If you get injured using a product, then you might think about suing the manufacturer. Although product liability cases can be very complex, there are some basic things that you should know about making such a claim.
Children's products are especially vulnerable to product defects. It is a good idea to check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission for recalls and other information before you use a hand-me-down car seat or crib, for example.
It takes each of these elements to build a product liability claim
1. You had to be injured or suffer a loss. If the electric heater shorts out without burning you or causing damage to your home, then there can be no claim.
2. Did the manufacture breach their duty to you, the consumer, for example, by not giving a warning about the hazards of using the product.
3. The product must be defective. It might be a design defect, manufacturing error or other issue with the device, and not the result of an accident. For example, dropping a chef's knife on your foot does not make the knife defective.
4. You also need to prove that your injury was caused by the defect. Let's say that you were using the electric heater in your living room. It shorts out and causes a burn. If the short was caused by faulty wiring in your home, you may not have a case.
5. You must show that the product was being used as intended. If you're trying to heat food with your electric heater when it shorts out, this could damage your claim.
If you believe that there is some gray area in your claim, it might be worth talking to an attorney. For instance, you were using gardening shears meant to clip roses to cut herbs when the blade breaks and causes you to cut yourself. Although the shears were designed for cutting roses, you might still have a product liability claim, because most people would use the clippers in the garden. On the other hand, if you were trying to cut wire or rope when the blade breaks, you might not have a strong case.
Getting help for your claim
It may not be easy to win a product liability claim, but if you or a loved one was injured, it is worth fighting for compensation. If you believe your defective product liability claim includes these basic elements, you should speak with an experienced attorney.