Defective Products at Home
Here in America, we’re lucky enough to have the widest selection of goods of just about any country on the planet. That can be a mixed blessing though. This kind of access to so many products means that sometimes, defective ones can end up in households. To be fair, now and then, those products were actually made right here in the U.S. Often, though, it’s foreign manufacturers that are to blame. In either case, these products can pose a risk to you and your family, which means you need to understand what to do about having them in your home.
How Defective Product Claims Work
While every state may have slightly different laws regarding defective claims, they all more or less say the same thing. For the most part, to file a lawsuit because of a defective product, you must prove that a product was defective when you bought it (i.e. you didn’t somehow break the item or otherwise modify it) and that this problem resulted in an injury to you or your loved one.
If you can’t prove both of these two points, you have no case. Furthermore, there are three basic types of defect claims you should know about. They are:
- Defectively manufactured products
- Defectively designed products
- Failure to provide sufficient warning
Defective Manufactured Products
This is probably the most obvious type of claim. It covers cases where a product was made with a defect. It left the manufacturer’s plant, but wasn’t able to function correctly. Whatever the defect is, it makes the product different from all the others on the shelf that are supposed to be just like it.
Keep in mind that many manufacturers outsource portions of their process to other companies. Just because the logo on the product says “Acme” doesn’t mean some other company didn’t oversee the defective manufacturing. This may affect your lawsuit, but not the fact that someone needs to be held accountable for your injury.
Defectively Designed Products
Sometimes a product is manufactured according to design and leaves the factory as a flawed and dangerous item, but it’s not necessarily the manufacturer’s fault. Sometimes, it’s the design that is causing the problem.
In this situation, the item that injures someone may look exactly like all the others on the shelf, meaning they all pose a risk. This is when product recalls usually occur.
Failure to Provide Sufficient Warning
The third type of claim is a failure to give sufficient warning about potential risks a product poses. Often it’s just that the product’s instructions are lacking. For example, you may purchase an ATV, but the owner’s guide makes no mention that it is extremely easy to tip when taking turns. Other times, it could be something as simple as a pair of sunglasses that don’t truly guard the wearer from ultraviolet rays. This is information that should’ve been properly conveyed to the consumer.
Hiring an Attorney and Pressing Charges
You can probably guess that going after a company for a defective product isn’t always going to be easy. They’ll definitely have attorneys, which means you should too. However, your case may also be tougher to prove than you think.
Let’s say an ATV was easy to flip and it did so while you were riding it. Was it the defect that caused the flip or were you going faster than was safe? Did you go up an elevation known to flips ATVs?
This helps explain why these types of lawsuits are so often resolved with settlements. Still, you’re entitled to the most damages possible and the only way you’ll get those is with an attorney who has experience.