What is Products Liability?
Products liability refers to the liability of any parties involved in the manufacturing and distribution of a product that causes damage. This means that the manufacturer of component parts, an assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler and/or the retail store owner could be held liable if the consumer sustains injuries as a result of using a product. Generally, there are three different types of product defects that are subject to liability in manufacturers and suppliers:
- Manufacturing Defect Claims
- With manufacturing defect claims, injured customers are not required to prove negligence, meaning that the manufacturer is legally held responsible for allowing a defective product to enter the marketplace. Thus, if a consumer is injured by a defective product, he or she may seek out legal monetary compensation from the manufacturer.
- Design Defect Claims
- One may also have a claim where the defect that caused injury is inherent in the design of the product. If a consumer uses the product in an intended manner, and is injured by the product, then the consumer may be entitled to compensation from the company responsible for designing the flawed product.
- Failure to Warn Claims
- Manufacturers are required to warn consumers about known dangers, and can be found negligent if the warning is inadequate, the manufacturer failed to warn consumers about all known risks, or if the warning is not adequately brought to the attention of the consumer. If a consumer is injured by a product because the warning label was non-existent or inadequate, the consumer may be entitled to monetary compensation from the manufacturer of the product.
What Kinds of Products are Considered to be Unsafe or Defective?
A wide range of consumer products can be considered to be unsafe or defective, including, but not limited to:
- Cars or SUVs
- Power tools
- Farm equipment
- Household products, especially electrical ones
- Medical devices
- Playground and school equipment
- Baby or toddler products
- Hunting and camping equipment
- Medical devices
- Gas stoves, heaters, fireplaces, and grills
- Industrial equipment and/or machinery
- Trailers and jacks
What should I Do if Iâ€™ve Sustained an Injury as a Result of Using a Product?
Immediately after an individual has sustained an injury as a result of using a consumer product, they should keep the defective product in its current condition. Individuals should also try to locate all documents, including manuals, packaging or instructions that came with the product. Most importantly, individuals should not discuss their injuries with a company representative before discussing their case with a reputable lawyer. This is because a company representative may gather evidence against them, or try to offer individuals a low-ball settlement.
Can anyone File a Product Liability Lawsuit in Arizona?
If the consumer is injured as a direct result of using a product they may have a claim. While individuals may file a claim in the state of Arizona without the use of a lawyer, it is typically not recommended. If an individualâ€™s lawsuit lacks substantial evidence, or is misfiled, the court may dismiss the case at any time.
Why Should I Consult a Lawyer?
Individuals, who have sustained injuries as a result of using a consumer product, should consult a reputable personal injury or products liability lawyer for a number of reasons. First, because individuals most likely are unaware of their legal rights, a lawyer will be able to better inform them. Second, most individuals do not know the merits of their case â€“ a lawyer will be able to advise them on whether or not they indeed have a substantiated claim. Third, because most individuals do not know how to gather evidence or retain the appropriate expert, a lawyer will be able to do this for them. Finally, a lawyer will be able to represent them in court if need be. In most cases, a favorable settlement is reached outside of court.
Many reputable lawyers will not charge for an initial consultation. Â Typically, individuals will only have to pay their lawyer a fee if their claim results in a settlement. When consulting with a lawyer about their case, it is important to know what happened to cause the injury, and what type of product was the cause of the injury.
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