Product Liability: What You Need to Know

January 4, 2012

If it can be proven that you were injured while using a product that was poorly designed or manufactured or one that failed to warn of a particular danger, you may have a right to be compensated for the harms and losses caused by that product. An experienced trial attorney understands what is required to succeed in product defect litigation and a free consultation with an attorney at O'Mara & Padilla will provide you with a candid opinion of your claim. In the meantime, in order to help educate you on the basic of product defect claims and product liability, consider the following:

What Is Product Liability, Exactly?

Simply put, "product liability" refers to the possibility that everyone involved in the designing, creating, marketing, and selling of a particular product can be held liable if that product turns out to be dangerous. Usually it's only one party involved with the product that's liable, but occasionally everyone involved in the chain of distribution may be held accountable.

What Counts as a Dangerous Product?

If it can be proven that the design of a product was improper and contributed to causing the injury at issue, then whoever designed the product could be liable for placing a dangerous product into the stream of commerce. If a product is designed properly, but then one or more units are manufactured improperly and those manufacturing defects end up causing injury, then the person or entity responsible for the manufacturing defect could be liable. Finally, if the product is properly designed and properly manufactured, but there is a danger associated with using that product and no warning was provided, then the person or entity responsible for failing to warn could also be liable.

What Kind of Products Are Covered under Product Liability?

The answer is just about everything you can buy or use. The bottom line is, if you were using something as it was intended to be used and it caused you to be injured or suffer damages to your property, then you may have a product liability claim and should consult an attorney about your rights to recovery for the harm and losses you incurred.

Is There a Federal Law Concerning Product Liability?

No. It's strictly state-by-state. If you want to know if you have a case according to your state's law, then you should contact a personal injury attorney.

But Aren't Frivolous Product Liability Lawsuits Driving Companies out of Business?

No. First, by definition, a frivolous lawsuit will never cost a company anything as the courts are ordered to throw them out and often force the offending party to reimburse the person or company for any costs they incurred defending themselves. Second, the RAND Corporation found that while product liability lawsuits have increased a great deal in the last ten years, over half of those suits were brought against the same few companies. Product liability claims play an important role in protecting the public from danger. It benefits everyone when a company is compelled to answer for the harms and losses it unnecessarily causes.

If you or someone you love has been harmed by a product, then you don't have to suffer the financial and emotional hardships all on your own; personal injury attorneys may be able to help. At O'Mara and Padilla, we have handled numerous product liability claim, up to and including wrongful death. Call us at (858) 481-5454 or visit our website to learn whether you are in need of a personal injury attorney.

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