Defective or dangerous products cause thousands of injuries every year. Whether they are caused by poor design, by defects during the manufacturing product, or by confusing or deceptive labeling that causes them to be used improperly, a defective product could lead to serious injuries and immense liability for anyone involved in the creation, distribution, and sales process. But, in order to actually have a case, you must be able to show the product was directly responsible for your injuries. Here are the four elements that must be present in order to do so.
You Were Injured or Suffered Loss
Just because a product becomes defective and creates a dangerous situation doesn’t automatically mean you can file a lawsuit against them. In order to be eligible for compensation, you must have actually been injured or suffered some form of a loss as a result of a product’s defective manufacturing or harmful design. If you weren’t injured, then you don’t have a case—it’s that simple.
The Product in Question Is Defective
Some products can cause serious injuries just by their very nature. Think of a kitchen knife: a dull knife isn’t effective at cutting things, but can still lead to serious injuries when very sharp. Therefore, a product that was designed to be a certain way, gives adequate warning of the potential dangers involved, and performs its job according to those warnings can’t actually be liable for injuries that may result of normal, proper use.
The Defects Caused Your Injury
You must be able to show that the defect in a product directly led to the injuries you are claiming. Let’s go back to the kitchen knife example. Say you’re using a knife to cut through a particularly stubborn substance (like the bones from your most recent grilled meat dish), and the knife blade snaps in half while cutting, causing the broken blade to fly off and give you a deep gash in your arm. In this instance it’s fairly simple to show that the defect itself caused your injury. However, should the broken knife fail to cut you but a different knife does, then the defect never actually caused your injury, and your product liability claim will likely be denied.
You Were Using the Product as Intended
Finally, sometimes a product will become defective during its use and cause injury, but this will happen because the product was not being used within its guidelines. For example, say you have an automotive jack that’s rated to lift cars up to 4,000 lbs. Using this jack to lift a car that weighs 8,000 lbs. is not only extremely dangerous as it will likely cause the jack to fail, but could negate a product liability case since you used the product in a way that was clearly not intended.
Think you have a product liability case? Consult with an Austin personal injury attorney from The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC today by dialing (512) 271-5112 for a case evaluation.