Types of Defective Products
We have all been there… you use a new product or are excited about a new vehicle, but something goes horribly wrong. Maybe it is a defective part that requires a national recall or maybe you are not so lucky, and you end up getting hurt from the defective product. When this happens to you, know that Injury Law Rights will be there with our defective product lawyers to ensure you get the settlement you deserve.
What Causes a Product to be Considered Defective?
If an individual is hurt due to a defective product, the defective product can generally be linked back to one of these three areas:
- Manufacturing defects
- Design defects
- Marketing defects
Manufacturing defects are generally caused due to an error during the assembly process, be it the actual manufacturing of the parts or the assembly process itself. Generally speaking, this happens in a minimal number of products. Even so, the manufacturer of the product is responsible, regardless of how much care and oversight were in place during the manufacturing process.
This type of defect is related to an actual design flaw in the product that results in the entire product line being unreasonably dangerous and/or that creates a potential hazard for anyone using the product. To determine if there was/is a design defect, three questions must be asked:
- Was the design of the product unreasonably dangerous before taking the product to production?
- Could the flaw have been anticipated to possibly cause harm to the user?
- Could the manufacture of the product have used a different design that would have been economically feasible as well as not altering the purpose of the product?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” the individual injured may have a case and should contact one of our defective product lawyers immediately.
In terms of marketing, if a product does not have proper warning labels where possible injury could be the result of using a product, the manufacture can still be held liable. This liability can also include various parties throughout the distribution chain if warnings and/or instructions were not included with the product to warn users of potential hazards.
The rules and regulations enforcement of warning labels falls under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In 2002, the NSI did a massive overhaul of standards to make warning labels more prominent and easier to read, give a more detailed explanation of the dangers, as well as illustrations of safety risks with pictures.
The ANSI mandates four components to a warning label. The label must inform the consumer of:
- Existing hazards
- Severity of the risk involved with a particular product
- Effects of the hazard
- How to avoid the hazard
In addition to those components, a color code is to be used to signify the danger level of the hazard. These colors are:
- DANGER (red) – impending hazardous event that will cause serious injury or death
- WARNING (orange) – potential hazardous circumstance could care serious injury or death
- CAUTION (yellow) – potentially hazardous condition could cause moderate or slight injury
These warnings must be used along with a description of the hazard. The warning is to be placed on a square, white background so it can easily be seen. The description of the warning/hazard is to be broken out into two separate panels, including a warning graphic, such as a color-coded circle with a slash through it.
If the case is going to focus on the warning label, or lack thereof, these questions will help determine the level of liability:
- Was it more likely that the use of the product was going to result in an injury?
- Was the product being used properly in the manner which the manufacture intended?
- How serious was the injury or harm to the user?
- What level of knowledge could the manufacture assume the user had?
- Did the label rely heavily on the knowledge of the user?
- Was the warning label clear and easy to understand?
Type of Defective Product or Product Liability Lawsuits
Generally speaking, there are three different categories where defective product lawsuits will fall:
- Negligence – plaintiff must show a “breach of duty” on the part of the defendant
- Strict liability – plaintiff only needs to show a defect in the product exists and that the injury was caused by that defect
- Breach of Warranty – consumers rely on expressed and implied warranties when purchasing a product. This covers any individual that could reasonably use the product.
- Express Warranty – a representation of the product and its level of safety made by the manufacturer or retailer
- Implied Warranty – an implied promise that if the product is used as intended by the manufacturer, it will not cause any harm
Who Can Be Held Liable?
The liable party will depend on the case, but it is generally one or more of the following three parties:
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Defective Product Lawsuit:
If you have been injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional damages
- Medical costs (past, present, and future as they relate to the injury from the defective product)
Have you recently been injured by a defective product? The clock starts ticking from the moment the injury occurred, so you are going to want to speak to one of our defective product lawyers as soon as possible. To discuss your case, please call us at 855.633.0888. There is no fee for your consultation, and you are under no obligation to use our legal services for contacting us. If you would like to learn more about our legal services before contacting us, please click here.