Jan 13, 2013: Product Liability
Have you been injured by a power tool with non-existent or malfunctioning safety guards? Has your child been hurt in a wreck because a car seat failed to protect them? These are two examples of defective products, which fall under the legal term "product liability."
If you use a product as intended, in a way that an "ordinary consumer" would, and are injured due to defect, then you may have a case against the manufacturer for the harm you suffered.
Typically, it's not necessary to prove any wrong doing by the manufacturer. You simply have to demonstrate that the product is unsafe. However, these can be complex cases. Your attorney must prove:
- Product was dangerous/defective
- You were injured by the product
- The defect caused your injury
Your lawyer must show that the product was injurious or defective and this danger/defect would be recognized by a reasonable person. This defect can originate from the design, the production, or even the advertised use of the product.
Second, your lawyer must demonstrate that the product injured you. It is not sufficient to demonstrate that harm may have been caused by a defect. If you have not actually been damaged by the product, you cannot claim or recover damages. The potential for damages is not enough for recovery.
Most importantly, you and your attorney must prove that the harm you suffered was caused by the defect in the product. The product may well be dangerous, and you most certainly may well be injured … but it can sometimes be extremely difficult to prove that your injury was caused by the product.
A number of such product liability cases result in a "battle of experts," where the plaintiff (consumer) and defense (manufacturer) both use scientific and engineering testimony to attempt to prove their case.
If you believe a defective product has caused the injury of you or a member of your family, a lawyer experienced in product liability issues can counsel you about the merits and weaknesses of your case, and what the defendants are likely to claim in an attempt to avoid responsibility.