Manufacturers, distributors and retailers are obligated to provide consumers with products that are reasonably safe when used in a reasonable manner.
Product liability claims are usually based on negligence or strict liability. Strict liability is when the product is shown as defective regardless of the degree of carefulness exercised by the consumer. There are three types of defects that can cause liability in the manufacturer and supplier.
- Design Defects
- Manufacturing Defects
- Marketing Defects
The manufacturer is subjected to two duties — to design and manufacture products that are reasonably safe and to warn consumers of any risks they may incur when using the product.
Design defects exist even before the product is made. They occur when foreseeable risks of harm could have been reduced or eliminated by using another design, and failure to use this alternative design, allows the product to be unsafe. The product may serve its use well, but due to a design flaw may be dangerous to use.
Manufacturing defects occur during the making of the product – the construction and production phase. In this case, usually a few products out of the many of the same type are defective because of some error in the manufacturing process.
Manufacturers are also obligated to market their product responsibly. This means that, although a product may be safe if used for a specific purpose, it could be hazardous if used under different circumstances. In that case, the product must include clear, visible and concise warnings outlining the danger and its consequence. The failure to provide a reasonable warning can cause the product to be defective.
The most common claim against a manufacturer is usually referred to as a “strict liability” claim. If you file a strict liability claim against a manufacturer, you may not have to prove that the manufacturer was “negligent” (necessary in most other injury claims) but you may have to establish the following:
- The product was defective.
- The defect existed prior to the manufacturer releasing the product.
- The defect caused your damages.
Besides the manufacturer, the distributor and seller of the product may also be liable.
If you have been injured due to a defective product, make sure you do the following:
- Keep the product and anything related to it, such as packaging, instructions, receipts, etc.
- Take photographs of the product and the accident scene.
- Verify that you were using the defective product in accordance with the manufacturer’s written instructions.
- Gather the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to be contacted by your attorney at a later date.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Contact CALIFORNIA LAWYERS GROUP immediately.