I Used a Product as Directed and Was Injured — Do I Have a Valid Claim?

Many people are injured every year using products the way they were designed to be used.  Before you brush this injury off as being “your fault,” you need to know that it may not be!  Consumers purchase many products each year expecting that they have been designed safely. When consumers are injured using the product, it may be because the product was made or designed defectively, or because the company failed to warn consumers about a known dangerous trait of the product.  How do you know when you should hold a company accountable?

What is Product Liability?

Consumers can bring claims of personal injury stemming from product usage under a product liability theory of action. Generally speaking, a product liability action can be filed against manufacturers, distributors, retailers, or sellers. The basic idea is that these entities either breached a duty to the consumer in the way they designed, manufactured, or sold the product, or that the way the product was designed or manufactured was so egregious that the producing or selling entities should be held strictly liable for the resulting harm.

What is Negligent Products Liability?

To bring a negligent product liability claim, you need to show that the manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or seller owed all foreseeable purchasers and users of the product a duty to ensure the product was reasonably safe to use. You also need to show that they breached this duty, and that their breach resulted in actual harm to the injured user. With negligent products liability claims, injured parties can seek what are known as “actual damages,” meaning compensation for harm that occurred to their person or property. Usually, these damages can be sought from manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and sellers.

What is Strict Product Liability?

Injured users of products can bring a strict products liability action under two basic theories: you can argue you were injured because the product itself was defective in its design or manufacture, or you can argue that the manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or seller failed to appropriately warn consumers about the defective or dangerous nature of the product.

Defective manufacturing occurs when a manufacturer fails to manufacture the product in a way that conforms to the product design specifications, while defective designing occurs when the way the product was designed rendered the product harmful. Failure to warn occurs when a foreseeable risk of harm that was not obvious to the ordinary user of a product existed, and could have been mitigated by the company providing instructions or warnings about that risk, but the company did not provide that warning.

In these cases, damages can be sought for personal injury or property damage. As is the case with negligent products liability cases, damages can be sought from manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and sellers.

Injured By a Product?

Do not simply assume your injury is your fault. Companies owe you a duty to ensure their products are safe to use, and you deserve to be compensated for any suffering caused by a defective or dangerous product. Contact Scaffidi & Associates today to discuss your options.

Posted in: Personal Injury Law


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