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What gives rise to a product liability claim?

Consumers expect the products they buy to be safe for their intended use. Lawmakers think this should be the case, too, which is why product liability laws can be found in every state. In essence, product liability occurs when a manufacturer or seller causes an individual harm by providing the victim with a defective product. Those who suffer injuries from defective products, which can range from food items to cars and toys, can be left with serious damages. Victims may struggle to pay their medical expenses, they may experience lost wages, and they might have to cope with extensive pain and suffering.

Fortunately, those who find themselves in this position can use the law to their advantage. Under product liability laws, an injured individual can pursue compensation under one of three theories. First, a victim can claim that the product that caused him or her harm was defectively designed. Under this theory, the victim will need to show that the product was inherently unsafe based on the way it was intended to be made. The second theory is manufacturing defects. Here, a victim must show that the product was defective based on the way that it was made. This could include the use of unsafe materials or some kind of other error in the manufacturing process.

Lastly, victims can pursue their claim under a marketing defect theory. Marketing defects include inaccurate or improper labeling, poorly written or misleading instructions, and the lack of or inadequacy of safety warnings.

Product liability claims can be difficult, especially because much of the evidence that one must utilize can be hidden in business records. An experienced attorney may be able to help product liability victims with their claims, including evidence gathering and witness identification and examination. For this reason, it may be wise for victims to discuss their case with a personal injury attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Product Liability?" accessed on March 24, 2017

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