When purchasing a product, a consumer has every right to believe the item will perform safely and correctly when used per the manufacturer's instructions. Unfortunately, thousands of people every year find themselves a victim of a defective product. If you have been injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation by filing a product liability claim. The goal of these claims is to find what party in the supply chain is held responsible for the defect in the product before it reaches the customer for use. Defective product liability suits are put into three separate categories to help determine who is at fault.
Types of Defective Products
These types of defects result from an error in the original design of the product. In this case, even if the product was used as intended, it will still cause injury or damage to its user. Typically, the entire line of the products would then be deemed unsafe resulting in a recall. If there is a possibility for any potential danger in a products design, warning labels should be included explaining these risks. Lack of a warning label can also lead to a product liability lawsuit.
A manufacturing defect occurs during the assembly of the product. In this case, you would have to have been using the product according to the manufacturer's instructions, but a faulty component of the intended design is what caused injury. An example of this defect would be the brakes of your car being installed incorrectly at the factory. Here, it would only be one or a few products possessing the defect and unlikely the whole product line since it wasn’t an error in the initial design.
Finally, a marketing defect is when the product is marketed falsely, has inadequate warning labels, or instructions. The product must be deemed dangerous when used without a consumer being properly informed of the potential dangers associated. A popular example would be a medication not letting consumers know of a particular side effect. If you don’t know that a medication would make you drowsy, so you get behind the wheel of a car and cause an accident, that would be a marketing defect for the medication and you could receive compensation.
Establishing Your Claim
Now possessing the information needed to discover if you qualify for a defective products case, you can now learn about the process of establishing a claim. In Alabama, under the Alabama extended manufacturer’s liability doctrine (AEMLD), “you must prove that that the product reached the user without substantial alteration, and that you suffered injury or property damage due to a product's defective condition which made the product unreasonably dangerous”. A common claim used in a defective products case is strict liability.
Strict liability is a popular claim in a defective products case because it requires the least amount of proof from a consumer than other legal claims. In this case, a consumer doesn’t have to show that they personally had any fault or negligence in causing the product to perform incorrectly. They just have to demonstrate that the defect in the product is what resulted in injury. Whoever is deemed at fault must have been able to anticipate that there was a potential for injury to the consumer when using the product. The anticipated use of the product should also be known to the manufacturer as well.
Other theories of liability that can be brought about when strict liability can not be established are negligence or a breach of warranty. When proving negligence, you must demonstrate that the at-fault party was careless in the creation, design, or marketing of the product. A breach of warranty occurs when the expressed or implied warranty that covers the product is broken.
It is the responsibility of every party in the supply chain to ensure that a product is safe and properly labeled with warnings before it reaches the hands of a consumer. If this process has failed you, and you have been injured due to a defective product, you may be entitled for compensation. Here at Barfoot & Schoettker, we are committed to bringing you justice and getting you the maximum amount of compensation. By choosing to partner with a lawyer for your case, we will save you time and provide expertise to guarantee you are establishing the correct claim to the party at-fault. Contact us today to get started by visiting our website form or giving us a call at (334) 834-3444.