Thousands of injuries each year occur due to defective or dangerous products being released on the market. One of the more recent cases that got a lot of media coverage is the “hover boards” that were catching fire due to a design flaw. These types of injuries fall under the Product Liability Law which sets a different set of rules when it comes to responsibility of defective or dangerous products. These set of laws sometimes make it easier to recover damages.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to a seller or manufacturer being held legally accountable for releasing or selling a defective product to a consumer. The responsibility is held to all sellers of the product from manufacturer, to wholesale, and retail. Any tine a product danger or defect is discovered unexpectedly, the product cannot be said to meet the ordinary expectations of the customer. There is no federal product liability laws, which leaves the law up to the states.
Recovering Against A Manufacturer or Seller
Someone may recover against a manufacturer or seller much easier than for other personal injuries. This is based on a few different theories, Strict Liability, Negligence, and Breach of Warranty.
Usually to hold someone liable for your personal injuries you must show that they were careless. In other words, their negligence and carelessness led to your injury. Due to it being extremely difficult for an individual to show how and when a manufacturer was careless due to it passing through so many hands before reaching the general public. It’s very expensive to prove.
This is where strict liability comes in. It allows a person injured by a defective or unexpectedly dangerous product to hold the manufacturer or seller of the item liable if that manufacturer or seller is in the regular business of selling those types of products.
The Defense to Strict Liability
The primary defense used by sellers and manufacturers in these cases, particularly if you have owned or used the product for some time. Basically if you were aware of the defect, and continued to use it, you may be at fault for any injuries incurred as you continued to use the dangerous product after knowing it’s state.