7 Signs That You Have a Product Liability Case
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Michael E. Trauscht with The Law Office Of Michael Trauscht.
Product liability claims or lawsuits arise when someone is injured by the negligent design or manufacturing of a certain product; in other words, the product is defective or unreasonably dangerous. In these scenarios, when a product that should have been reasonably safe to use caused a serious injury to one or more parties, the victims may be eligible to seek compensation for their damages from the liable party, usually the manufacturer.
However, product liability cases are notoriously complex and can be difficult to win without the help of an experienced product liability attorney. This is due in part to the typical lack of cooperation posed by manufacturers in a product liability litigation as well as the necessary understanding on the victim’s part for what is legally required of the product’s design or manufacturing. The good news is that most product liability attorneys offer free consultations and work on contingency, which means clients don’t have to pay out of pocket to have their case properly compiled, represented, and litigated to success.
7 signs that you may have a strong product liability case on your hands include:
- The product did not work as advertised. For example, if a product was advertised to safely cook food at lightning speed, but did not cook food all the way through at all, it could be defective. If you or a loved one suffer a serious foodborne illness as a result of the defective product, you could be eligible to file a claim against the manufacturer.
- The product was missing an adequate warning label. Some products require warning labels for consumers to know how a product is to be safely used and who is able to use the product safely. For example, a children’s toy that includes many small pieces but does not warn consumers to prohibit children under a certain age from playing with that toy may be considered defective for lack of an adequate warning label.
- The product was missing instructions needed to use the device safely. Some products may contain unavoidable risks that can be mitigated by detailed instructions and warnings that help a consumer use them properly. For example, if a piece of outdoor equipment did not include detailed enough instructions about how to use it without injury, and a consumer unknowingly used the device incorrectly resulting in a serious injury, the manufacturer may be liable for resulting damages.
- The product was unreasonably dangerous. While some products may contain certain hazards, no product should be unreasonably dangerous. For example, if a pharmaceutical was advertised as a safe way to clear stubborn acne but instead resulted in severe skin agitation, depression, and liver damage, these may present unreasonable dangers that consumers would never have knowingly taken upon themselves. Other products that may be unreasonably dangerous include children’s toys, kitchen appliances, and even construction equipment where certain moving, small, and/or sharp parts are left exposed to the consumer.
- You still have possession of the product. The most important part of any product liability case is the product itself; this is why it’s imperative to hang onto the product that caused the injury so that it can be analyzed individually by a product liability expert. If the product has already been turned into the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), you can ask to have it returned to you for further investigation. Never throw away or attempt to repair a product that caused serious injury. In fact, leaving the product in exactly the same condition it was in when the injury occurred is the best way to preserve all of the important evidence that could be attached to it. This product should be preserved and stored safely out of the way until a product liability attorney can direct you further.
- You still have possession of the product’s packaging. While the product’s packaging may not be strictly as important as maintaining possession of the product itself, it can still be extremely helpful. The product’s packaging, accompanying instructions, warning labels, and any other documentation including purchase receipts and invoices can help identify the absence of necessary warnings or instructions, highlight deceptive advertising, and keep a record of how much money was spent on the product to begin with.
- You sought medical care for your injury. It’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible after suffering an injury from a potentially defective or dangerous product. Seeking care not only prioritizes your health but also ensures that an official record exists documenting when and how the injury occurred. Medical records will play another important part in compiling the damages associated with your claim, and will likely be requested for review by a product liability attorney.
To learn more about product liability cases or to file one of your own, reach out to an experienced product liability attorney in your area.