What Are The Types of Product Liability Cases?
If you were injured because of a defective product, it may be possible to file a product liability claim. The range of these cases is broad; therefore, a product liability lawyer should be sought to determine whether or not you have a case. In general, these claims will fall into one of three categories:
- Defective manufacturing
- Defective product design
- Failure to warn or instruct
By understanding these categories, you may be able to know whether you should pursue a case, in addition to the strategy which could be used to defend your argument. Bear in mind, some states have laws that are slightly different from the basic laws that most states have. A product defect lawyer can review your case and explain to you what laws may be applicable.
One of the most common types of product liability claims is when the product was wrongfully, or defectively, manufactured. This occurs when the product is flawed because of an error made during the manufacturing process. As such, the product that caused the injury is in some way different from the other products on the shelf. Examples of these defects may include:
- A bicycle that was fitted with brakes that don’t work
- A swing set that has a cracked pole
- Medication that was tainted with a toxin
To recover compensation, a product defect lawyer must be able to prove the injury was caused by the defect. So, if you were riding a bicycle with broken brakes, a claim might only be pursued if you can prove the manufacturer failed to provide you with working brakes and that was the sole cause of your injury – not your inability to ride a bike or you lack maintenance on the bike.
Defective Product Design
A defective product design refers to the design of a product that was inherently defective or dangerous. These claims are not the same as an error made during the manufacturing process. Rather, they refer to an entire line of products regardless of whether or not they were correctly manufactured — as per the specifications of the designer. Examples of a defective product design include:
- A line of toasters that cause users to be electrocuted when turned on high.
- A line of battery chargers that explodes and catches fire.
- A model of a car that is prone to flipping over when turning.
In this case, the defective design must have been the cause of the injury. If you crashed into a car while driving a car that was prone to flipping, you may only be able to file a product liability claim if you can prove the crash occurred while the car was turning or flipping over.
Failure to Warn or Instruct
Failure to warn or instruct claims often involves a product that is inherently dangerous to the user, but in a way that is not obvious. Examples of these claims may include:
- A prescription medication that fails to warn about the development of a serious side effect.
- A toy that could cause suffocation or choking.
- A corrosive cleaning chemical that does not provide instructions for safe handling.
This claim can only be pursued if the injury was the result of the failure to warn. If you took apart a toy that should have been left together, and you or a child choked as a result, you may not have a valid case.