In the United States, product designers, manufacturers, and distributors have a duty of care to consumers; these entities must design, produce, and sell products that are reasonably safe for consumer use. This is true of all types of products, from cars to cell phones to pharmaceuticals to children’s toys and everything in between. However, dangerous and defective products still make it onto the market all the time—often with disastrous consequences.
If you were injured or your loved one was killed by a defective product, or if you believe a dangerous or defective product played a role in the accident that led to your injuries/the death of your loved one, call Charles W. Miller & Associates. Our Louisville product liability lawyers can help you determine if you have grounds for a claim and, if so, will help you pursue the just settlement or verdict you are owed.
Types of Product Defects
In order to be considered “defective,” a product cannot just be inherently dangerous; a chainsaw, when used correctly, is not necessarily defective. However, if that same chainsaw lacks certain safety features, making it unsafe for typical use, it has a defect.
To that end, there are three primary ways in which a product can be defective:
- Design defects occur when a product is designed in such a way that is inherently unreasonably unsafe when used correctly. Examples include SUVs that tip over easily at relatively low speeds, medical devices that do not actually work as intended, and car tires that “blow out” or shred at highway speeds.
- Manufacturing defects occur when certain products are not properly produced. Unlike design defects, manufacturing defects only affect certain units within a large batch of products. Examples include medications that are contaminated during production or equipment that is manufactured with the wrong types of bolts and screws.
- Labeling defects, also known as “marketing” defects, occur when a product lacks safety warnings, instructions, and/or other labels required for safe consumer use. Examples include children’s toys that are missing choking hazard warnings or power tools that don’t have proper safety instructions.
Bringing a Product Liability Claim
Product liability claims are often very complex. In any case, you will need to show that the liable party—whether it’s a product designer, manufacturer, distributor, or another party—owed you a duty of care and that they did not meet this duty of care. You will also need to show that this led to your injuries/damages.
You may be able to pursue compensation under one of three theories of liability:
- Strict Liability: You do not need to prove negligence, just that the product was defective and made available to consumers
- Negligence: Another party (the product manufacturer, seller, etc.) acted negligently, which caused the product to be defective
- Breach of Warranty: The product’s warranty indicated that the product was safe for certain uses when it was, in fact, not safe for those uses
In pursuing a defective product claim, you must also show that you were using the product properly and as it was intended to be used, without modifications. Additional state laws may also apply. For example, in Kentucky, you may not be able to bring a claim if your injuries occurred more than five years after you purchased the product or more than eight years after the product was manufactured.
It is important that you speak to a qualified product liability lawyer if you believe your injuries were caused by a defective or dangerous product. At Charles W. Miller & Associates, we represent clients in all types of defective product claims, including those involving defective automobiles and automobile parts, like seatbelts, tires, and airbags; defective medical devices and/or dangerous and defective pharmaceutical medications; defective household products, such as appliances and cleaning agents; defective children’s toys and electronics, and much more.
For a free consultation with one of our Louisville product liability attorneys, contact Charles W. Miller & Associates at (502) 890-9954 today.
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