Types of Product Defects
Product Liability Lawyer Explains The Three Categories Of Defects
A product defect can be anything that makes an item dangerous for its intended use. Product liability law classifies defects into three general categories depending on the origin of the flaw. A product may be dangerous due to either design, manufacturing or labeling errors, or some combination of the three. While injury victims can typically seek compensation for medical bills and other damages regardless of the type of defect, the liable party may be different, which may affect your product liability lawsuit.
Determining who is responsible for a product defect can be challenging, since dozens of companies may be involved with the production, manufacture and distribution of a single item. However, a product liability lawyer can investigate the harmful product and trace the source of the flaw that caused your personal injuries or oved one’s wrongful death. At McArthur Law Firm, founder Kathy McArthur and her legal team fight for injury victims and have a record of success with product liability claims. In one case, we obtained a verdict of $19.1 million as co-counsel for the victim of a defective product.
What Types of Product Defects May Be Grounds for a Personal Injury Claim?
A defect may occur due to negligence at any point during the production of the item. The possible types of product defects include:
- Design defects. In some cases, the design of a product makes it inherently dangerous for normal use. These types of product defects typically result from inadequate testing or other negligence during the initial planning phase of production. For example, some cars are prone to rollovers due to a narrow base combined with a high center of gravity. This design defect could lead to a serious rollover accident, roof crush injuries and wrongful death.
- Manufacturing defects. Even if the design is sound, errors during the manufacturing process can render a product dangerous. Use of substandard materials, toxic contamination and missing components are all possible manufacturing defects that can cause serious personal injuries. For example, a tire made with low-grade rubber may be prone to blowouts, which could cause a car crash.
- Labeling defects. Finally, companies must include warning labels and instructions with their products. Instructions must be clear and adequately explain the intended use of the item. Warning labels must include any possible risks or dangers of a product. Otherwise, consumers may unintentionally misuse the item, causing preventable injuries. For example, products with small parts must have warnings if there is a choking hazard for young children. This allows parents to take steps to protect their infants and toddlers from injury.
Who is Liable for the Different Types of Product Defects?
In order to file a product liability lawsuit, you and your attorney generally must demonstrate not only that a product defect exists, but that it also directly caused your injury. Depending on the type of defect, you may be able to collect compensation from the negligent party or parties responsible for the flaw. These potentially liable parties may include:
- Product manufacturer. In many cases, the main manufacturing company is at least partially liable for the injuries and damages caused by product defects. For example, if car defects cause a rollover accident, you can likely file a product liability lawsuit against the automaker.
- Parts manufacturer. Sometimes, different companies design and/or manufacture different components of a single product. In these cases, you may be able to collect compensation from these individual companies. For example, airbags are typically made by separate companies than the rest of a vehicle. Therefore, if a defective airbag causes your injuries, you can likely include the airbag manufacturer in your product liability lawsuit.
- Product seller. If the retailer or vendor of an item knows about the dangerous product defects or somehow damages a product, causing a defect, then that party may be liable for the injuries and damages that result. For example, if a mechanic installs defective tires on your car, the result may be a serious crash. If the mechanic knew the defect existed, then he or she may be partially liable.
Defect Cause Your Injuries? Product Liability Lawyer Can Help
Victims may suspect that product defects are to blame for their injuries, but it can be difficult to know for sure where a flaw originated and who is liable. A knowledgeable product liability lawyer from our firm can investigate and find answers. If a design, manufacturing or labeling defect caused or contributed to your injuries, we can help you file a product liability lawsuit to recover compensation for your medical bills and other damages. Large corporations and manufacturers often try to deny or minimize these claims. However, we fight for victims’ rights, all the way to the courtroom, if necessary.