Different Types Of Defective Product Liability Claims
If you have sustained injuries or suffered any other damages as a result of using a product, you might be able to file a defective product liability claim. If so, you may need assistance from a Corpus Christi personal injury lawyer. There is a broad range of different kinds of defective product cases, but typically the claims fall into one of three major product liability categories:
1. Defective Design
2. Defective Manufacture
3. Failing to provide proper warnings or instructions regarding how to use the product properly
Understanding those categories can help you with determining whether or not you have a valid claim, in addition to the strategy you should use when presenting your case.
In terms of the basic kinds of defective product claims, each state has the same basic laws, which we have detailed below. Remeber that for each of the claims, you are required to show the product was defective as well as that your injury was caused by the defect.
Defectively Manufactured Products
The most obvious kind of product liability claim comes from a defectively manufactured product that causes an injury. There are flaws in a defectively manufactured product due to errors made when making it, like there is a problem at the factory where the product was built. This results in the injury-causing product being different from all of the other same products.
The following are some examples of manufacturing defects:
- A moped that has missing brake pads
- A tainted cough syrup bath that contains poisonous substances
- A swing set that has a cracked chain
In all of these cases, the manufacturing defect must have caused the injury. so if you were riding the moped and misjudged a curve which resulted in your driving off of the road and injuring yourself, while having missing brake pads, you would not have a manufacturing defect claim unless you could demonstrate that having missing brake pads caused your accident – and not any poor steering from you.
Products That Are Defectively Designed
With this type of product liability, the design of the product is inherently defective or dangerous. Defective design claims don’t come from some mishap or error occurring during the manufacturing process, but instead, the claim is that the entire product line is inherently dangerous, whether or not the product that caused the injury was made exactly according to the specifications set by the manufacturer.
Design defect examples include the following:
- An electric blanket lines that when they are turned on high might electrocute the user
- Sunglasses that do not protect the eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays
- A specific model of car that tends to flip over when turning a corner
The defective design must have caused the injury. If you crash into another car by accident while you are driving one of the previously mentioned flip-prone cars, then you would only have a valid design defect claim if it could be shown that you crashed due to the car flipping over as you were turning.
Failing To Provide Adequate Instructions or Warnings
This kind of product liability claim is when adequate instructions or warnings are not given about how to properly use a product. Typically, failure-to-warn claims involve a dangerous product where it isn’t obvious to users or it requires special precautions o be exercised by the user while the product is being used.
Failure-to-warn claim examples include the following:
- A paint-removing corrosive chemical sold that does not come with adequate instructions for safe use and handling
- A cough syrup that doesn’t have a warning on its label that dangerous side effects might be caused if it is taken along with another common drug like aspirin
- An electric tea kettle packed without a sufficient warning regarding the odd position of its steam valve
The injury, once again, must be caused by the failure to properly instruct or warn. If you get burned when using your new tea kettle that was previously mentioned, you would have a valid failure-to-warn claim only if your burn was caused by steam coming out unexpectedly from the strangely positions steam valve on the kettle.
Three Kinds of Product Liability Claims Compared
Claims that involve pharmaceutical drugs offer a useful way to compare the three kinds of product liability claims. If your injury is the result of a specific cough syrup bottle that you purchased having several drops worth of arsenic that fell accidentally into the bottle at the factory where the cough syrup was made, then the basis of your claim would be a manufacturing defect.
However, if that same untampered-with cough syrup brand caused you to have a heart attack based on its regular ingredients, your claim would be a design defect one.
If the cough syrup was made properly and safe for use, but you took it with aspirin and were injured and the label did not warn that this was a dangerous combination, then you would have a failure-to-warn claim.
When you understand the difference, it will allow you to better identify what your specific product liability claim is and you will be able to present your case in court properly. Contact a Corpus Christi personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices Of Jerry J. Trevino.