According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are laws in place to keep people safe from defective products. The purpose of these laws is to protect consumers and to hold liable parties responsible for any resulting losses, such as health-care expenses. If you suffer an injury due to a product defect, then a personal-injury lawyer can guide you through the claims process.
Product liability cases are often difficult to win. An Albuquerque injury attorney can evaluate your situation to determine if you may have valid grounds for a lawsuit. Call the Law Office of Brian K. Branch at 505-764-9710 to get started.
Until then, here are three types of product liability claims in New Mexico:
- Manufacturing Defect
Many product liability cases stem from defects that develop during the manufacturing process. Factory errors, whether technological or human, can create a flawed product.
Proving a manufacturing error can be an uphill battle because your attorney must show how the defect caused a specific injury. Common examples of manufacturing defects include:
- Bicycles without brake pads;
- Cracked chains on children’s swing sets;
- Kettles with hairline cracks;
- And prescription medicines containing incorrect substances, such as poison.
To win the claim of a manufacturing defect, you must demonstrate conclusively that the defective product injured you directly. For example, if non-functioning brake pads cause you to crash your new bicycle, then you must show that the brake pads are to blame and not your steering skills.
- Design Defect
Problems within the design of a product may cause defective items to enter the marketplace. To win these cases, an attorney must provide evidence that the design itself was inherently dangerous or defective.
In the majority of these cases, the entire product line is a danger to the public. This is because the actual design is the problem. Here are some examples of a design defect:
- Cars that stall suddenly at high speeds;
- Lack of UV protection in sunglasses;
- And electric blankets with a tendency to electrocute at high settings.
As with a manufacturing defect, you have to prove a design flaw is responsible for your injuries. This is not always easy to achieve. For example, if your car stalls in third gear and causes another car to rear-end you, then you have to demonstrate clearly how the car’s stalling caused the other driver to crash into you, and that the accident was not because the other driver was speeding or negligent.
- Lack of Sufficient Warning or Instruction
Companies are responsible for instructing consumers on how to use their products, often with an operating manual. The law mandates that companies warn consumers of possible dangers.
These claims typically stem from products that either do not appear dangerous or require caution during use. Such products require obviously visible labels that warn consumers of the danger. Some examples of a “failure to warn” include:
- Lack of warning about possible burn dangers near a pressure cooker’s steam valve;
- Medicines that do not warn of possible side effects when taken in conjunction with other medicines;
- And dangerous chemicals that lack sufficient instruction for storage, handling or use.
As with design or manufacturing defects, you must provide sufficient evidence to prove that your injuries are the direct results of inadequate warning or instruction. If a chemical that you bought suddenly explodes, for example, then you must show the court that the company failed to provide enough warning of possible explosions, or it did not provide you with proper storage instructions.
To learn more about product liability, contact a personal-injury lawyer for a case evaluation. Call the Law Office of Brian K. Branch at 505-764-9710 today.