A product can be the cause of a bodily injury when the product is used properly but does not work as the customer expects. In such cases, a bodily injury may result from the product not working as expected.
Examples of this include:
- A portion of the product falling on an individual and causing serious bodily damage;
- Poisoning because of an improper mixture of a product;
- Physical injury because of lack of warning labels on the packaging of the product; or
- Broken bones, lacerations or death because of a failure in moving parts of a product, such as gears, levers, or hydraulic mechanisms.
The physical harm resulting from a product can vary widely, depending on the type of product as well as the circumstances involved. Injuries commonly caused by a product may include:
- Impairment of the functioning of a body part, such as the kidneys or liver;
- Damage to a person’s mental faculties; and/or
The bodily injury can be temporary or permanent. In some cases, fatalities can result as well from the use of the product.
What is a Defective Product?
A defective product is a product that fails to work as it is supposed to work. It refers to any product, whether the product, such as a vehicle, electronics, houseware, or other consumer items. There are three general ways that a product can be defective:
- Defective design;
- Defective warning; and
- Defective manufacturing.
What Do I Need to Prove that a Product is Defective by Design?
A design defect refers to defect present in a product that was manufactured in accordance with a harmful or inherently defective design. In other words, the design was too dangerous for the average customer to use or contained some other defect that should not be present in such a product. A plaintiff suing for a defectively designed product must prove:
- The product has a defective design
- The design was too dangerous to be used
- The creator the product could have reasonably designed the product in a safer way
A common example of a design defect is where a chair is designed in a poor manner, causing it to be unable to support the weight of the user. In such cases, the chair may collapse, leading to a fall accident.
What is a Manufacturing Defect?
A manufacturing defect occurs because of an error in the way the product was made. In such cases, there might not be any defects with the products design; however, an error may occur during the manufacturing process, making the product dangerous.
An example of a manufacturing defect is where a lawnmower is assembled, but an important screw was left out during the assembly process. In such cases, the missing part may lead to an accident such as an explosion or other dangerous occurrence.
What is a Warning Defect?
A warning defect refers to a failure to place adequate warning labels on the product. The lack of a warning label is may lead to injuries which could have been prevented if the warning label was correctly attached. This could include various types of warning defects, including:
- Warning labels that are rendered useless because they are too small or not visible;
- Warning labels that contain incorrect information (this is a common problem with medications, where the dosage or ingredients are incorrect); and/or
- Failure to include any warnings at all.
A common example of a warning label defect is with medications that have incorrect information regarding the risks and side effects of the product. If a consumer proceeds to take the medication because they didn’t have the information, and then gets injured, it may lead to a lawsuit.
Who can be Held Liable for a Product Liability Injury?
Various parties can be held liable for injuries caused by a defective product. These can include:
- Product manufacturers;
- Distributors of the product; and/or
- Retailers and sellers of the product (for instance, if the product is recalled, yet they still knowingly continue to sell the product).
In such cases, the legal remedy will likely be a damages award. The damages may compensate the injured consumer for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering costs, and other losses.
Should I Contact an Attorney about My Bodily Injury?
If you have suffered a bodily injury because of a defective product, it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney. A lawyer that handles personal injury cases can assist you in determining how you can recover money for your bodily injury.