
3. Failure to Warn
When a product is made available to the public, it must have obvious warnings and instructions about how it should be used. These types of claims typically involve dangerous products in ways not obvious to the user or require the user to use the product diligently to avoid harm. Some examples of failure to warn claims include an electric tea kettle packaged without warning about an oddly positioned steam valve or a cough syrup without a disclaimer that it may be potentially harmful if taken with other medications. To prevail with a failure to warn claim, you must prove that your injury was a direct result of the failure to warn.
To put this into context, all three types of claims could arise from the same product. In fact, pharmaceutical drugs provide a great way to analyze all three types of product liability cases. For example, much has been made of Zantac over the last few years. If you took Zantac and a contaminant was included in several bottles because of the factory where it was contained, then you may have a claim based on a manufacturing defect.
If, however, the Zantac was not contaminated, but you developed an illness because of the product itself, you may have a claim based on a design defect.
Finally, suppose the product was safe for use, but you sustained an injury after taking it with another medication that was not included on the warning label. In that case, you may have a product liability claim based on a failure to warn. In all cases, the defect must have caused your injuries for you to prevail.
Product liability cases can be tricky to navigate, especially if you are unsure how exactly the defective product caused your injuries. That is why it’s important to speak with an experienced product liability attorney who can answer your questions and help you move forward. Call the product liability lawyers at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux to learn more.