Considering the large number of products we buy over the course of our lifetime and the small number of products recalled each year, most products we buy do what they claim to do and are safe for consumers. Even though rarely a week goes by that we don’t hear about a major product recall, the likelihood that you’ll be injured by a defective product during your lifetime is relatively small.
When people are injured by a defective product, however, the injury tends to be serious especially when the defective product is a motor vehicle or something that is ingested like food or a drug or something that is implanted into the body like a medical device.
When defective products cause injury and death, the families of the victims often seek legal recourse in the form of a product liability personal injury claim. Though no money can bring the loved one back or return an injured person to their pre-injury health, money does help with the losses suffered by the victim and his or her family.
Expectation of Safety
Consumers buy millions of products every day with the expectation that those products will work correctly and not harm them in any way when used properly.
However, when a defective product does cause an injury, determining who is liable can be a complicated matter. Manufacturers, marketers, retailers, designers, and others who play a role in getting products to consumers may bear some part of the responsibility. Product liability law allows injured consumers to seek compensation from those whose negligence or wrongful actions played a role in the production of a defective product and in getting that product into the unsuspecting hands of the victim.
Three Inherent Defects
In order for you to have a viable product liability claim, our attorneys must prove the product was defective and that the defect caused a serious injury or death. There are three ways a product can be defective:
- Products can be defectively manufactured
- Products can be defectively designed
- Products can lack adequate instructions or warnings
An example of the first type of defect—manufacturing defect—would be a car that has a crack in its frame and leads to a horrible accident. While the car was designed properly, one specific flaw in the manufacture of that car can result in an accident that causes serious personal injury or death. Alternatively, the defect may exacerbate the injuries from a motor vehicle crash.
An example of a defectively designed product would be certain models of SUV that are top heavy and thus prone to “rollover” accidents. Something in the design of the automobile is inherently flawed, and it’s not just one specific car that has a defect. All vehicles made under defectively designed model produced in a certain timeframe have the very same flaw.
An example of a product lacking adequate warnings or instructions would be an over-the-counter medication whose label failed to include a warning about the serious side effects that could occur if it is used in combination with certain other medications.
If you or a loved one has been harmed or killed by a defective product and you live in New York or Florida , please contact the product liability attorneys at McPhillips, Fitzgerald & Cullum, LLP to schedule a no-cost consultation. There are statutes of limitations on all personal injury and product liability claims and those time limits vary in each state, so please don’t delay.