From cars to shampoo, products are a part of our everyday lives. Some are big financial investments, while others cost just a few dollars. No matter the price, you probably have a reasonable understanding of what you’re going to get when you make a purchase.
Unfortunately, there are times when products don’t work the way they’re supposed to. This may lead to injury, health issues, and in the worst cases, the outcome could be fatal. Product liability claims are designed to hold companies accountable and help consumers secure the compensation necessary to pay for the fallout.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to the liability of all parties associated with the manufacturing and/or selling of a product that causes damage. This may include any of the following:
- The manufacturer of component parts
- The product manufacturer
- An assembly manufacturer or installation provider
- The wholesaler
- A retail store selling the product
Further, an unsafe product is defined as a product that causes or may cause damages due to a design or manufacturing defect. It typically does not have a warning message or relevant information with regard to usual usage and preservation. Likewise, it may also have incorrect or unclear information about usage.
Types of Product Liability Claims
If you’re suffering from injuries caused by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. These lawsuits are important because they hold companies accountable. It forces them to ensure products are safe when they hit the market. Before contacting product liability lawyers, it’s important to understand which type of claim you will be filing. What are the 3 types of product liability claims? Read on for a description of each.
The first type of product liability claim takes issue with the initial design of a product. That means the product is inherently dangerous or defective due to the original design. It has nothing to do with a manufacturing mishap, but rather involves issues from the very idea of the product.
Examples of this type of product liability case include:
- Poorly designed vehicles that may tip over due to a sharp turn
- Unstable furniture, such as a table or chest of drawers that can easily topple over
- An electric blanket or space heater that can spontaneously catch on fire
In all of these examples, the initial design of the product leads to an issue, rather than an error in manufacturing. Even if the manufacturing process has gone according to plan, the item is inherently unsafe.
The most common type of product liability deals with issues related to manufacturing the item. That means the original idea and design are completely safe, but something goes wrong while the product is being made. Whether it’s a mishap with factory equipment or the workers within a manufacturing facility, the result may cause injury.
Examples of manufacturing defects in product liability include:
- Incorrectly attached chains on a children’s swing set
- A lotion or skin cream tainted with a poisonous substance
- Improperly manufactured tires that lead to tire blowouts or tread separation
Again, these are issues that happen within the manufacturing facility to create a product that does not meet the original design standards.
Warning or label defect
When it comes to certain products, especially substances like medicine, there may be dangers present that aren’t obvious to the user. In this case, companies are required to provide adequate warning in the form of a label. If this isn’t provided, a product liability case may be viable.
Examples of issues with a warning or label defect include:
- A cough syrup that does not disclose the dangers of using the product in combination with aspirin
- Household cleaners with corrosive properties that don’t include instructions for safe handling and use
- Child booster seats that don’t provide instructions for proper installation
All of these product liability claims arise from a lack of clarity about proper use in the form of a label and/or manual.
Do You Have a Case? Follow These Steps
Winning a case involving product liability is no easy feat. Your success depends on following a few important steps. Here’s what to do if you or someone you love has been injured by a product.
Seek Medical Attention
First and foremost, get medical help immediately. If you believe you have been injured by a product, go to the hospital for an evaluation and prompt care. Be sure to keep a record of every doctor’s visit, including any test results, x-rays, and other diagnostic tools. You should also maintain a record of any prescribed medications, as well as medical bills. These records will be essential if you do move forward with filing a lawsuit.
Report The Incident
Contact the manufacturer of the product and explain that you’ve been injured by one of their products. Provide information about the specific product, when it was purchased, and the nature of your injuries. Don’t provide any extensive details. Likewise, you shouldn’t provide a verbal or written statement until you have spoken with an attorney. Simply report the incident.
Find Expert Help
From there, find a trustworthy lawyer to be in your corner. At your first consultation, be sure to bring everything you have in terms of evidence. This should include photos of the product, medical records, and any other related documents. An experienced product liability lawyer will use the information to determine whether you have a viable case. They can also resume any and all communication with the manufacturer going forward.
Our Approach at Huber Thomas Law
Products should enhance our lives and make daily tasks easier or more enjoyable. We all deserve some level of confidence in these items we spend money on. In the event that a defective product doesn’t work as you expected, you may simply lose a few dollars. However, some cases result in injuries that may impact your health and well-being.
If you’ve been a victim in a situation like this one, it’s important to find a team of product liability lawyers you can trust. At Huber Thomas Law, we take pride in being tireless advocates for our clients. We’re proud to say we’ve secured millions of dollars for people in several high-profile cases, including:
- $1.2 million secured for a child injured by a defective product sold at Wal-Mart
- A $2.3 million settlement before trial for a family after a defective product injured their child
- An undisclosed settlement in a case involving a defective baby seat that collapsed, causing an infant to fall and suffer a traumatic brain injury
Product liability and unsafe product claims require a great deal of time and energy. At Huber Thomas Law, we have the experience necessary to handle every detail for you. This allows our clients to focus on their recovery, rather than the complexities of litigation.
We Want to Represent You
When manufacturing defects, design flaws, or lack of proper warning labels and information lead to injury or harm, compensation may be in order. These cases may involve cars, watercraft, children’s toys or safety seats, industrial machinery, products, tires, and sporting equipment. These cases may even include medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
At Huber Thomas Law, we know how to litigate product liability cases to secure the compensation you deserve. For example, expert witnesses can be an essential part of this type of case. They provide valuable testimony about how the product was dangerously designed or manufactured. Over the past two decades, we’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge through our work with expert witnesses across the country. We have relationships with experts in nearly every field to successfully create a case.
If you believe you have a product liability lawsuit, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. In addition to Louisiana, members of our team have licenses to practice in Mississippi, Texas, Washington, D.C., and New York. We are happy to discuss your case in a safe and confidential manner.