Manufacturing companies and distributors bear a legal responsibility regarding the quality and safety of the products they release to the public. Any product that is inherently dangerous or defective will result in manufacturer liability, regardless of what caused the defect. The plaintiff does not bear the burden of proving negligence in these cases, but he/she does need evidence that the product had a defect, and that this defect caused the injury. The attorneys at Powers Injury Law want to hear about your defective product injury in Birmingham.
Types of Product Liability
While it is not necessary to prove negligence in a product liability case, learning the basics of these claims can help you determine whether or not you have a valid claim, as well as the strategy your lawyer would likely take in presenting your case. Although any number of things can go wrong with a product to make it dangerous for public use, product liability claims typically involve one of three categories:
- Inherently dangerous design. If a product has a design flaw that makes it dangerous to use even when manufactured and used correctly, it is defective. Even if the manufacturer created the product perfectly according to the designer’s specifications, a dangerously designed product could cause harm to consumers. An example is an infant toy with a dangerously long pull string that poses a strangulation hazard.
- Manufacturing error. This type of defect occurs during a product’s manufacture or creation. In these situations, the product is not dangerous when the manufacturer creates it perfectly. An error occurred that caused a defect and subsequent injuries. Examples include a swing with a missing chain link, a batch of cough syrup tainted with a poisonous substance, or a bicycle missing its brakes.
- Inadequate warning labels. Manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers of known hazards in using or misusing a product, such as “Do not submerge in water” labels on electronic products. Failure to include proper instructions, directions for use, or hazard warnings resulting in injury is a form of product liability.
By understanding the differences between these three main types of liability, you can better identify when you’ve been the victim of a defective product. When in doubt, seek help from Powers Injury Law. We offer free case evaluations so we can listen to the details of your injury and determine whether your case has merit for a product liability lawsuit.
Proving Defective Product Claims
In a defective product case, obtaining compensation hinges on your ability to prove that 1) you suffered an injury, 2) the product in question is defective, 3) the defect caused your injury, and 4) you were using the item as the manufacturer intended at the time of injury. Even if you have proof that a product has a defect, you cannot file a lawsuit unless the defect resulted in compensable damages.
An attorney can help you prove that the product has a defect and that this defect caused your injury. This step can be simple or highly complex depending on the type of product and the circumstances of the incident. It is important to retain an experienced lawyer who can hire experts, collect evidence, and recreate incidents and injuries to help you prove this element.
Finally, you must show that you were using the product as intended at the time of the incident. If a typical consumer would not have used the product the way you were, you likely will not have a claim. The courts will decide what is “reasonable use.” To fully protect your rights in these complex cases, contact Powers Injury Law. We offer free initial consultations to discuss your case in more detail, risk free.