Millions of people are injured or killed by defective products each year. In fact, these types of injuries are the #1 killer of people aged 1 to 36. The total cost to the victims of defective product injuries is estimated to be at least $12 billion every year! Some of these injuries famously make the headlines, especially when they are followed by a multi-million dollar lawsuit. But most are more mundane, affecting only the injured parties and their loved ones. However, if you have been injured by a defective product, you can still get justice without media attention. The secret is to find a personal injury attorney to represent your interests in a product liability lawsuit.
Product Liability Lawsuits
A product liability lawsuit is a civil lawsuit filed against the manufacturer, wholesaler, and/or retailer of a product. In product liability lawsuits, plaintiffs claim that they have been harmed by a defective product, or that the product was not suitable for its advertised use. Many times these types of lawsuits are class action lawsuits, which means that a number of people who have suffered from the same product join together to sue the defendant. The goal of a product liability lawsuit is to prove that the product in question is defective, and recoup compensation for resulting injuries (whether physical or financial) to the plaintiffs. There are three main types of product defects:
- Design defects are defects that exist before a product is manufactured. Some part of the design failed to meet the intent of the product, or created a dangerous situation. For example, if a ladder was designed to use bolts that are inadequate to hold the rated weight of the steps, the designer would be liable for injuries resulting from the design defect.
- Packaging defects are the result of improper instructions provided with a product, or a failure to warn consumers about the inherent dangers of a product. Continuing the ladder example, if the ladder was designed and built to hold a 250 lb person, but the packaging claims it can hold a 300 lb person, the retailer and manufacturer would be liable for injuries to a 275 lb person who was hurt in a ladder collapse.
- Manufacturing defects occur when a product is properly designed for a task, but a flaw in the production process causes the product to become unsafe. This usually happens to a small percentage of the products manufactured. If our ladder was designed and advertised correctly, but during one shift a worker used the wrong bolts to attach the steps, the manufacturer would still be liable for injuries caused by the ladder.
No matter the type of product defect you have suffered, if you believe you have been injured by a defective product, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. A good lawyer can help you deal with the insurance companies, get the care you need, and collect compensation from all sources. Don’t hesitate to reach out – any reputable lawyer will offer a free consultation to determine whether you have a legally viable case.