The United States judicial system has a process in place for the protection of the country’s consumers. Product liability laws help keep consumers safe from negligence or carelessness during a product’s manufacture. Manufacturing companies can face strict liability for a defective product, regardless of whether or not the company was negligent. If you or a family member recently sustained an injury while using a product as the manufacturer intended, contact The Law Office of Arash Khorsandi. Our product liability attorneys want to help you pursue compensation.
Three Types of Product Defects
If a product causes or contributes to your injuries due to a defect or malfunction, you may have grounds for a claim against the manufacturer or distributor. You do not need proof of the defendant’s negligence in these cases, although you do have to prove that the product was unreasonably hazardous and that a defect caused your injuries. While product defects can take endless forms, the law breaks every product defect down into three categories.
- Flaw in the design. Sometimes a product’s design has flaws that make it inherently dangerous for consumers to use. Examples of this include a fan without a finger guard or an electronic toy that overheats and catches fire after too much use. Another example is a seatbelt that comes unlatched under stress. Dangerously designed items can cause injury even if manufactured and used correctly.
- Manufacturing error. In other cases, a product’s design is safe, but an error occurs during production, assembly, or distribution that makes it dangerous to use. An example is a hot water heater with a missing component that makes the appliance liable to explode when in use. Another example is a batch of medication that a foreign substance accidentally poisons during production.
- Failure to warn of known risks. A manufacturer also has a responsibility to warn consumers of potential risks that may not be obvious to the average person, such as the risk of a small piece falling off a toy a posing a strangulation hazard to small children. There must be a warning label and instruction manual with the product to prevent these types of injuries.
If the item that injured you is on a recall list, you may still be eligible for recovery. Just because a manufacturer recalls a product does not mean it is immediately liable for damages. Likewise, a voluntary recall does not protect the company from lawsuits. The injured party must still have all the elements of a product liability case. A recall may serve as evidence of the item’s defect if the courts allow. The manufacturer can use a recall as a defense, in the sense that the consumer should have known about the product’s defects – but only if the manufacturer can show that the plaintiff directly received notice of the recall.
How to Pursue a Product Liability Claim
First and foremost, receive medical care for your product-related injuries. Once you’re on the mend, start gathering information about the incident. Write down the name and manufacturer of the product. Take photos of the item that injured you, and the part that is defective if possible. Record where you were when the incident occurred, and what you were doing. If you were using the product in a way the manufacturer did not intend, take note of this.
If you called the police at the time of the product failure, obtain a copy of the police record. Keep your medical bills and other pertinent documents in one, organized location. Then, contact The Law Office of Arash Khorsandi. Our LA product liability attorneys have in-depth understanding of city and state laws, and know how to help victims pursue compensation from major manufacturers. Call (888) 488-1391 to schedule your free consultation.