Many people have a certain kind of product that they need to use and continue with the same brand. Others might change up every now and then to get a different feeling from their products. Whether you are type 1, 2, or another kind of person, using any product can sometimes have unforeseen side effects.
But before you go on nyaccidentlawyer.com and hire a lawyer, it might be useful to learn more about product liability.
- 1 What Is Product Liability?
- 2 The Difference in State Laws
- 3 3 Types of Product Liability Cases
- 4 3 Categories for Product Liability Defects
- 5 Who can Be Held Responsible?
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to any seller, marketer, manufacturer, and another party that is being held liable for placing a flawed product in the hands of the public. Anyone in the distribution line can be held responsible for the injuries or death caused by their defective product.
Every item sold in the United States needs to meet all the standards set out by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
But even though this federal agency defines the product safety guidelines and has the right to recall defective products, they don’t have any laws surrounding injuries or death resulting from such items. Instead, product liability is controlled by each state, and the laws slightly vary in each region.
The Difference in State Laws
Now that you understand that a product liability case is defined by a state, you need to know about the laws that vary. But do remember, most of the rules are more or less similar.
Here are the laws that vary:
Award limits are the end result of a case. Some states have a limit on compensatory and damage awards for product liability cases. The former is for injury compensation, will the latter stands for punishing the guilty party.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations states the deadline to file your product liability case.
Allocation of Fault
In some product liability cases, the consumer is also at fault for their injuries. In this case, the court will decide whether to throw out your claim or reduce the compensation.
Some states don’t let you file a claim against the seller who sold you the defective product.
Joint and Several Liability
Sometimes, there is more than one party to blame for your injuries. In case that happens, the state will get to deice whether you can take legal action against only one of them or all. If it’s only one, the defendant can get money from the other parties at fault.
3 Types of Product Liability Cases
Unlike most other personal injury cases, you need to meet any of the three set requirements to prove that a particular party caused your injuries.
Negligence claims are the most common in all the personal injury or accident cases, and it’s often the hardest to prove.
In general, negligence is when a party acts carelessly, and their actions lead to injuries or harm. But to prove negligence, you will need to show these four elements:
You need to prove that the defendant had a legal obligation to you.
The party you are filing against breached their legal duty.
You or a family member were harmed by the defendant’s actions.
The product definitely caused the damages or injuries.
Since proving negligence can be very expensive, and often impossible, in product liability cases, your state may allow you to take the strict liability route.
Strict liability allows you to go after a party without having to show that they were not careful or were reckless. You could be fully compensated for all the damages, even if the other party was careful with the product.
All your lawyer needs to do is prove that the product was defective and that the damages or injuries were caused by it. Under strict liability, anyone injured because of the product, whether they were the buyer or someone else, can sue the responsible party.
Breach of Warranty
When you buy a product, you might’ve been given an absolute guarantee by the seller, manufacturer, marketer, or anyone else involved in its distribution. They might have said that it has a particular level of quality or reliability. Many people speak highly of all the things their products can be used for or can do.
But if the product fails to meet the standards, then you might have grounds to hold the responsible parties accountable. Also, you can take legal action if you did something that it was supposed to easily do, but it resulted in injuries instead.
3 Categories for Product Liability Defects
There are generally three categories where a distribution party for your product can be held liable for all the injuries or damages caused by their products.
These are the defects or mistakes in the design of the product. Since every item needs to be very carefully designed to make sure it does what it’s supposed to, this category is very common.
Even if the designers did their job perfectly well, the manufacturing or assembly team could sometimes make a few mistakes. They can be responsible if the product is not manufactured correctly.
The marketing defects happen when the manufacturer or distributor doesn’t tell the full story. They don’t explain the potential risks, how to use, or conveys incorrect information.
By looking at your situation, your lawyer is the most suited person to decide which route you should take.
Who can Be Held Responsible?
In any ordinary case, there are only one or two parties that can be held responsible for your injuries and damages. But in product liability, your lawyer will have to determine which of the following parties you should go after:
- The manufacturer of the materials used to make the product
- The party that designed the product
- The manufacturer of the product
- The wholesaler
- The retailer that sold you the product