If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you may be able to file a claim and obtain compensation for your damages. Contacting an experienced product liability attorney in Harrisburg, PA can ensure you have help understanding and navigating the process and maximizing your settlement.
Injured by a Defective Product? Preserve your Evidence!
The most important thing you can do if you have been injured by a defective product is to preserve the evidence.
- Preserve the defective product in its current condition.
- Take photographs or video of the product.
- Do not throw away or alter the product in any way.
- Keep receipts or proof of purchase of the product
- Save any packaging or information that came with the product.
What is Strict Liability?
Under the theory of strict liability, the plaintiff must only prove that the injury occurred due to a defective product. The defect can be a manufacturing defect, a design defect, or a failure to warn. If the defect is proven to exist, the manufacturer may be held strictly liable for all damages that resulted from the defective product.
A manufacturing defect is a claim that something went wrong in the manufacturing process and is usually specific to the effective product at issue.
The claim requires proof that the product was defective, that the defect existed when it left the hands of the defendant, and that the defect cause the harm. This can be proven by direct evidence of a breakdown in the product or a component part or by circumstantial evidence of a malfunction. The manufacturer can be held strictly liable for any harm that is a result of manufacturing error.
A design defect is proven when the product was sold in an unreasonably dangerous condition and causes harm to a person. Under this theory, a plaintiff can prove that a product is defective either by showing that either:
- The danger was unknowable and unacceptable to the ordinary consumer; or
- That the probability and risk of serious harm caused by the product outweighed the cost or burden of taking precautions to prevent the harm.
In some cases, this may involve showing that there was a safer alternative design available that could have increased the safety of the product.
Failure to Warn
A failure to warn claim is based upon the manufacturer’s failure to adequately warn consumers of the potential risks associated with use of their product.
A plaintiff in a failure to warn claim must prove that the product was sold in a defective condition that was unreasonably dangerous to the user and the defect caused the injury. The defect in this type of case is the lack of an adequate warning.
Examples of Common Defective Products:
- Household appliances
- Car seats
- Medical devices
- Household cleaners & chemicals
- Children’s toys & products
- Electronic devices and batteries
- Contaminated food
Alternative Claims In a Product Liability Lawsuit
In addition to strict liability claims, other claims may be brought to recover for damages caused by a defective product.
- Breach of Warranty: A breach of warranty claim can be brought for a violation of both express and implied warranties associated with the product. An express warranty is a written promise from the manufacturer or retailer about the safety, durability, or use of the product. An implied warranty is the implied promise from the manufacturer or seller that the product is safe for its intended purpose or use.
- Negligence: In a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove that the injuries sustained were caused by an error in the design or manufacturing of the product itself that the manufacturer or sell knew or should have known about. It must also be shown by the injured consumer that the defendant(s) had an obligation to sell a product that was safe, that they breached this duty, and that the product caused harm to the consumer or user.
Parties in a Product Liability Claim
Depending on the type of product and the theory of recovery, it is possible that multiple defendants are named in a lawsuit and ultimately held liable for the damages resulting from a defective product.
These parties could include the manufacturer, wholesaler and retail store that were all involved in the product’s chain of distribution. It is important to include every party that could have been involved at the beginning of the lawsuit.
Types of Damages Recovered in a Product Liability Claim
If you pursue a product liability lawsuit and win, you may be awarded damages including out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, future lost wages or loss of earning capacity, and future medical expenses, mental anguish.
Product liability lawsuits can be complex and difficult to navigate. It is important to hire an experienced product liability attorney in Harrisburg, PA to assist with gathering all necessary details to ensure that you can maximize the compensation due to you for the damages you sustained from a defective product.
If you have been injured by a defective product, contact Compass Personal Injury today!