Types of Product Liability Cases
Product liability cases can be complicated. In the simplest form, if you have been injured because of a product, then you may have a product liability claim. You should always contact an experienced product liability attorney to evaluate your case.
Common Product Liability Examples
Virtually any product can be the subject of a product liability case. Some of the most common products that cause these types of claims include:
- Medical devices and/or instruments
- Hazardous materials or chemicals
- Children’s toys
- Industrial or agricultural equipment
The product does not have to be complex to be the subject of a product liability case. Even simple products like a ceiling fan or a coffee maker can cause serious damage when they are defective or made improperly.
Types of Product Liability Cases
There are generally three types of product liability claims. Each type will change what you need to prove to obtain compensation for your injuries. Your knowledgeable product liability attorney will determine which theory works best for your unique situation and present your case accordingly.
This is probably the most common type of product liability claim. When people think of product liability, they usually assume that a defective product is involved. In this type of case, the product caused an injury because it was not made properly. Something went wrong in the manufacturing process, and this particular product is slightly different than every other product that the business created.
Examples of manufacturing defects include:
- A slide that has bolts or screws that were not inserted properly (or not inserted at all)
- A car that is missing vital parts (like the coolant system or brakes)
- A medicine that was somehow tainted with a toxic chemical
In a defective design case, you will try to show that the entire product was designed in an unreasonably dangerous way. These cases are less common and harder to prove. In this type of case, we don’t think anything went wrong in the manufacturing process; instead, we would show that every product is inherently dangerous. This type of case requires the skills of a creative and experienced attorney.
Examples of design defects include:
- A car that is likely to start on fire when in a certain gear for too long
- A medical device that will rust and release particles while inside a person’s body
- A lawn mower that does not have a safety cover over the blades
Failure to Warn
If a product is not used properly, it could be dangerous. The manufacturer is required to let its customers know how to use the product properly. If the manufacturer fails to provide the user with instructions or warnings on how to use the product, then it could be liable for any damage relating to the product’s misuse.
Manufacturers are also required to warn their customers of the dangers of certain “foreseeable misuses.” A common example of a foreseeable misuse is failing to use a seatbelt or airbag properly. Car manufacturers frequently warn of the dangers of misusing these items, including placing children in the front seat where there is an air bag. Without this warning, the car manufacturer might be liable for injuries caused by this misuse.
Examples of failure to warn situations include:
Failing to explain how to handle hazardous or dangerous chemical
Failing to explain potential side effects and dosage requirements of a medication
- Failing to instruct the customer on how to safely clean dangerous equipment (including lawn mowers, trimmers, and agricultural equipment)
Deciding Which Type of Case You Have
It can be tricky to determine which type of case you should assert in court. Some injuries can also include multiple types of product liability cases and even other areas of the law. Don’t go into it alone. The Law Offices of Robert W. Elton can help you determine what type of case you have, assist you in asserting your rights, and help you get the compensation that you deserve. Call us today at 386-274-2229 for a free consultation.
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