Whenever we buy a product, we expect it to work straight out of the box without any issues. However, there are times when the item we bought does not work, or it’s evident that it has a defect. When this occurs, we can simply return the item to the seller and receive a replacement. But what happens when the defect in the product causes the user a personal injury or damage to their personal property? In this case, according to Consumer Protection Attorney Kansas City, pursuing a product liability claim is highly recommended.
However, filing a product liability claim can be confusing because the product usually has multiple parties involved, such as the brand company, the manufacturer, the supplier, and the retailers. By hiring a consumer protection attorney, they can help you navigate the claim process and assist you in receiving monetary compensation depending on the extent of the damage caused. If any personal injuries were sustained because of the defective product, medical bills can be fully covered by the party responsible.
Filing a Product Liability Claim: Three Common Ways
There are three well-known methods to pursue a product liability claim, all of which are accompanied by the help of a consumer protection attorney. All three categories are grounds where a viable product liability claim can be established.
Defects in Design – A design defect is any characteristic of a product that hinders its usability for the purpose for which it was designed and manufactured. These defects render the product unsafe and potentially dangerous to use.
Defects in Manufacturing – A manufacturing defect occurs during the assembly of the product that results in the deviation from the original design. Mistakes in the manufacturing process make the product unsafe.
A failure to warn – If a product is potentially dangerous or harmful, it should arrive with instructions for safe use or warning labels. When there is no warning or user manual, and someone is injured due to the product, the user can file a “failure to warn” claim.
Determining Who is at Fault
An experienced consumer protection attorney will be able to navigate the litigation process regarding your product liability case and effectively determine which party is at fault. To avoid any potential negligence slipping through the cracks, your attorney will want to pursue all parties involved in the product’s chain of distribution.
Here is a list of the potential parties involved in a product liability case and how they relate to a defective product:
The Manufacturer – The distribution of a product begins with the company that assembles the product; this includes the machinery, the facility, personnel, and any proprietary processes that go into making the product. Human error does occur, and machines can equally fail and not work properly.
The Wholesaler or distributor – In the distribution chain, there are various distributors, wholesalers, and suppliers that all take part in the product’s lifecycle. Since they are all part of the distribution process, they can all be potentially liable when it comes to a defective product when it causes someone injuries.
The Retailer – Retailers can be traditional brick n’ mortar locations or e-commerce stores that sell the products. Even though these retailers are not involved with the manufacturing of the product, it is a source from where the defective product was purchased, and the retailers may still have some responsibility for any injuries or damages caused by the defective product.
As a victim of a defective product, you may also want to pursue companies that marketed the product. Some companies market their products in a glamorous light, often pedestalizing their products to make them seem more than they are. Sometimes marketers tell their customers what they want to hear with promises of a great product experience, but the opposite could happen. For instance, if the product liability claim you are filing with your consumer protection attorney involves a defect in the product’s design, you should pursue any design consultants the brand company worked with to clarify any obscure details.
Injury or Property Loss: A Viable Legal Claim
Generally speaking, in order to sue for a defective product, some form of injury or loss must occur for a product liability claim to be viable. After you have purchased the product and you know it’s likely defective, no matter how unsafe the defect appears to be, filing a product liability claim won’t stand for long unless some kind of personal injury or loss transpired. If a product has a noticeable defect and you were not injured, it can simply be returned to the seller by indicating why you are returning it and either request for a replacement or refund.
Understanding Product Liability
When a consumer receives a product with a defect, it could easily give rise to a product liability lawsuit, which could mean big trouble for the brand company and manufacturer. Many different states explain their product liability laws differently, but generally, a manufacturer or seller of a product is liable if the product contains a defect that is dangerous and if the defect causes some sort of personal injury to the user. The main issue most consumer protection attorneys will try to identify is if the product was unreasonably dangerous and if there was an area in the product’s assembly and design process that contributed to its unsafe nature.
Compensation and Recovering Damages
A defective product has the potential to cause personal injury and property damage, and the party at fault will most likely be the manufacturer in most cases. This is because the manufacturing company produced a product with a defect that poses a danger to the user. It’s also important to remember, even if the manufacturer doesn’t think it has any responsibility for the injuries and damages caused by the product’s defect, it may have. That is why it is highly recommended to consult with a consumer protection attorney to assist you with your product liability case and get the compensation you deserve.