Can You Sue Due to a Product Defect and How Do You Get Started?

Too often, people are injured or killed as a result of a defective product. More often than not, these products are on the market due to either negligence or the manufacturer’s inadequate or incomplete product testing. But, what happens if you or a loved one are injured as a result of these inadequacies? This article will examine how to define a defective product, identify if a product is faulty, and recommend what to do if you or a loved one has been a victim. 

Protecting Yourself

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed due to an unsafe product or due to a product defect, it is vital to speak with a qualified legal professional as soon as possible. An attorney skilled in this area has the knowledge and skills to ensure adequate and fair compensation for the damages suffered. 

In the U.S., the responsibility for recalling unsafe or dangerous products falls under the duties of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to protecting consumers, the CPSC also compiles injury statistics and reports of unsafe products in different categories and is a fantastic resource for product safety information.

What is a Defective Product?

According to lawdictionary.org, a defective product is a commercial good that is not fit for the intended use, is dangerous, or has inadequate instructions. These defects can result from a faulty product design, a fault in the manufacturing of the product, or failure to provide adequate instructions or warnings for product usage.

An example of a defective design would be the SUV rollover incidents from the early 2000s. These incidents resulted in the death of more than 200 people, and hundreds more were injured.

Sometimes, a product or vehicle design is entirely safe, but something in the manufacturing process compromises the product’s safety. Examples of these situations are improperly manufactured plastic or other materials used to make the product or hardware that will not support the product’s intended use. The actual weakness is part of the product design with a design defect, but the issue is entirely unintended with a manufacturing defect. 

Occasionally, the danger of a product stems from faulty warnings or instructions for product usage or assembly. For this reason, most products purchased today, particularly products with sharp edges or containing blades, have a product warning. This warning can usually be found either on the outside of the box or attached to the product itself. 

A Word About Consumer Responsibility

Consumers do bear some responsibility if a product is used after a noted defect or danger has been identified. This includes the intentional removal or disabling of built-in safety devices or guards. In situations like these, the manufacturer can make the case that the alteration rendered the product unsafe, not the product itself. 

Express and Implied Warranty

Express warranty and implied warranty are two important concepts to keep in mind when considering product safety. An express warranty is using a product that is expressly discouraged in the warranty due to safety concerns. An implied warranty is an assurance that the product will be safe for its designated purpose. 

Defective products result in far too many accidents and injuries. If you have been the victim of an unsafe or defective product, contact an attorney to ensure your interests are adequately represented.