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How to Prove a Defective Product Liability Claim

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It is your right as a consumer to buy safe products. You should be able to trust the manufacturers and companies that make these products to ensure your safety. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as many companies cut corners to save some money, putting consumers at risk. Sometimes a company may even intentionally sell products with product defects, like Johnson & Johnson did with their baby powder.

These product defects can cause harm and serious injury. If you were injured or suffered other damages due to a dangerous or defective product, you might have a viable product liability claim. Today, we discuss how to go about proving your personal injury claim.

What Elements Must You Show to Prove a Personal Injury Claim?

Product liability law requires that you prove the following elements to be able to prove your claim:

Product is defective

You will need to prove that the product that caused your injuries and any other damages is defective. This could be due to a manufacturing error, a design defect, or failure to warn the consumer of a potential hazard. You can prove that a product’s design is defective if you can demonstrate that the product poses a danger that the common consumer would not notice. As such, liability will depend on whether the warnings and instructions were detailed enough.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) maintains rules and regulations for product safety labels and warnings. According to ANSI, a warning label should contain the following information:

  • Any existing hazards
  • Information regarding the severity of the risk involved with using the product
  • Effects of the hazard
  • How to avoid the hazard

Product’s defect caused your injury/damages

You cannot just argue that you were injured while using a defective product. You will also need to show that your injury was caused by the defect itself.

You were injured and/or suffered losses

You will need to prove an actual injury occurred after using a product appropriately.

You used the product as it was intended and followed the instructions properly

You must have been using the product the way the manufacturer intended a consumer to use it to prove that you were injured due to a defective product. For example, if you were using a hair straightener to straighten the hair on your child’s doll, you might not have a claim. If another consumer would not use your product in the same way, then it is clearly not safe enough to be used for that purpose.

Types of Product Liability Lawsuits

Generally, there are three different types of product liability cases:

  • Negligence
  • Strict liability
  • Breach of warranty

To prove negligence, you must show that carelessness in the design or manufacture of the product was what caused your injuries/damages. You must also show that the defendant had a duty to sell you a safe product, breached this duty, and were injured by the product defect that the defendant should have known (or knew) about.

In a strict liability case, the injured party is only required to prove that a defect in a product exists and that this defect led to an injury.

A breach of warranty means the manufacturer or retailer breaches the express warranty or implied warranty, which states that the produce, if used as intended, should not cause any harm.

Contact our office online or call us via (916) 778-3228 to schedule a consultation to discuss your product liability case.

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