What to Do if You Have Been Injured by a Defective Product

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), defective products injure millions of Americans every year, and kill thousands of others. We use dozens of different consumer products each day. Nearly any product we encounter could be dangerous if it is defective. Defective products can range from children’s toys, to medical devices, to automobiles, and much more. If you or a family member has been injured due to a defective product, it is important to know that you may be able to recover your lost income, medical expenses and other damages.

Governmental agencies such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), work to monitor consumer products and ensure they are safe. Thousands of products are recalled every year when a product defect is suspected.

What is Product Liability?

Product liability refers to holding a manufacturer or seller liable for placing a defective product in the hands of a consumer. The liability for this can lie with the manufacturer or a seller that is involved in the chain of distribution. This includes:

  • The manufacturer of the product.
  • The manufacturer of the component parts.
  • The wholesaler.
  • The retailer.

The law requires that products not be unreasonably and unexpectedly dangerous to the consumer. When someone is injured by a defective product, liability is usually based on the legal theories of negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty.

Types of Defective Products

Just about any consumer product can be considered dangerous if it is faulty. Products that are commonly involved in a defective product claim include:

  • Defective medical products.
  • Dangerous medications.
  • Tainted food or beverages.
  • Defective motor vehicles or component parts.
  • Faulty home appliances or furnishings.
  • Unsafe toys or children’s products.
  • Toxic cleaning agents, gardening supplies.

How is a Product Defective?

In order to make a defective product claim, we will need to prove that the product was defective due to:

  • A manufacturing defect: This would include production flaws or product contamination for example.
  • A design defect: The design of the product may make it inherently dangerous.
  • Failure to warn: This means there was inadequate warning about the product’s risks, inaccurate instructions, or misleading marketing.

How Do You Prove a Defective Product Claim?

In order to prove a product liability claim, key elements must be present which include:

  • The product was used for the purpose it was intended;
  • The use of the product caused injury or monetary loss;
  • The product was defective because of a failure to warn, design or manufacturing defect; and
  • The product defect directly contributed the victim’s injury.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, it is important to take prompt action to ensure that your rights are protected. It is important that you keep the product that has caused the injury, if possible. This would include any packaging, and documentation associated with the product such as receipts, extended warranties and maintenance documentation.

Please contact our office. We are here to help. The sooner we get involved the better. We can ensure that important evidence is preserved, and your rights are protected.