As a law firm that specializes in product liability cases, we understand the importance of consumer protection and the responsibility of manufacturers and retailers to provide safe and reliable products. In this blog, we will discuss what classifies a product as faulty or defective and what legal action you could take if a product you’ve purchased falls under these categories.
What Is A Defective Product?
A defective product does not meet the expected or intended standard of quality, safety, and reliability. Such products pose a risk to the consumer’s health and safety and can result in injury, illness, or property damage. Products can be defective due to various reasons, including design defects, manufacturing defects, and inadequate warning labels or instructions.
Design defects occur when a product’s design is inherently unsafe or defective, making it dangerous to use, even when manufactured correctly. In other words, the design itself is the problem. A design defect can result in a product that is dangerous to the user, regardless of how carefully the product is used or how well it is made. For instance, a chair with a wobbly leg design that causes it to tip over easily, even though it is correctly assembled, could be classified as a product with a design defect.
Manufacturing defects occur during the manufacturing process, resulting in a product that is different from the intended design. This means that the product may have been designed correctly, but an error or mistake occurred during the production process, resulting in a defective product. For example, a car with a faulty brake system because of the incorrect installation of parts during manufacturing is considered a product with a manufacturing defect.
Inadequate Warning Labels or Instructions
Inadequate warning labels or instructions can make a product defective, even if it is designed and manufactured correctly. Products that require warning labels or instructions include prescription drugs, power tools, and household chemicals. If a manufacturer fails to provide adequate warning labels or instructions to alert users to potential risks associated with using the product, the product may be considered defective. For example, a power tool that does not have a warning label advising users to wear safety goggles when using the tool could be classified as a product with an inadequate warning label.
Can I Sue If A Product Is Defective?
If you have suffered an injury or loss due to a defective product, you may be able to file a product liability claim. To prove this claim, you need to show that you sustained an injury or loss, the product was defective, the defect caused your injury, and you were using the product as intended. However, proving a product defect can be challenging if the product has been modified after purchase or damaged, as in the case of a vehicle with faulty brakes that have been in a serious collision.
Your product liability claim needs to be based on a legal theory of liability, which can vary depending on your state. Some of the legal theories of liability include negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty. Negligence is applicable if a defective product could reasonably cause harm to a consumer, and the defendant breached its duty of care in making or selling the product. In strict liability cases, the defendant will be held liable if its product caused someone injury, regardless of whether the risk was foreseeable. Finally, breach of warranty claims require you to show that the product did not meet the terms of the warranty. Different types of warranties, including express warranties, implied warranty of merchantability, and implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, may apply in these types of cases.
Product Liability Lawsuits
All products are bound to wear out with time and frequent use. However, some products fail to perform correctly even when they are brand new. This puts consumers at a higher risk of injury if the product malfunctions unexpectedly.
In some cases, products are manufactured with pre-existing defects, and companies may still sell them to the public. This can happen unknowingly or intentionally, even when those in charge are fully aware of the issue.
If you have suffered harm or injury from using a household product, you may be eligible for compensation. This is particularly true if the manufacturer did not provide sufficient warning about the potential risks associated with the product.
If a poorly performing product has caused injury to you or a loved one, you can seek legal assistance from a product liability lawyer to pursue a claim. A successful claim can help you pay for the medical treatment you need, including ongoing care like physical therapy. You may also be entitled to compensation for lost wages if your injuries prevented you from working for any period of time.
Contact a Product Liability Lawyer in Dallas, Texas
If you are considering filing a lawsuit, selecting a legal firm with a strong track record of achieving favorable outcomes for clients in similar cases is important. An experienced product liability lawyer in Dallas, such as one of our lawyers at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, can guide you through the process and alleviate some of the stress during this difficult time.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a household product, please do not hesitate to contact our Dallas law office.