Under product liability law, product manufacturers and retailers have a responsibility to properly design and test their products for safety prior to being brought to market. In the event that a manufacturer should fail to live up to this duty, they may be held financially liable for any and all injuries their products should cause to their customers. But when exactly do injured consumers have grounds to sue? While the specifics will vary from state to state, a valid product liability claim must generally include the following elements:
- You were injured or suffered losses: While a product may have placed you in a dangerous situation or which could have injured you, you will not have grounds to file a product liability claim unless you actually suffered some sort of loss or harm.
- The product is defective: You must be able to prove that the product is indeed defective in some way. Products can be deemed defective due to errors in their manufacturing, poor design, or a manufacturer’s failure to warn consumers of known dangers associated with the product. While manufacturing errors can be relatively easy to prove, evidence of a product’s defective design can be more difficult to come by.
- The defect directly caused your injury: Being injured while using a defective product is not enough for a valid product liability claim – you must prove that your injury was specifically caused by the defect itself. For example, if you were injured in a car accident while driving a car that is known to flip over when turning, but it was also raining and you were speeding, the manufacturer may argue that your injuries were caused by your own negligence, not the vehicle’s design.
- You used the product as it was intended: Finally, you must have been using your product as intended by its manufacturers. For example, if you were using a pair of hedge clippers to trim your beard and end up severely cutting yourself, you would not be able to file a product liability because you were not using the product in a manner that an ordinary consumer would have used it. With that being said, you are not bound by the manufacturer’s recommendations. If it can be reasonably expected that an ordinary consumer would use the product in the same manner as you used it, the manufacturer may be held liable for any injuries you may have sustained as a result of the product’s defective nature.
Injured by a Dangerous Product?
At Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A., our team of aggressive and knowledgeable Toledo product liability attorneys have been relentlessly fighting to protect the rights of injured consumers for more than five decades combined. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at the hands of a negligent product manufacturer, we can ensure your rights are protected and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. Dial (419) 719-5195 to discuss your product liability claim with us today.