All manufacturers have to ensure every product they produce is safe for consumer use. However, thousands of people still suffer injuries from defective products every year. If you or someone you love sustained injuries or died from a defective product, you could have a claim for damages against the manufacturer. There are three main types of product liability claims, all of which can be very complicated to pursue. That is one reason why it’s crucial to speak with an experienced product defect lawyer.
At Henderson Law, we have over two decades of personal injury experience, including defective product claims. We understand how these cases work and have the skills and financial resources to take your case to trial. We are not afraid to sue these large manufacturers and go up against them in a trial if necessary. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you with product liability claims.
To help you prepare for your initial meeting, here’s a look at the three main types of product liability claims and what you need to know about pursuing a defective product claim in California.
Design Defect Product Liability Claims
The first type of defective product claim you should familiarize yourself with is the design defect claim. This type of claim alleges the product is defective due to its design. In these cases, the defect started with the product’s design rather than being a problem that developed during the manufacturing phase.
Manufacturers can be liable for design defects if the condition makes the product unreasonably dangerous to the consumer or someone within the vicinity. You have the right to expect that a product will function as intended and that the product is reasonably safe when using it as designed. When that fails to happen, the product is likely defective. However, someone who uses the product for a purpose other than intended would have a much more challenging time proving the product has a design defect.
One example of a potential design defect is a baby’s toy that uses tiny parts that could easily cause a baby to choke. The toy should’ve been designed with non-hazardous parts. A vehicle that was poorly designed and rolls over under certain conditions may also have a design defect.
To successfully recover damages for a design defect, you will need to prove several elements:
- When using the product as intended and following the directions, the product is dangerous;
- There are alternative designs that are safer;
- It would not cost the manufacturer too much to change to the safer design;
- The product would still function similarly if they implemented the safer design; and
- You suffered injuries because of the design defect.
Products with design defects will always be dangerous because the defect is an inherent part of the product.
Manufacturing Defect Product Liability Claims
The second type of product liability claim is the manufacturing defect. With this type of claim, the product’s design is fine, and the product should be safe. However, something goes awry during the manufacturing process that renders the product defective. With a manufacturing defect, the product was not put together according to the initial blueprints.
Manufacturing defects are sometimes hard to pinpoint. They can result from either a machine malfunction or human error. These defects can affect a few products or an entire production run. No matter the reason for the defect, the company can still be liable for your injuries.
To prove a manufacturing defect, you must demonstrate the following:
- You were using the product as intended, and it is dangerous;
- If the company manufactured or assembled the product as specified, it would’ve been safe; and
- You sustained injuries due to the defect.
An example of a manufacturing defect is when a worker uses the wrong size bolt to fasten something together. The product’s design specifications called for the correct size, but the worker read the instructions wrong. The mistake caused the product to fall apart when used by a consumer and caused injury. That would be a manufacturing defect since the product isn’t not dangerous if assembled correctly.
Marketing Defect Product Liability Claims
The third category of defective product claims is the marketing defect. Have you ever noticed all the safety warnings and risk notices on some products? Those ensure you know about any potential risks or hazards of buying and using a particular product. When companies don’t disclose potential dangers, it can be a marketing defect.
To establish a marketing defect claim, you must show:
- The company was aware of or should’ve known the potential risks of their product;
- The risks create a substantial danger to consumers even if using the product as intended;
- The risks are not ones that the consumer would likely discover on their own;
- The manufacturer failed to provide adequate safety warnings; and
- You sustained injuries due to the undisclosed risks.
Examples of potential marketing defects include medicines and medical devices that fail to disclose possible side effects or malfunctions. Have you ever read the long list of side effects that a prescription could cause? That list is there to warn consumers of the potential dangers of taking that medication. If you have a severe adverse reaction to a new drug because it negatively interacts with a current one you are taking, and there was no warning regarding the negative interaction, that could support a marketing defect claim.
Does a Product Liability Claim Require Proof of Negligence?
Unlike with other personal injury claims, you don’t need to prove the company was negligent when you bring a product liability claim. Product liability claims fall under what’s known as strict liability. You can recover compensation for your damages by demonstrating that the product was defective and that there’s a sufficient connection between the defect and your injuries.
Contact a California Product Defect Attorney
If you sustained injuries due to a defective product, you need a skilled legal advocate on your side. At Henderson Law, we can protect your rights while building a solid case against the responsible parties. To date, we have recovered more than ten million dollars on behalf of our clients. Let us fight for you and ensure the responsible parties will be accountable, so their defective products injure no one else. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.