Product Liability Claims: How Do Defective Product Cases Work?
Defective product cases enable people who suffered injuries or other types of damages because of a product defect to hold those at fault for their injuries accountable. If a person is injured or suffers other damages because of a defective product, he or she may be eligible to pursue a product liability claim against the product manufacturer or other potential defendants.
Types of Defective Products
Generally, a product defect is the result of faulty manufacturing or design. In addition, a product can be defective if it does not include proper warnings or adequate instructions. A product is considered defective if it is unreasonably dangerous to a person who uses it. There are several types of products that can become the focus of a defective product case. The products can range from large, complex mechanisms to small, simple objects. Common types of defective products include but are not limited to the following:
Automobiles and/or Auto Parts – This can include issues such as defective airbags, tire defects, acceleration problems and brake defects.
Toys and Other Children’s Products – Examples of this can include faulty child safety seats, toys that pose a choking risk and children’s products that pose a suffocation risk to babies and toddlers.
Medical Devices – Transvaginal mesh, pacemakers, knee and hip replacements, power morcellators, intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs), and implanted defibrillators are examples of potentially faulty medical devices.
Hazardous Materials – Examples include asbestos, herbicides, toxic mold, household cleaning products and insecticides.
Defective Drugs – Benicar, Zofran, baby powder (talcum powder), Benzene and Pradaxa have been the focus of product liability claims.
Recalled Food – These defective product cases often stem from food poisoning claims.
What Kinds of Injuries Qualify for Defective Product Cases?
Examples of injuries that qualify for defective product cases:
- Food poisoning
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Loss of limb
- Serious illness
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Who Is Eligible to Pursue a Product Defect Claim?
In most cases, people who have suffered injuries from a product defect are eligible to pursue a product liability claim. In addition, the parents or legal guardians of children injured due to using a defective product can often file a product liability claim. Also, the surviving family members of victims who suffer a wrongful death from using a defective product may be eligible to file a defective product lawsuit against those responsible for their loved one’s death.
Examples of Damages Victims Can Recover in Product Liability Cases
Damages in product liability cases refers to the monetary sum that plaintiffs receive if their defect product claim results in their favor. Damages are meant to compensate victims for their injuries, the loss of a loved one, or to punish those at fault for their pain and suffering. Prior to pursuing a product liability claim, it is important that victims and their families estimate what their damages could be, because if a victim’s injuries or financial losses are considered minor, then it may not make financial sense to pursue a defective product claim.
There are two types of compensatory damages that victims and their families can pursue in a defective product case. The first is special damages (also known as economic damages). Special damages include compensation for:
Property repair and loss of property – This applies is a product defect causes your property to be damaged or destroyed. In such cases, you could receive compensation to replace or repair your property.
Loss of income – If a product defect injury to you or someone you love leads to you missing time at work or losing income in some other way, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your lost wages and/or the loss of future income.
Medical costs – If your defective product injury causes you to incur medical costs, such as hospital bills, pharmaceutical costs, physical therapy expenses, you may be able to recover compensation for past, ongoing, and future medical costs related to your product defect injuries.
Disability expenses – If your product defect injury results in you having to change your life because of disability, you could be entitled to compensation to pay for those disability-related lifestyle changes.
The other type of compensatory damages that plaintiffs can pursue in a product defect case is general damages (also known as non-economic damages). General damages include compensation for:
Consortium loss – If your product defect injuries cause problems with your relationship with your spouse, including emotional support, companionship, sexual relations, and loss of affection, you and your spouse may be entitled to compensation.
Pain and suffering – This involves compensating victims for the loss of enjoyment of life, anguish, pain that they have experienced because of their defective product-related injuries.
Are There Different Types of Defective Product Cases?
Defective product cases generally fall into one of three categories. The first category includes products that are dangerous because there was a failure to provide adequate instructions or warnings. An example of this could be medicine that does not include a warning on its label that it can cause dangerous side effects if taken in combination with certain foods or other types of medications. The second category involves products that are defective because of faults in the way they were designed, which could include a vehicle that is designed to be top-heavy and therefore could be prone to toppling over on sharp curves. The third category includes products that are defective due to manufacturing errors. This could include a car or truck that was mistakenly produced without brake pads or a batch of food or medicine that inadvertently contains a hazardous substance.
Speaking to an Experienced Attorney Can Help You Make the Right Decision
In the wake of an injury suffered from a product defect, victims and their families need guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer to make the best decision for their and their family’s future. Before you decide whether to pursue a defective product claim, talk to an experienced product liability attorney in your area.