When you purchase any product, whether it’s something as simple as a child’s toy or as expensive as a car, you expect it to function properly. You certainly don’t anticipate it becoming a danger or leading to an injury. Some products may lack needed warning labels or simply have not been tested as thoroughly as they should have been, leading to harmful defects that could lead to serious injury.
Many personal injury claims in Illinois involve defective products. These claims center around the fact that designers, manufacturers, and marketers owe their customers a duty of care when it comes to creating and selling their products, which means they can be held liable for injuries they cause through negligence. However, there is a certain level of complexity when it comes to pursuing a product liability claim.
Types of Product Defects
To understand how product liability claims work, we’ll need to look at who is involved in the design, production, and sale of the item. There are three types of defects to consider. Knowing which case applies to your situation will be key in determining who is at fault.
- Marketing defect: If a manufacturer fails to include appropriate warnings or labels on the product packaging, or if their advertising is misleading and results in an injury, then those who are responsible could be held liable for a marketing defect.
- Manufacturing defect: This results from the physical production of the product. If the design is sound but the manufacturing process introduced some harmful issue into the item, then this would be a manufacturing defect.
- Design defect: Sometimes, it’s not the lack of warning labels or the manufacturing process that’s the concern, but the fundamental design of a product. If the item was designed poorly or if it wasn’t tested as thoroughly as it should have been, then it has a design defect.
Some cases may be more complex if the product’s design was handled by a third party or if the manufacturer used a separate company to handle product packaging.
The Consumer’s Rights
If you have been injured as a result of using a defective product, you have certain rights. However, it’s important to note that not all injuries arising from the use of a product necessarily qualify. Some accidents result from user error, failure to follow the item’s instructions, or deliberate misuse of a product.
However, if you use a product as intended and were injured as a result, you likely have a product liability claim. The manufacturer has a duty to make sure their product doesn’t harm people who use it (or to adequately warn them if there is some risk of injury inherent in the product’s operation). If they fail in that duty, then they are responsible for your injury.
You have the right to pursue damages from a manufacturer to cover the following:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Punitive damages
A skilled and experienced Illinois attorney can help you pursue damages and see to it that justice is served for your product defect injury. Hart David Carson, LLP, can provide you with the legal representation you need.