Unfortunately, defective products cause serious injury to thousands of people every year. In some instances, the level of injury is so serious that it ultimately leads to death. If you experience an injury because of a faulty product, you need to seek help from a qualified personal injury attorney. Because this is a very real risk, it is important to understand your legal rights.
If you have been injured by a defective product, you may have recourse under the warranty. In this case, you will likely be offered a refund or exchange. However, if an injury does not occur, the course of action changes dramatically.
Types of Defective Products
Defective products fall into one of three categories.
- Defective Design—This involves a product that does not perform as intended. For instance, if you purchased a new bicycle but are injured because the brakes fail to bring you to stop, the design would be deemed defective.
- Manufacturing Defect—One way in which this type of defect is often seen is with automobile recalls, where a particular part or component creates risk by not performing correctly. If you have not yet been notified of a recall, but are injured in a fire caused by a faulty component in the gas line, you will be facing a case that involves a manufacturing defect.
- Defect in Warnings and/or Instructions—If instructions or warning labels are not provided or written incorrectly, the product could be operated incorrectly, and thereby cause an injury. As an example, if a space heater did not come with a warning about overheating after being left on for a specific period of time and you are injured in a fire caused by the heater, this would be considered a defect.
Under the law, several unique remedies are provided for defective products. However, two in particular stand out. The first is Negligence, in which you may be able to collect damages from the liable party if it can be proven that a duty owed to you by the manufacturer was breached, leading to an injury. The second is Strict Liability, meaning the manufacturer is strictly liable for the defect happening during the manufacturing process, regardless of the level of care involved.
A reputable attorney can help you determine the exact cause and responsible party. As a professional with years of personal injury experience, your lawyer will know the right action to take. Because of the legalities involved, and especially when dealing with a large corporation, proving that an injury occurred from a defective product could be nearly impossible on your own. However, with a qualified attorney in your corner, you can prevail.
After sustaining an injury because of what you believe to be a defective product, contact a respected personal injury attorney. Although your attorney will go on a fact-finding mission to assist in the case, it is important for you to document the event and hold onto any evidence, such as emergency room reports and receipts. For a non-life threatening injury, make sure that you take quality photos of the injury, as well as the product.