In the U.S., when a consumer buys a product and uses that product for its intended purpose, that product should be safe to use. If a consumer gets hurt by a product, they can bring a products liability suit against that product's seller, manufacturer, or designer, depending on what caused the injury.
Product Liability Terms to Know
- Warranty: The inherent promise that comes with a product that ensures that the product is fit for its intended use.
- Negligence: The legal doctrine that says that a manufacturer may be liable for a defective product if they could have foreseen that a product defect would cause injury but did not act reasonably to prevent it.
- Strict Liability: The legal doctrine that says that a manufacturer may be liable for a defective product when that product injures a consumer, whether or not that defect was the manufacturer's fault.
- Design Defect: There is a foreseeable risk of injury when the product was manufactured as intended and used for its intended purposes.
- Manufacturing Defect: A product defect where the product is improperly manufactured and departs from its intended design.
Types of Product Defect Cases
Given the sheer number of products on the market in the U.S., there is a huge variety in the types of products liability cases that can be brought. Some examples of products covered by product liability law include:
Product Liability Lawsuits
Some product liabilities lawyers choose to specialize in filing lawsuits involving a particular type of product. Similar to other accidents and injuries attorneys, products liability attorneys generally fall into two types: plaintiffs' attorneys and defense attorneys.
Plaintiffs' attorneys usually practice in small law firms and get paid through contingency fees. With a contingency agreement, the injury victim does not pay anything up front and the lawyer takes a percentage of any damages award or settlement.
Many product liability attorneys may work for larger firms with the resources to find multiple consumers that were injured by the same product. These attorneys can also bring “class action lawsuits" on behalf of all the injured consumers.
Plaintiffs' attorneys face a serious challenge due to the rise of state-specific tort reform laws, which seek to limit the number and type of lawsuits that can be brought against the companies that furnish defective products.
Defense attorneys often get paid an hourly fee and typically work as employees for the companies involved in designing, manufacturing, and selling products in the U.S. marketplace.
Related Practice Areas
- Accidents and Injuries: Product Liability is a subset of Accidents and Injuries law.
- Litigation: Many product liability claims end up in the courtroom.
- Consumer Protection: Products so defective that they cause injuries often violate consumer protection laws.
- Medical Malpractice: If a doctor prescribes unsafe medications or uses a defective medical device, they may be sued in a medical malpractice suit.
- Trademark Law: Many dangerous consumer products are sold as knockoffs and violate trademark law as well as consumer protection laws.
Find a Product Defect Injury Lawyer
If you were injured because of a defective product, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or vendor. A personal injury lawsuit can help you recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Find an experienced dangerous product lawyer for help with your claim.