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What Are the Types of Product Defects?

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What Are the Types of Product Defects?

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Any product may be subject to defects, and depending on the product and its intended use, the consequences could be severe. Common items that experience defects resulting in damage to users include defective auto parts, medical devices, food products, cooking devices, toys, and more. In each situation, it’s important to take a picture of the defective device as well as any injuries or property damage that occurred as a result. Make sure to save any packing or instructional material that accompanied the product, and contact a product liability attorney as soon as possible. Waiting to take action after being injured by a defective product could hurt a victim’s chances of legal recovery.

There are four primary types of product defects.

When trying to identify if a product is defective, and if so, how, it may help to know that there are four primary types of product defects. Manufacturers and companies are required to be aware of these defects and safeguard against them whenever possible. This means that when a product which retains a defect and goes to market, later causing harm to a consumer, the manufacturer or company could be liable for a victim’s damages.

  • Manufacturing Defects: These defects occur due to a flaw in the manufacturing process that prevents a product from working the way it’s designed to. For example, if a part of the manufacturing process causes a piece of a product to overheat and crack, this could result in issues with the product’s stability down the road.
  • Design Defects: These defects occur when a product fails it’s intended purpose due to a problem with the actual design of the product, rather than the manufacturing process. These defects often occur when a company claims that a specific product was designed to perform certain functions, only for consumers to find that the design of the product makes those functions impossible or dangerous.
  • Products Lacking Adequate Warnings: A remarkably common defect in products is the failure to provide adequate and appropriate warnings regarding how to use a product safely. Common examples of product warnings include the writing on top of hot beverage lids warning that a drink is hot. Additionally, if a product requires specific instructions in order to be used safely, it is imperative for a company to include a written warning with purchase of the product.
  • Failure to Account for Foreseeable Misuse: This is one of the greyer areas of product defects. In fact, not everyone considers this a true defect, but it can result in liability for a company regardless. Foreseeable misuse refers to the ability to predict obvious ways a consumer or those in the vicinity of the consumer may use a product improperly. For example, if a household product has moving parts, but the designers fail to foresee that a child, pet, or other predictable household member might be attracted to that movement and insert a finger or paw where they shouldn’t, serious injuries could occur.

How do you know if an injury occurred due to a defect in the product or user error?

When trying to figure out if an injury or damages occurred as a result of a truly defective product or user error, it may help to refer back to the types of product defects. Some defects are easy to identify, while others might be more subtle. Common sense plays a big part in evaluating whether an injury occurred due to user error or a true defect. for example, if an inherently dangerous product such as a saw or chopping tool causes an injury, there is a possibility that the user failed to behave with a reasonable attention to safety, or failed to follow safety instructions which accompanied the product. However, if an inherently dangerous product failed to be accompanied by proper safety instructions or other safeguards to prevent unnecessary, predictable injuries, this could be a case of product liability. Finally, when an injury or damages occur to a consumer by a product which should pose no danger at all, this is a strong indicator that a defect exists with the product. If you or a loved one were injured by a defective product, or to learn more about what constitutes a product defect, contact a product liability attorney to discuss your situation.

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