Pretty much every consumer has experienced the frustration of having a product break or malfunction soon after purchase, but who’s ultimately responsible?
The most-common result of a defective product is often anger, frustration, and a general feeling of being ripped off by the maker and/or seller of the product. However, as much dissatisfaction as this type of situation can cause, it can be far more serious if the defective product causes harm to the consumer. In this case, it is important to become informed of your rights as a consumer.
There is enough to worry about when making purchases, including ever-increasing price tags, product comparisons, and new makes/models. The safety of the product is one that should not be your concern. This issue is supposed to rest with the manufacturers and distributors of products.
Who’s ultimately responsible?
What’s surprising to many is that liability for injuries caused by a defective product can stretch so far as to include the makers of the parts used in the product, assemblers and manufacturers, suppliers, and even retailers. Basically anyone involved in creating or selling the defective product can be held liable via the “chain of responsibility.”
It is also important to note that there are specific types of faults that makers and distributors can be held accountable for (defective by design, defects in manufacturing, and marketing defects).
Any item that is—by design—inherently unsafe, may be subject to a product liability claim even if there were no manufacturing defects.
Claims regarding “marketing defects” cover all issues related to inadequate instructions or a lack of warnings that lead to someone being injured. If the product was advertised or promoted as being able to perform certain functions, but it proved incapable and consequently caused harm, product liability comes into play.
How Do I Pursue a Claim?
It is a good idea to become familiar with the product liability laws in your specific area; different states have their own set of laws, but they all stem from The Model Product Liability Act. No matter your location, the common thread is that the consumer will be required to prove his/her claims about the product. As long as the buyer can show that damage was caused by the product in question, you may have an actionable case.
Regardless of the amount of vigilance the makers and retailers can show was put into creating the product, the value of your claim will be based on the degree of damage the consumer can prove the product caused.
Product liability cases are intensive and require a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the law. If you’re considering filing a claim or lawsuit over a defective product which caused an injury, it’s imperative that you consult with an experienced product liability lawyer in your area.
As a consumer, you have the right to hold the manufacturer liable for their negligence, but understand that these types of claims often require extensive knowledge of the law and court procedures. If you would like to discuss the facts of your case with an attorney for free, give us a call at 1-877-659-2580.