Product liability refers to the legal responsibility of manufacturers, distributors, and sellers to ensure no one sustains harm caused by their products. Consumer items should be safely designed and manufactured, and people who use those items should be able to do so without suffering injuries, provided they use the object correctly and for its intended purposes. If a product does cause someone harm, the injured party may have legal grounds to file a defective product claim to seek compensation for their injuries. But who is at fault in a defective product claim?
The Type of Defect Determines Who May Be at Fault
In product liability law, there are three main types of defects that may lead to a defective product claim: design defects, manufacturing defects, and warning defects.
Design defects occur when the product’s design is inherently dangerous, even when manufactured properly. In this case, the manufacturer is responsible for the defect because they could have designed the product to be safer.
Manufacturing defects, on the other hand, occur when a product is defectively made, meaning it is different from the design. In this case, the manufacturer is responsible for the defect because they failed to ensure that the product was made according to the design.
Finally, warning defects occur when a product does not include sufficient warnings or instructions for safe use. In this case, the manufacturer or seller is responsible for the defect because they failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions.
Proving Liability for a Defective Product
Establishing who is at fault in a defective product claim requires an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the product’s defect. An attorney must typically clarify several items for a case to be successful, including establishing the chain of distribution, proving the defendant’s negligence, and providing evidence of the defective product.
The chain of distribution is one of the most important factors to examine, as this is the series of entities involved in getting the item from its original creator to its destination. This will typically include the manufacturer, a wholesaler, and a retailer. When an item is not defective due to a poor design, it can become defective because of negligence by one or more parties as it travels along the chain. In some instances, at-fault parties may suggest that the injured party is responsible for their own injuries to avoid liability.
Speak to Our Attorneys to Learn More About Fault in a Defective Product Claim
Determining who is at fault in a defective product claim depends on the type of defect and the circumstances surrounding the injury. This area of law can be challenging and complex without the right guidance. When you sustain harm from a defective product, it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the process and understand your options.