Defective consumer products cause thousands of major injuries each year. Companies have a duty to make sure that the products they make are safe. Just about every consumer item – cars, automotive products, toys, medical devices, pharmaceutical products, appliances, tools – is subject to state and/or federal products liability law.
There are three major types of product defects, though there are varying standards for defectiveness depending on the product as well as the jurisdiction. These three general categories are:
- Manufacturing/production defects: products that were manufactured improperly or not up to standard, despite being designed with all due care.
- Design defects: products that were designed in such a way that they contain/present a foreseeable risk of harm, which could have been eliminated or minimized by using a different design.
- Defective warnings/instructions: products that are defective because a foreseeable risk of harm is created through a lack of adequate warnings or instructions.
If you have been injured by a defective product, keep the product. Do not throw it away or send it back to the manufacturer. The product will have to be tested and analyzed to prove it was defective and without the product itself, it is very difficult to bring a claim. Varying statutes of limitations apply to different product liability actions.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury by a defective product, it may be possible to get compensation for the resulting medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is important that you act as quickly as possible following the injury to insure that adequate investigation occurs and that preservation of the evidence is secured.