The spring and summer months are here, and that means new toys for children and adults alike. Whether you will be giving a loved one something to enjoy, have bought something you’ll be using yourself, or have made purchases for summer-related supplies, it is important to know there may be risks involved.
Aside from risks associated with using products – including certain children’s toys that require supervision – there are also risks posed by products that are inherently unsafe. These include defectively designed, defectively manufactured, and poorly marketed products.
To protect yourself and your loved ones this spring and summer, be sure to check for any recalls on the products and gifts you purchase. These recalls are issued for products that pose risks of potential injuries and death, as well as products that have already caused reported consumer injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regularly posts recalls of consumer products that have known defects or potential hazards on its website.
Even if you took the steps to purchase what you believed were safe products, it is an unfortunate truth that some defects may not yet be known. When defective products cause injuries, victims have a right to take legal action and pursue product liability claims against a responsible party for their damages, including their pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Depending on the facts involved, these parties may include:
- Manufacturers that designed, produced, and / or marketed defective products
- Manufacturers of component parts used in a product
- A company that assembled or installed a product
- Distributors or wholesalers
- Retailers that made defective products available to the public
Product Liability Claims
Because there are multiple parties that can be held responsible for product-related injuries, exploring the facts of your case with an attorney following an accident is critical. At The Daspit Law Firm, our Houston personal injury attorneys have earned a reputation for protecting the rights of injured victims, and our work is essential not only to helping clients secure the compensation they need and deserve after preventable injuries, but also to raising awareness about the need for better policies that protect public safety and help prevent others from suffering similar tragedies and injuries. By investigating your case, we can help you understand your right to compensation and what type of case you may have.
While the facts of any case will vary, there are three general types of product liability claims, which may allege:
- Defective design – A defectively designed product is one which is inherently unsafe from its inception, even before it is constructed and made into a physical item. Design defects may include a shelf that is designed with proportions that make it more prone to tipping over, or a fan with guard openings that are too wide to prevent fingers from being injured by the blades. Design defect claims are hinged on proving not only that a victim suffered harm as a result of using a product, but also that a company could and should have foreseen the risks associated with its product, and that there were reasonable alternatives to its design that could have prevented injuries without compromising the product’s intended purpose.
- Manufacturing defects – Manufacturing defects occur during the production or assembly of a product. These may include defects resulting from the use of poor quality materials, poor workmanship or oversight, and inadequate safety testing. Manufacturers can be held liable for damages consumers suffer as a result of defectively manufactured products, no matter how careful they were when selecting materials, training employees, or issuing guidelines for quality assurance.
- Flawed marketing – Some product liability cases do not exclusively involve defects during the design and manufacturing phase of a product, but rather products deemed defective due to flaws in how the product was marketed to consumers. Because manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers about potential dangers associated with their products, and to provide proper instructions for its use, they can be held liable when they fail to do so and victims suffer injuries as a result. These claims may focus on when a warning would have been required (i.e. the manufacturer knew or should have known about a danger that was not obvious to a reasonable consumer).
It is important to note that if you or loved one have been injured by a suspected defective product, you must keep the product as evidence. Do not attempt to use the product again, and take steps to keep it in a safe location away from children or others who might use it until you can give the product to an attorney who can store it in an evidence maintenance facility. It is difficult, if not impossible, to prevail in a product liability case unless the product is available for experts to examine and analyze.
Learn More About Your Rights
Spring and summer are a time for outdoor activities and plenty of celebration, but safety risks will always exist when manufacturers and others who make consumer good available to the public are negligent in designing, manufacturing, or marketing their products. Our legal team encourages you to take steps in ensuring the gifts and products you purchase this summer season are not subject to a safety recall, and hopes everyone stays healthy and happy. Should a defective product cause you or a loved one harm, our legal team is available to help you learn more about product liability claims, your right to compensation, and how we can help. Contact us for a FREE case evaluation.