Laws which protect us against defective products are called “product liability laws.” They are aimed at encouraging manufacturers to make safer products, and helping people who have been injured by unreasonably dangerous products. As a consumer, you have the right to purchase products which are safe.
2 Types of Liability
In a products liability lawsuit, the main point of discussion is on whether the product is actually defective, and then the next step is to determine who is at fault. There are two main types of liability:
- When a product has a defect in its design or manufacture. A defect is an imperfection or fault which makes using the product as it was intended unsafe. An example of this is when a car is designed in a way that is unsafe, such as in the late 1960s and early 1970s when Ford Pintos exploded after crashes due to poor design. Unfortunately for consumers, defects can happen during any and all stages of a product’s life — poor design, unsafe materials used to build it, untrue advertising, inaccurate labeling, unclear instructions.
- The failure to provide warning about the dangers of the product. For example, if a ladder is designed to hold a maximum of 200 pounds and it has no caution label or written instructions or other warning about the weight limit, and a 300-pound person gets on the ladder and it collapses, then that could be a failure to warn by the manufacturer.
Who is the Defendant in a Product Liability Case?
The defendant in a product liability case is not necessarily one person or company. It may be the:
- designer or developer
- marketer or advertiser
Additionally, if a case goes to trial, an expert witness likely will be required to prove that the product was actually defective. An expert witness may be able to show that there was a defect in the manufacturing process, an error in design, or failure to provide warning about the dangers of the product. This is an area where an experienced products liability lawyer can answer your questions in detail.
If you have been injured by a product that you feel is dangerous, remember these tips:
- Of course, seek medical treatment as quickly as possible. An emergency room physician or your personal doctor can prepare a treatment plan for you.
- Make notes about how the injury occurred. The more information you can give us, the better able we are to help you.
- Keep the product if you believe it has caused an injury. If a lawsuit is brought against a manufacturer or distributor, it is necessary to prove that the product caused the injury. The product is needed to help prove it was dangerous and how it caused the injury. An injury alone does not prove that a product was defective.
- Store the product in a safe place until your claim is resolved. If you do not have anywhere to keep the product, your attorney can probably help you find someplace.
- If you do not have the product, contact Carr & Carr because we may be able to acquire a similar product for you. The sooner you talk with us, the sooner we start to help you. This is especially true if a product was recently recalled.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt by a product that you feel is defective, you should contact the Oklahoma product liability lawyers at Carr & Carr. Although our offices are in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, we represent defective product victims from across the country.