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Proving Liability In A Defective Product Liability Claim

When people use a product and it results in injury caused to them they might then pursue a product liability claim. According to laws In the United States, product manufacturers, designers, and distributors are legally obligated to ensure that their products in the market do not pose an unreasonable risk of injury or illness to consumers. High profile cases like the McDonald’s hot coffee case Liebeck v. McDonald’s have helped set precedent in this area of law. An individual may get hurt by a variety of defective products. Generally the defective products that have caused illness or injury belong to four main categories which are:

  • Medications
  • Toys
  • Baby products
  • Sports equipment

A consumer can get injured due to a faulty or defective product that they purchased in a number of ways but that does it does not necessarily prove that the product is defective or faulty. In other words being injured is not sufficient to prove liability in a defective product claim. Defects in products may stem from negligence or oversight at during the design, manufacture, or sale of a product.

In order to prove liability in a defective product claim four elements are mandatory, although different states have different requirements. These 4 elements are:

Injuries or Losses

Perhaps the most vital part of proving liability in a product liability claim is proving the injuries you sustained or the losses that you suffered. That is to say that actual injuries occurred. No injury usually means no case.

Proving That The Product Is Defective

The defect of the product that the injured person purchased can be proven in the following ways:

Design Defect: Unreasonably dangerous design of product may pose threat to the user.

Manufacturing Defect: Erroneous manufacturing of product makes it dangerous to use.

Failure to Warn: Manufacturer does not Issue warning of any sort regarding potential dangers of using the item.

Marketing Misrepresentation: Inadequate or erroneous instruction or warnings about using the product.

Injury Was Caused By The Defect

In order to prove the validity of a product liability claim it is necessary to demonstrate that the underlying defect in the product actually caused the injury. Once causality is established the claim gets much stronger.

Adherence To Intended Use of The Product

Proving that you used a product according to its intended usage as is a vital step in proving the validity of a product liability claim.

Once all the 4 elements have been proven, an injured person may be able to recover compensation for the following damages:

Compensatory damages economic and noneconomic. Economic damages including medical expenses, lost income, disability costs, and property damage. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, mental anguish, and emotional distress are examples of noneconomic damages.

Punitive Damages.  Punitive damages may be recovered against manufacturers, designers, or suppliers of a defective product if it can be proven that a flagrant disregard for the safety of users of the product was exhibited.

Pursuing a product liability claim is often a complex and confusing ordeal therefore it is critical to consult with a knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury attorney who can help you to construct a valid claim.

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