Defective products can result in serious injuries, disfigurement and even death. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration explains the categories of product recalls, which range from harmless to life endangering. Although product recalls can help save lives, they come too late for many victims.
If a defective product has injured you or a loved one, then a personal-injury attorney in Albuquerque may be able to help. Call the Law Office of Brian K. Branch at 505-764-9710 to discuss your case.
In the meantime, read on to learn four elements that you must prove to file a successful lawsuit for product liability:
- Provide evidence of an actual injury or loss.
You must demonstrate that using a defective product caused an actual injury or loss. For example, you can acquire third-degree burns from using a kettle that explodes, but if you jumped out of the way and did not suffer an injury, then you do not have a case.
- Prove that the product was defective.
One of the biggest challenges in these cases is proving that the product was defective in the first place. A tiny crack in your new kettle could be a manufacturing mistake, but if the kettle explodes, then it may be difficult to tie the crack to the incident. Alternatively, it is unlikely that you can argue unreasonable danger if a knife cuts you, for example, because a reasonable person should know the risk that comes with using sharp blades.
You must provide evidence that the design flaw caused your injury and that the incident could have happened to any reasonable person. You can also argue insufficient warning of danger if the product did not contain warning labels positioned where consumers would expect to find them.
- Show how the defect caused your loss or injury.
You have to show conclusively that the actual defect was responsible for injuring you. Often, it is difficult to establish this link. For example, if you purchase defective tires and then proceed to go drag racing, then any injuries that result may be difficult to link to the defect.
- Demonstrate that you were not using the product for unintended purposes.
When the incident occurred, it is imperative that you were using the product for its intended use, according to the instructions of the manufacturer. To continue the kettle example, you cannot claim damages if you were filling your bath with your new faulty kettle because the manufacturer never designed the product for use in that way.
However, manufacturers still have to comply with standard safety protocols. This means that all products must be safe for any reason the average consumer would think to use it. You may still have a claim for product liability if you used the product in the same way that ordinary consumers would. An example would be using the kitchen scissors to prune roses.
If you have suffered an injury due to a product defect, then you may be entitled to compensation to pay for lost wages, health-care bills and other damages. If you would like to discuss your potential case with a personal-injury attorney, call the Law Office of Brian K. Branch at 505-764-9710.