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Types of Product Liability Claims

Do you know what a product liability claim is and its type? In simple terms, you can file a product liability claim is you suffer an injury caused by a defective consumer item. Every state has some legal rules concerning who is responsible for defective or dangerous products. In a product liability claim, a manufacturer or seller is held liable for producing or selling a defective product and the injured person is entitled to recover damages. The legal rules concerning this type of case are different from ordinary injury law.

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To better understand product liability claims, it’s important to understand the theory of strict liability and the theory of negligence. The difference between these two is regarding the element of negligence. Under strict liability, it’s not necessary to prove that the defendant acted carelessly. It doesn’t matter whether your claim comes under strict liability, negligence, or another theory, to seek the compensation you’ll need to prove that the product was somehow responsible for your injury.

If you have been injured because of a product you used, the responsibility of that injury lies with either the manufacturer or sellers of the product who are in the distribution chain. In a product liability claim, the responsible party can be- the product manufacturer, manufacturer of parts, product installer or assembler, the wholesaler, or the retailer. So the claim may fall into three categories of product liability: (1) defective manufacture; (2) defective design; or (3) marketing defect. To determine whether you have a valid claim and find out how to present your product liability case, it’s important to understand these three claim types.

Manufacturing Defects

The first and most common type is a defectively manufactured product. This is when the defect lies in the manufacturing stage with how a specific item was made. If you believe that the injury-causing product was defectively manufactured, you will need to prove it. The defect might have occurred on the assembly line at the factory. In such a case, the flawed product is different from all of the others in its line. Even if the product was perfectly designed, it is the manufacturer’s fault that the final product was defective.

Design Defects

In the second category of product liability, the design of the item is inherently dangerous or defective. In such cases, an entire line of products is defective because the issue lies in the design itself. The design flaw makes the products unreasonably dangerous. Even if the injury-causing product was precisely manufactured according to the specifications, the final product will still be defective. Here nobody in the manufacturing department is liable. The responsibility of injury lies with the design team that made the blueprint or specifications for the product. To prove that the product has a design defect, you’ll need to hire an expert attorney for establishing a design defect.

Marketing Defect/ Failures to Warn

Sometimes, a consumer gets injured because of a lack of safety instructions. It’s the responsibility of the product manufacturer or seller to provide adequate warnings or instructions about the product’s proper use. The failure to provide appropriate instructions on how to use a product may serious injuries. It also includes failure to warn consumers about its inherent risks of using the product. However, marketing defects obvious risks, such as the risk of using a sharp knife.

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