What Happens if You’re Injured by a Dangerous Product?
Whether it’s a laptop with an overheated battery, a car with airbags that fail to deploy, or prescription medication that leads to serious side effects, consumers are constantly using a variety of products that can and do lead to injuries, harm, and even death.
When someone suffers an injury as the result of using a product, they often wonder if they can sue to recover damages. These types of cases are known as product liability cases. In order to prevail in such a case, consumers usually have to show that the product manufacturer is negligent.
Liability and Negligence
Not every injury you suffer as the result of using a product means that you will be able to recover damages for your injuries. In order to win your case, you will have to be able to show that the product’s manufacturer was negligent in some way. When a product manufacturer releases a product into the marketplace, it must be sure that the product is safe. If the manufacturer makes a mistake and releases a product that poses a danger to the consumer, it can be held liable for any harm caused by the product.
In product liability cases, the person suing the manufacturer, called the plaintiff, typically has to show one of three things:
The manufacturer made a defective product. Many product injury cases arise because a manufacturer doesn’t build a product correctly. For example, a chair missing an important screw or a piece of exercise equipment that isn’t assembled correctly can easily lead to someone getting hurt. In such a situation, the manufacturer is often held liable for those injuries because they manufactured a product with a defect and then sent it into the marketplace.
The manufacturer designed a dangerous product. In some situations, the manufacturer creates a product that is free from manufacturing defects, but the product nevertheless causes substantial harm. For example, a drug company that creates medication can create a flawed product because the drug is dangerous by its nature. Even if the drug company manufactures the drug correctly, safely, and ensures there are no contamination issues, the nature of the drug itself could be such that it causes consumers harm.
The manufacturer failed to include an adequate warning. Many products have inherent dangers but are nevertheless useful and desirable to consumers. For example, over-the-counter medications are easily available to the average consumer even though they are only suitable for certain purposes. A consumer who misuses over-the-counter drugs can easily suffer harm. This is why manufacturers include various warning labels on products that could pose a risk if misused by the consumer. When the manufacturer fails to include such a warning label and a person suffers an injury after using the product, the manufacturer can be held liable for those damages.
Talk To An Experienced Attorney
Product liability cases are often very complicated and require not only an understanding of the law but also federal and state regulations, recent court rulings, the manufacturing and design process, as well as a host of other very technical areas of expertise. If you’ve been injured after using a product you need to speak to a product liability attorney as soon as possible. You may not necessarily be able to recover money for your injuries, but only an experienced attorney will be able to evaluate your case and give you advice about your options.