Most of the items we use on a daily basis are manufactured by a business operating somewhere in the world. Think about it: the vacuum cleaner, water heater, cell phone, the things we take for granted every day. What if the water heater malfunctioned and you were burned or the vacuum cleaner exploded while you were using it. If these accidents were due to a defect in the product, you might be entitled to compensation.
The elements for a products liability claim are relatively simple but can be difficult to prove. Generally, in order to have a successful claim based on a defective product, the product must be faulty in one of three ways: manufacturing, design or marketing. A manufacturing defect is one that occurs during production of the product. A defect in design is one that exists in all of the products. That is, something about the product makes it inherently dangerous. A marketing defect exists when the product is dangerous in some way and a party involved in the manufacturing or sale failed to provide sufficient instructions or warnings to prevent people from being injured. It takes research and often experts to discover a defect and an experienced personal injury attorney should be utilized in this process.
The second element in a products liability case is injury. Someone must have been injured or sustained a loss in order to bring a products liability action. They must also prove that the defect was the cause of the injury. Proving that the defect was the cause of the injury can be difficult in products liability cases and it takes someone knowledgeable in the field to be successful.
In addition, in order to have a valid products liability claim the product must have been being used in the way it was intended used or in a manner that was foreseeable. For example, a person cannot use the clothing iron to flat iron their hair and then claim that they were burned. The clothing iron was not intended to be used this way and this would cause the products liability action to fail.
In the event that a person is injured and they have satisfied all of the other requirements for a products liability action, they have a valid claim. Bear in mind that it is often difficult to determine if all of the elements were met until you consult with a seasoned attorney. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.