A Look Into Product Liability – What You Need to Know As A Consumer

by gclatworthy on January 14, 2013

When you purchase a product from a company, you expect that it will not only perform as it’s meant to, but also that it won’t harm you. Unfortunately, many people each year are injured and even killed due to the products they purchase, and this can lead to a product liability lawsuit. When it comes to product liability, it’s important to keep in mind that there are a number of different variables to be concerned with, including:

Manufacturing Defect

A manufacturing defect is a defect that is caused at the manufacturing level. These types of defects can be caused by improper calibration of equipment, negligent workers, poor quality control standards and more. When a defect occurs at the manufacturing level, the designer and the seller of the product are typically not liable for any injuries that have occurred through the use of the product.

Design Defect

In other cases, a product liability case may stem from a design defect. A design defect is generally one that is not noticed until an injury occurs, making these types of defects especially dangerous. In most cases, a designer will put a lot of research into developing a product before the product is deemed ready to hit store shelves. Unfortunately, mistakes can be made, even with extensive testing, and potential defects may be missed. Once the defect is found, companies will generally recall all of the defective products.

Marketing Defect

Finally, a marketing defect can also cause injuries. Marketing defects are the equivalent of a manufacturer, retailer or designer omitting their knowledge that a product is defective. For example, a cigarette manufacturer that claims that their products are completely safe may cause injuries due to their marketing practices, and therefore, the manufacturer may be liable for damages if an injury occurs to a smoker who uses the company’s products.

Negligence and Strict Liability

It’s also important to consider that negligence may not need to be proven in a product liability case. In some situations, as a personal injury attorney Albany or NYC based will tell you, strict liability — or liability that does not need negligence to be proven — can force a company to accept responsibility for injuries. In cases involving strict liability, the onus is ultimately on the company and not on the consumer to prove innocence. This type of liability came about as a protection to consumers, and today, it is used in many product liability cases.

If You’ve Been Injured

Because of the many variables involved in a product liability case, injured individuals are encouraged to seek out the services of a product liability attorney for help. While you can certainly pursue a product liability lawsuit on your own, the process of doing so can be long and difficult, especially if you’re not sure where the blame lies. A product injury liability attorney can evaluate your injuries and the events leading up to them, allowing your attorney to target the entity or entities that are responsible.

You need to also keep in mind that documentation is key when it comes to successfully suing in a product liability case. Even in cases that involve strict liability, it’s still a good idea to document as much evidence as you can related to your case, including written reports, witness statements, photo and video evidence and more. Having this documentation will make it less likely that a negligent company or individual will be able to lie in court.

Saam Banai is a freelance writer and editor, and he appreciates products that he can rely on and that won’t hurt him without warning. The legal firm, Bottar Leone PLLC has obtained excellent recoveries in personal injury cases for its clients over 30 years, and their practice and reputation is renowned. In the event that you are affected negatively by a faulty product, this personal injury attorney Albany firm of Bottar Leone will will help you get the compensation that you deserve.

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