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Can You Sue for a Defective Product?

June 13, 2019 Personal Injury

The Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains a list of recalled defective products. The list contains thousands of consumer products, such as glass bongs, waist trainers, and handbags that can potentially harm or that have harmed consumers. If you’ve been injured by a defective product, you can possibly sue the manufacturer or seller of the item.

To Sue or Not to Sue

When pursuing a defective product lawsuit, it’s advisable to get the help of a personal injury lawyer. Having professional legal guidance will make the lawsuit process easier. An attorney can also help you discover if you actually do have grounds for a lawsuit. Perhaps your injury is minor and doesn’t justify a lawsuit. Or maybe the product was defective, but you used it for reasons other than its intended purpose. But if your injury does justify a lawsuit, your attorney can help you proceed. 

Responsibility to Product Consumers

Retailers and manufacturers are responsible for the products they create or sell. Consumers should always have products that are safe and perform as advertised. In most cases, a consumer can sue if a design flaw, manufacturing flaw, or improper handling instructions result in injury. But there is an exception to this rule that some product manufacturers use to protect themselves. 

Some manufacturers place disclaimers or warning labels on their products. This prevents consumers from suing should they use a defective product. It protects the company from liability in certain situations. For instance, a hair dryer may have a disclaimer that it can cause burns if used improperly. So if you burn yourself with the hair dryer, you can’t sue for your injury. But that disclaimer doesn’t protect the manufacturer against other mishaps, such as if the hair dryer explodes for no reason or gives you a shock. 

You should receive legal advice before deciding whether or not your injury warrants a product claim. You may think the product’s disclaimer means you can’t sue, but it’s possible you could still have a case. Disclaimers and warning labels aren’t always enough to protect a manufacturer from product liability lawsuits. 

Suing a Seller for a Defective Product

Any product sold to consumers must be considered sellable. If a retailer sells a product that is clearly unfit for use or inappropriately packaged, then the retailer is possibly liable for injuries caused by the product. 

Information for Product Liability Claims

You’ll have to provide evidence that the product caused serious harm. If you were only slightly injured, then you’re unlikely to win the case. Your attorney will probably tell you it’s not even worth pursuing. 

You also must prove that the product was defective. Or that it didn’t come with the proper instructions or that there were no warnings included. It’s also necessary to prove that your injury or any damages were specifically caused by the product. Perhaps the hardest thing to prove is that you were definitely using the product for its intended purpose. When explaining the incident, make sure to describe exactly what you were doing when the injury occurred. 

Get Legal Assistance 

Legal assistance is generally a good idea when dealing with a product liability lawsuit. An attorney can save you time and money by advising you on whether or not your claim is valid. Should you decide to proceed with the lawsuit, then legal counsel can help with the case. Also, keep the defective product so you can present it during the lawsuit. It’s also advisable to keep the packaging and warranty if possible. 

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