Consumers who purchase items do so in good faith with the expectation that they will function as advertised and be safe when used as directed. Would-be customers even sometimes feel as if there’s an implied guarantee of accuracy in advertising. Or consumers may assume that manufacturers and distributors have closely scrutinized the production of their products before they’re offered on the open market.
Customers may falsely assume that the products that they’re buying are safe. However, that may be far from the case. While data shows that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) only issues an estimated 300 product recalls annually, it’s likely that far more unsafe product injuries go unreported, injuring or killing their users.
An unsafe or defective product is one that causes you to suffer significant personal harm. Defective product cases like these fall within a broader personal injury category. Each state has laws in place allowing you to recover compensation when an unsafe product leaves you with permanent injuries or causes a loved one’s untimely death.
What Constitutes a Defective Products Case?
While every state has product liability laws in place, each jurisdiction views advertiser, manufacturer, or distributor responsibilities differently. An experienced lawyer can help you determine if one of these parties breached their duties to you as a consumer per your state’s laws.
Some situations which often warrant the filing of hazardous or unsafe product lawsuits include:
- Dangerous cars
- Defective guns
- Dangerous children’s toys
- Unsafe workplaces
- Defective tires or auto parts
- Airplane defects
- Defective medical devices
- Unsafe household appliances and other items
The aforementioned are only a small sampling of the many different consumer products that can maim or kill users. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ends up recalling over 1,200 medications annually due to labeling, contamination, and other concerns.
Proving a Product Liability Case
Defective or unsafe product claims generally fall into one of three different categories, including:
- Defective design: While a product may have been correctly manufactured, its design may have been flawed, leaving consumers vulnerable to suffering harm.
- Defective production: A manufacturer’s failure to perform quality assurance inspections may result in a product being produced that doesn’t conform to designs.
- Failure to warn: Instructions that don’t clearly spell out a product’s intended uses or packaging that doesn’t include adequate warnings of dangers it poses may result in consumers getting hurt by it.
What To Know About Product Liability Lawyers
Individuals who have been hurt by defective products are often left with crippling medical costs and mounting lost wages stemming from their injuries. They may initially assume their health insurance or short or long-term disability insurance at their job will cover these unexpected costs. However, they quickly find out that their coverage won’t adequately see them through their full recovery. This is often when personal injury victims consult with a product liability attorney to:
- Understand applicable laws: Each jurisdiction has its own requirements advertisers, manufacturers, and distributors must meet. It’s critical to know what those are in the area you were injured.
- Explore their rights: Learn more about what legal options you may have for pursuing compensation from a negligent party and what goes into proving your case.
- Achieve the best results: While liability is clear in some instances, giving way to a case being quickly settled outside of court, other situations may require extensive negotiations with insurance companies before a settlement is reached or the case proceeds to litigation.
Compensation Available in Product Liability Cases
Individuals who are fortunate enough to survive being hurt by a product may be left with permanent injuries, including scarring, disfigurement, and functional impairments that last a lifetime. This is why most jurisdictions’ laws allow you to request compensation to cover some of the following expenses you may have after a defective product injures you:
- Current and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other noneconomic damages
- Lost wages and losses of future earnings
Families whose loved ones die from using an unsafe product may additionally be eligible to recover funeral expenses.
As you might imagine, no two product liability cases are the same. It’s unlikely that medical expenses or lost wages claims will be the same. Also, the nature of a victim’s injuries and their implications on their lives are likely different. This is why it’s imperative to discuss the unique aspects of your case with a lawyer.
Schedule a risk-free consultation with our Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm attorneys to discuss how a defective product has impacted your life so that we can advise you of your right to financial compensation for your losses.