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Every year in the United States, thousands of men, women, and children are injured or killed because of defective products. These injuries are caused by every type of product, ranging from children's toys to automobiles.
Product liability laws are designed to protect consumers from the negligent or unethical actions of manufacturers and designers who prioritize profits over customer safety. Furthermore, if you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, these laws could ensure your right to collect compensation.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Injured?
If you were hurt in an accident involving a defective or malfunctioning product, talk to a lawyer about your rights. Do not sign any documents, such as authorizations or statements before consulting an attorney, as this could hurt your case. Our Columbus defective product lawyers at Rourke & Blumenthal can help you assess the strength of your case and explain your options to you so that you can choose the best course of action to pursue at this time.
We can help you in cases involving any number of defective products, including:
What Is Considered a Defective Product?
Manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors may be held liable for injuries caused by their products if they are deemed defective under federal law. Defective products may be flawed in either their design, manufacture, or marketing.
The three types of defects are:
- Design defects. Products can have flaws in their original blueprint designs, making them unreasonably dangerous to use from their inception. Design defects are typically found throughout a company’s full line of manufactured products and are not isolated to a single unit.
- Manufacturing defects. Sometimes, errors occur during assembly which are not meant to be a part of the finished product. Defects occurring during manufacturing are often only found in a small percentage of a company’s manufactured goods. Manufacturers may be held liable for any manufacturing defects occurring as a result of poor construction.
- Marketing defects. If a product’s risks cannot be made reasonably safe through its design or with the addition of safety guards, manufacturers must display obvious and thorough warnings of these risks on the product’s packaging. Warnings must be accurate, inform the consumer of the severity of risk in using the product, inform the consumer of potential injuries and effects, and provide information on how the consumer can avoid these hazards.
What Are the Types of Product Liability Lawsuits?
If a plaintiff is injured due to any of the above types of defects, they may have grounds to pursue legal action against those responsible, in pursuit of damages for their losses. Injured parties may seek compensation based on one or more theories under product liability law, including negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty.
The types of product liability lawsuits include:
- Negligence. Defects may occur due to a manufacturer’s carelessness in the design, manufacture, or marketing of their products. To prove negligence, injured parties must be able to show that the defendant had a duty to sell a safe product, the duty was breached, and the breach resulted in your injury. Negligence can occur in many different stages of product development, including failing to maintain machinery used in manufacturing, failing to thoroughly test a product before release, or releasing a product to market despite having knowledge of its potential hazards.
- Strict liability. Product liability cases are most commonly based on the concept of strict liability. In claims of this type, injured parties are only required to prove that a defect in the product exists, and that the defect caused their injuries. Manufacturers may be held strictly liable for any resulting damages even if they exercised extreme care throughout the design or manufacture of their product. Strict liability only applies if the product was purchased in the chain of distribution—not from a secondhand seller.
- Breach of warranty. Goods are sold with two types of warranties that the buyer depends on: Express and implied. An express warranty is any claim or representation made by the manufacturer or retailer about the product and its safety; whereas an implied warranty is a promise that the product will not cause any harm if used as intended. Breach of warranty claims cover any person who would be reasonably permitted or expected to use the product.
If you have been injured and are unsure which type of claim applies to your situation, an attorney from our firm can examine the circumstances surrounding your injury and help you determine the most appropriate legal strategy to pursue.
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Rourke & Blumenthal is a personal injury firm with over 150 years of collective legal experience. We have obtained settlements and verdicts in excess of one million dollars, earning us membership in the highly exclusive Million Dollar Advocates Forum®.
Our experience, ability, and impressive track record set us apart. Talk to a Columbus defective product attorney from Rourke & Blumenthal if you have been injured by a defective product.
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