What is Product Liability?
An unfortunate fact of the matter is that in the United States alone, products that are defective or otherwise faulty are the leading cause of thousands of injuries each year. Product liability goes above and beyond a product that didn't work the way it was supposed to - that fault inherent in a product's design directly contributed to pain and suffering on behalf of the consumer. Everything from consumer electronics to cars and more can cause these types of issues, which is why a product liability attorney is so important.
State Laws Regarding Product Liability
Generally speaking, the specific laws governing product liability cases will vary wildly depending on which state you're talking about. One factor is usually always true, however - any one particular product is required to meet the expectations of an average consumer.
This means that if you buy a brand new treadmill, bring it home and install it properly while following the provided directions, it is reasonable to assume that you'll be able to use that treadmill as often as you want to help stay in shape. If you get on that treadmill and the belt breaks while you're on it or you experience an electric shock, it was not in any way reasonable for you to assume ahead of time that this would happen. You're suddenly looking at a product liability issue as a result.
When something officially becomes a product liability case, state laws are put in place to help provide victims like you with legal steps they can take to seek compensation for their injuries, their suffering and more.
Types of Product Liability Issues
There are a number of different types of issues that consumers can experience with products that are important to know moving forward. One is a design defect, which means that the specific component that caused an injury was present in the design of the product from the very beginning.
Another is called a manufacturing defect, which means that while the product was being manufactured or assembled, an issue was introduced that was likely to cause injuries when consumers actually used the product.
The final type is a marketing defect, which means that flaws are introduced into a product based on the way it was marketed. An improper label directing you to do something that you shouldn't, insufficient instructions that don't provide you with the information needed to safely use the product, safety warnings that are ultimately inadequate and more would all be prime examples of marketing defects in action.
When confronted with a product liability case, plaintiffs will oftentimes argue that the consumer significantly altered the product after it left their control and, as a result, the injury in question is not their responsibility. The argument here is that you used the product not only incorrectly, but in a way that the manufacturer could never predict in the first place. This is very difficult to argue against, which is another reason why product liability attorneys are so important.
Product Liability Attorneys
As you would expect, product liability lawsuits are often quite complex in nature. Not only do you have to legally determine that an injury was caused by the product in question and not user error, but you also have to determine WHO was at fault depending on exactly what type of product liability claim you're talking about. If an issue was introduced during the manufacturing stage, the product's designer isn't necessarily responsible for your injury - the company that put the product together would be.
Because of this, product liability cases are often essentially impossible for consumers to handle on their own, especially when you consider how different state laws are. Consulting with an experienced product liability attorney can help not only make sure that your case proceeds in the best way possible, but can also help protect your rights and guarantee all compensation that you are entitled to under the law.