What Is Product Liability and What to Do If You’re Injured by a Product
Not every lawsuit starts with two individuals. Sometimes, a product is faulty and can cause damage or injury to the person who purchased it or the person who used it. For the last five years, product liability cases have been on the rise, meaning consumers are discovering more faults with the products they’re buying. Here at Flager & Associates, we break down what product liability is and what to do if a defective product has injured you.
What is product liability?
Product liability arises when someone is injured as a result of the use of a product. The cause of the injury could come from any part of the creation process from design through manufacturing, distribution, and purchase.
Product liability refers to when a defective product reaches a consumer from a manufacture or retailer, or when a product fails due to poor explanation from the manufacturer or retailer. Ultimately, the liability for a defective product could rest with any part in that product’s chain of distribution, including but not limited to manufacturing, the manufacturer of the parts, the assembly line, the wholesaler, or the retail store that sold the product.
There are four types of defects that might cause a consumer injury in a product liability case:
- Design defects: Evidence that a product is unsafe before it’s even assembled.
- Manufacturing defects: Issues that arise in the assembly of a product that make it unsafe for consumers.
- Marketing defects: Flaws in how the product is marketed to consumers, including improper labels and lack of instructions or safety warnings.
- Manufacturer or retailer negligence: The manufacturer or retailer fails to explain proper installation or use to the buyer.
Whether it’s an auto part, medical device, lawn equipment, medication, home improvement tool, or child’s toy, the law can get in involved when a product puts a customer in danger.
What to do after being injured from a defective product:
If you or someone you know has been impacted by a defective product, there are immediate steps you should take.
- Seek medical attention right away. No matter how major or minor the injury, make sure you are examined by a medical professional. This creates a record of your injury or injuries and provides an accurate assessment from a medical professional of the damage the product caused.
- Save the product. This step is extremely important — many people injured by something don’t want an injury to happen again, so they throw the item away. While this is a normal reaction, having the product is essential to prove your claim. Keep the product and any instructions and packaging you might have together for documentation and put it in a secure area where it cannot be inadvertently used, modified, or damaged.
- Take photos of your injuries and the product. Document the injuries as well as where and how they happened with your cell phone or camera. Additionally, write down any notes to describe how the incident occurred as soon as possible. This will help provide the most accurate story in your product liability case.
- Call our office. The most crucial step is to contact the experts at Flager & Associates as soon as possible. We’ll guide you through the process and make sure you’ve gathered as much evidence as possible to help you build a strong product liability case.