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What Is Product Liability? Should You Hire an Attorney for a Product Liability Claim?

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What Is Product Liability? Should You Hire an Attorney for a Product Liability Claim?

Product liability law is the area of law that governs the sale, distribution, and use of goods. Liability, in this context, relates to responsibility or blame that a party can be held accountable for.

The word “product” is a broad term to describe anything offered for sale or sold, including services. Products can be manufactured, purchased, rented, or leased.

A product can also be considered good when sold to the general public as a part of a collective good or service. Products are considered a “service” when the good is meant to be consumed immediately or within a short period.

Liability for defective products has existed for thousands of years, as far back as ancient Rome, where the first liability for defective products was recorded.

Defective products are defined as any product that causes harm to a person when used in the way it was intended to be used.

A defect may occur during either the design or manufacture phases of a product, but most defects occur during production.

What Does a Plaintiff Have to Prove in a Product Liability Case?

In a product liability case, a plaintiff (the person who initiates the lawsuit) typically has to prove several things to successfully hold the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of a product liable for harm or injuries caused by the product. These things are:

  • That the product was defective: The plaintiff must prove that the product had a defect that caused it to be unreasonably dangerous when used as intended or in a foreseeable way.
  • That the defect existed when the product left the control of the defendant: The plaintiff must show that the product was defective at the time it was sold or distributed and that the defect was present when it left the control of the defendant.
  • That the defect caused the plaintiff’s injury: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defect was the direct cause of their injuries or damages.
  • That the plaintiff was using the product as intended or in a foreseeable way: The plaintiff must prove that they were using the product in a way that was reasonably foreseeable to the defendant at the time the product was designed, manufactured, or sold.
  • That the plaintiff suffered actual harm or damages: The plaintiff must show that they suffered actual harm or damages, such as physical injuries, property damage, or economic losses, resulting from the defective product.

Depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the type of product involved, other factors may also come into play.

For example, the plaintiff may need to prove that the defendant failed to adequately warn about the product’s dangers or that the defendant violated a specific statute or regulation related to the design, manufacture, or sale of the product.

It’s important to consult with an experienced product liability attorney to understand the specific legal requirements and options for pursuing a product liability claim.

How is product liability claims different from other personal injury cases?

Product liability claims are a type of personal injury case, but they differ from other personal injury cases in a few key ways:

  • Liability: In other personal injury cases, such as car accidents or slip and falls, liability is often based on negligence, which means that the defendant failed to act with reasonable care and that failure caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In a product liability case, the focus is on whether the product is defective or unreasonably dangerous, regardless of whether the defendant was negligent.
  • Parties involved: In a typical personal injury case, the defendant is usually an individual or company that directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries, such as a negligent driver or property owner. In a product liability case, the defendant may be the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the product or even multiple parties in the supply chain.
  • Types of damages: While both product liability and other personal injury cases may involve compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, product liability cases may also involve damages for property damage, economic losses, and punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant for their wrongful conduct.
  • Evidence: In a product liability case, the plaintiff may need to rely on expert testimony and scientific evidence to establish the existence of a defect and its link to the plaintiff’s injuries. This can make product liability cases more complex and expensive than other types of personal injury cases.

Overall, product liability cases require a unique understanding of product design, manufacturing processes, and industry standards and often require specialized legal expertise to successfully litigate.

What are Some Types of Product Liability Claims?

  1. Design defects:

In a design defect case, the plaintiff needs to prove that the product was unreasonably dangerous when used as intended or in a foreseeable way because of something inherent to the product design.

For example, if a child’s toy bike uses an exposed and unguarded rotating shaft for its handlebars, it may have a design defect that makes it unsafe for use.

2. Manufacturing defects:

In a manufacturing defect case, the plaintiff needs to prove that a product was unreasonably dangerous when used as intended or in a foreseeable way because of something about the production process.

If a manufacturer left out a critical safety feature, it might have been unreasonably dangerous when used as intended or in a foreseeable way.

3. Breach of warranty:

In a breach of warranty case, the plaintiff needs to prove that the product was unreasonably dangerous when used as intended or in a foreseeable way because of something about the product’s marketing, packaging, or advertising claims.

For example, if a company advertised its product as “safe and effective for colic,” but it caused serious injuries in children who had colic, it may have violated its warranty by making false claims about its products.

4. Failure to warn:

In a failure to warn case, the plaintiff needs to prove that the product was unreasonably dangerous when used as intended or in a foreseeable way because of something about the defendant’s failure to adequately warn about the danger of using the product in a certain way.

For example, if a drug company did not warn consumers about potential side effects of using its product, and a consumer experienced serious injuries as a result, it may have violated its duty to adequately warn about the product’s risks

Should You Hire an Attorney for a Product Liability Claim?

If you have been injured or suffered damages due to a defective product, it is generally recommended to hire an attorney for a product liability claim. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Legal expertise: Product liability cases can be complex and require specialized legal knowledge and experience. An attorney who is familiar with product liability law can help you navigate the legal system and build a strong case.
  • Investigation: A product liability attorney can investigate the product, gather evidence, and consult with experts to determine whether the product was defective and caused your injuries or damages.
  • Negotiation: An attorney can negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company or legal team to reach a fair settlement or pursue litigation if necessary.
  • Compensation: An attorney can help you pursue compensation for a variety of damages, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

While you may be able to handle a product liability claim on your own, it can be difficult to navigate the legal system and obtain a fair settlement without the help of an experienced attorney. Hiring an attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Additionally, a product liability attorney can help you understand and comply with relevant statutes of limitations, which are deadlines for filing a lawsuit.

They can also help determine if there are any other legal options available to you, such as joining a class-action lawsuit or pursuing alternative dispute resolution methods.

Ultimately, the expertise of a product liability attorney can maximize your chances of success in pursuing a claim and obtaining the compensation you need to recover from your injuries and losses.

In Conclusion:

If you believe that you have suffered harm or damages due to a defective product, it is important to consider hiring an attorney for a product liability claim.

A product liability attorney can help you investigate the case, navigate the legal system, negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company or legal team, and pursue compensation for your damages.

While product liability cases can be complex and require specialized legal knowledge and experience, many attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which can make it more affordable to hire legal representation.

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The above article is sponsored content any opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily reflect the views of CTN News- Chiang Rai Times. For detailed information about sponsored content policy click here.

Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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