When you buy a product, you believe it will perform as expected and not pose any unwanted risks. However, poor or harmful items cause thousands of injuries to Americans each year. In the United States, 11.7 million individuals visited emergency departments due to accidents caused by consumer items in 2021.
Consumers have legal rights when they are injured or killed as a result of a product defect. Product responsibility rules control these circumstances, dictating when and how victims might seek restitution. You can talk to a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer to learn more.
Understanding product liability
Product responsibility, at its most basic, relates to a maker or seller being held accountable for releasing a faulty product into the marketplace. In layman’s words, it is about holding them accountable when a mistake or defect in their product renders it unreasonably unsafe to a user or consumer.
Types of defects in products
Manufacturing flaws and design defects are the two most common forms of problems. Manufacturing faults can occur at any step of production and are caused by worker errors at any point in the process, from conception through distribution.
Design flaws are inherent in how the product was developed and cannot be addressed with simple repairs or changes to current designs.
- Manufacturing defects
A flaw in the production process might result in a harmful or faulty product when it reaches the customer. This might involve utilizing a toxic component, such as lead paint on toys or poorly assembled pieces, which can result in bursting gas tanks or tires.
- Design defects
Because of their design, certain items are inherently harmful. For example, if an automobile lacks seatbelts or airbags, although these elements are required by law, a design flaw renders the vehicle dangerous for use on public roads.
- Marketing defects
These flaws are related to insufficient warning labels or instructions. A product may be safe when used appropriately, but if the maker fails to offer clear and adequate warnings or instructions, they may be held accountable for any accidents.
What you need to prove
A plaintiff in a product liability action would need to show the following:
- That the product was flawed in some way.
- That they made use of the product in the manner intended
- That the product flaw caused them some form of damage
- That they can be reimbursed for the harm they have suffered
In product liability proceedings, plaintiffs are not required to establish that the defendant acted negligently or maliciously. This is due to the use of a legal notion known as “strict liability” in these claims. Plaintiffs can establish their case and succeed under strict liability standards if they merely show that the defect with the goods was the direct source of an unforeseen injury.