Every day countless American consumers buy products that they assume to be fully functional – that will certainly not cause injury. However, dangerous and defective products do cause harm to many consumers each year.
If you have purchased a product that simply does not function as advertised and it hasn’t caused any actual bodily harm, then you may be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, or be entitled to a refund or exchange. (You would need to check your receipt and the manufacturer’s policies for more details.)
However, if you have sustained an actual injury from a defective product then you may be able to receive compensation via a personal injury claim through the courts.
Types of Product Defects
There are three main types of product defects: design defects, manufacturer defects, and defects in instructions or warnings.
- Design Defects: A bicycle manufacturer’s design includes brake cables that fail to function when used by the rider. In this situation the product does not perform as it was designed to
- Manufacturer Defects: The accelerator on a specific model of car is prone to sticking, due to a defective manufacturing process, creating the possibility of a serious accident and injury. Here the product is faulty because of an error made by the manufacturer
- Defective Instructions: No written warning was provided with a space heater that has a tendency to overheat if left on for more than 12 hours. In this scenario, the manufacturer has failed to provide a clear warning which could result in a serious fire and physical harm
Legal Options for Defective Products
The law provides several legal remedies for the effects of dangerous products, depending on the situation. The two main legal avenues for pursuing a product defect case are negligence and strict liability:
- Negligence: A plaintiff may be able to collect damages from a defendant (i.e. manufacturer or retailer) if the plaintiff can prove that the manufacturer breached a duty owed to the plaintiff and that this breach caused the injury resulting in the plaintiff suffering actual damages. For example, a scooter that wasn’t tested properly by the manufacturer’s staff loses a wheel while in use by the plaintiff. As a result, the plaintiff was seriously injured and should be entitled to a monetary award for the injuries sustained
- Strict Liability: Manufacturers are always “strictly” liable for product defects occurring during the manufacturing process. This means that the manufacturer is legally accountable and the plaintiff does not need to prove negligence (as above) if the defect is a result of a manufacturing error
There may be other legal avenues for you to pursue depending on your case and an experienced attorney will be able to navigate you through all of your legal options.
At the law firm of Charles J. Argento we have skilled and knowledgeable attorneys that will be able to assist you with all of your consumer rights and options if you have suffered damages.
We invite you to contact us today online or by calling (713) 225-5050. We speak both English and Spanish and look forward to helping you with your case.