Holiday gifts contribute to a memorable season. But a defective gift that causes injury to you or loved ones can make the holidays unforgettable in unwanted ways. Which laws protect victims in these circumstances? What are your legal rights if a defective product causes injuries? Let’s take a look.
Product liability laws provide victims with legal recourse and address who is at fault, and under what conditions, when a product causes injury and/or damages. Three types of product liability claims exist:
- Manufacturing defects. For example, if an electrical part of a product is installed incorrectly and causes a shock or electrocution. Proving the item is defective may be relatively clear cut.
- Design defect. When something about the product’s very design is unsafe before it even reaches the point of manufacture. For example, large gaps in a metal fan’s guard that allow a hand to slip through and become injured by the spinning blades.
- Marketing defects, or failure to warn. When a product is marketed with promises it can’t keep, such as being “indestructible;” when a manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings or instructions on a product’s intended use; or fails to warn of potential dangers. Think of the many side effects listed during a commercial for prescription medication.
Requirements for a case when a defective product causes injuries
In addition to the product being defective, the plaintiff must be able to meet certain requirements in order to pursue legal recourse:
- The product must cause actual injury or other damages. Almost getting injured by a defective product isn’t enough.
- The defect itself must cause the injury. If you were speeding in a defective car and it flipped over, the manufacturer could argue that your actions caused your injuries.
- The product was being used as intended. If you were injured using the product in a way that an “ordinary” customer wouldn’t, you probably wouldn’t have a case.
There is no federal-level product liability law, so conditions and specifics for each law vary by state. If you’ve been injured by a defective product and believe you have a case that meets the above conditions, we recommend consulting with a qualified attorney who can help you determine the strength of your individual case.
Contact us today for expert legal consultation.