Product Liability Lawsuits: The Basics

As consumers, we put our trust in manufacturing, distribution, and retail companies every day without even thinking about it. We assume the products that we and our children use are safe and will not cause harm. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Every year, thousands of products must be recalled because they have some type of defect or flaw which has the potential to cause harm. Even though companies often issue recalls, this does not prevent people from being injured in accidents involving defective products. If you or your child has been hurt due to a faulty product, read on to learn how a product liability claim could help you recover compensation for injuries.

Who Is Liable for Injuries?

The laws regarding how companies should be held responsible for malfunctioning products are called product liability laws. Depending on the circumstances of a given case, legal responsibility for dangerous products could lie with:

  • The product manufacturer;
  • The manufacturer of product components;
  • The assembler or installer of the product;
  • The distributor;
  • The supplier;
  • The wholesaler; and
  • The store which sold the product.

Proving Negligence

In many product liability cases, rules called “strict liability” apply. If this is the case, the person suing, called the plaintiff, does not have to prove that a product manufacturer was negligent. The defective product speaks for itself.

Someone bringing a product liability case must demonstrate three things. Firstly, they must show that the product which caused the injury was flawed or defective. Secondly, the plaintiff and his or her legal counsel must prove that the product deficiency or malfunction made the product unreasonably hazardous. Thirdly, they must prove that the injury caused damages. Damages can be medical expenses, lost wages, future lost income, and pain and suffering among other things.

Types of Product Liability

Common product defects that can cause injury include:

  • Design defects: Flaws with how the product is designed or planned can cause all the products created according to that plan to be defective;
  • Manufacturing defects: Problems or mistakes made during a product’s manufacture or assembly can give rise to dangerously defective products; and
  • Marketing defects: Sometimes a flaw in the way a product is labeled or marketed causes the consumer injury. Inadequate instructions and insufficient safety warnings are often brought up during product liability cases.

Personal Injury Legal Support in Northern Illinois

If you or your child has been injured due to a defective product, the experienced DuPage County personal injury attorneys at Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered are ready to help. To schedule a free consultation regarding your case, call us at 630-462-1980 today.



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