What is Product Liability?

May 14, 2024

Product liability has been a significant and popular topic of discussion for quite some time. However, not many people are fully aware of what it actually entails or how to pursue a case if they have been affected by a defective product. 

What is Product Liability?

Product liability refers to the legal responsibility that a manufacturer, designer, distributor, or seller may have when their product injures a consumer. There are three main types of defects that typically lead to product liability claims: manufacturing defects, design defects, and warning defects. 

Manufacturing defects are flaws or errors that occur during the production or assembly of a product. These types of defects can make an otherwise well-designed product unsafe or less functional, potentially leading to injury or damage when the product is used. Some common examples of these defects in consumer products include contaminated ingredients, broken components, or incorrect assembly of the parts. 

Design defects are the flaws that are inherent in the original design of a product that make it unsafe for consumer use, even when the product is manufactured correctly. Unlike manufacturing defects, design defects impact every item produced according to the flawed design. Some common design defects are lack of safety mechanisms, structural integrity issues, and product designs that make a product more hazardous than reasonably expected by an average consumer.

Warning defects occur when a product lacks adequate instructions, warnings, or labels regarding its proper use or the potential risks associated with the product. Even if a product is correctly designed and manufactured, it can still pose dangers if consumers are not properly informed about how to use it safely. Some common warning defects include incomplete product use instructions and failing to warn of a specific hazard that a normal consumer would not be aware of. 

What should you do if you’ve been injured by Product?

If you believe you’ve been injured or harmed due to a defective product the following are some key actions to take.

Retain the product: Keep the product that injured you. Often after an injury occurs the product will be discarded. Other times, the product will be repaired or altered from its original condition when the injury occurred. If either of these two issues happen, then proving a product liability defect can be very difficult if not impossible. 

Take notes on what happened: Record what exactly happened when the injury occurred. Memory gets worse over time, so write down or make some record of what happened shortly after the injury. If you have a serious injury, get help from someone to take notes on what occurred. 

Review the manual: Review the owner’s manual associated with the product. If you don’t have a copy, manuals can often be downloaded online. A quick review of the manual may give an understanding of how the product failed to work properly. It may also reveal some product use instructions that did not give key information on how to safely use the product. 

Check product recall notices: Check if the product was subject to any recalls or safety warnings that you might have missed. If a recall or warning applies to the product in question and it aligns with the circumstances of your injury, it can strengthen your case by demonstrating that the defect was already recognized, and the correct alterations were not made. 

Gather evidence of the injury: Keep a diary related to your injury and gather the medical records and medical billing. If there are x‑rays, MRIs, or CT scans related to an injury, obtain copies of these. In order to have a strong case, it is beneficial to collect documentation such as purchase receipts, photographs of injuries, and pictures of the defective product.

Seek legal counsel from experienced product liability attorneys: Product liability cases can be challenging due to the intricate legal processes involved, as well as the technical aspects of proving a defect. 

Attorney Chris Stevenson is experienced in handling difficult product liability cases, including claims related to airplane defects, gun defects, factory equipment defects, and farm related injuries. Our team at Ball Eggleston aims to make the process of bringing a product liability claim as easy as possible. Trust us to advocate for your rights and navigate the complexities of product liability, so you can focus on your recovery and well-being.