No matter who you buy something from or how much you pay for it, you should be able to expect that using that product as directed will not cause you any harm. Unfortunately, various types of products—from household appliances to motor vehicles, to even toys meant for young children—have been sold to the public with dangerous defects and without appropriate instructions for use.
In the aftermath of a severe injury sustained from an unreasonably dangerous consumer product, you may have important legal options at your disposal that a Columbia defective products lawyer could help you utilize. A skilled injury attorney could work with you to recover not only for objective economic losses like medical bills and product replacement costs, but also subjective non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Who Could Bear Liability for a Defective Product?
In most civil cases, that fall within the purview of “product liability” law, the party that bears primary—if not total—liability for the incident is the company that manufactured the product in question. However, if a wholesaler or retailer significantly alters a product intentionally or inadvertently once it leaves a manufacturer’s control, they could also be defendants in an ensuing civil claim.
Additionally, a third-party supplier could be at fault for a product defect stemming from a particular component of a larger product. For example, if the battery in a smartphone overheats due to a design flaw in the battery itself, a person burned as a result may have a case against both the company that manufactured the phone and the company that manufactured the battery. Given how complex many modern products can be, working with a skilled product liability attorney in Columbia is often essential to identifying the right defendants and achieving success with this kind of claim.
Common Types of Product Defects
There are three ways in which a product can be defective that would engender civil liability for a manufacturer, supplier, or seller. First, a product can be defective at the design stage, meaning that every incarnation of the product produced in accordance with that design will have the same dangerous flaw. A classic example of a design defect is the Ford Pinto, a car whose gas tank was infamously prone to leakage and—in the event of a low-speed rear-end accident—violent combustion.
Manufacturing defects, on the other hand, stem from an error during the manufacture or assembly of a product with an otherwise safe design. Accordingly, they affect only a certain incarnation or batch of a product—for instance, a single lawnmower with a loose bolt that could allow the blade to fall off during operation.
Finally, a completely functional product could still be defective if the manufacturer does not include instructions within the product’s packaging for how to use it properly and how to avoid potential hazards. Cases based on these marketing—or failure to warn—defects can be particularly tricky to pursue without guidance from a seasoned defective products lawyer in Columbia.
Discuss Legal Options with a Columbia Defective Products Attorney
Even when a product defect seems obvious, successfully recovering civil compensation from a massive product manufacturer can be immensely difficult. You will likely need a lot of evidence compiled into a conclusive and convincing case if you want to obtain a positive outcome to a claim like this.
Fortunately, help is available from a qualified Columbia defective products lawyer. To find out what might be possible in your circumstances, call today.