Product Liability Laws & Why You Should Be Paying Attention to Them

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Getting injured because of defective products is something that happens more commonly than you think. Millions of people end up in the emergency rooms as a result of defective consumer product injuries. You may think that this can never happen to you, but no one is spared of these accidents. 

The good news is that there are product liability laws in place that can help people get compensation from the liable party. These can also help businesses protect themselves in product liability lawsuits. 

But why is it so important to pay attention to product liability laws? Here’s everything you need to know.

Product Liability Explained

Product liability refers to the legal liability of sellers and manufacturers when a customer gets injured while using a defective/malfunctioning product. When a customer buys a certain product, they expect it to work perfectly. However, some products have defects that prevent them from working accordingly, sometimes even making them dangerous. 

A customer that gets injured by a faulty product has the right to make a claim against the seller or manufacturer in order to recover compensation for the damages and injury. 

In these cases, product liability laws will determine who will be held liable, how the responsible party will be held accountable, and how much compensation the victim should receive. 

The Different Types of Product Liability Claims

There are three types of product liability claims, respectively:

  • Inadequate Warnings or Instructions 

Every product should come with clear instructions, as well as certain warnings that advise users what they should not do with the product. If there are no adequate instructions or if the manufacturer offers no warnings, the customer may not know how to properly operate the device/machine/tool. This could easily lead to an injury. 

Since it is the manufacturer or seller’s responsibility to provide proper instructions, the buyer has the right to start a product liability lawsuit to claim compensation.

  • Badly Designed Products

Sometimes, claims are made for defective designs. Some products just have a bad design. This means they were already defective before they even reached the shelves. In this situation, the person who designed the item will be liable.

  • Products Manufactured Defectively

When a product is manufactured defectively, it means that there may have been a problem during the manufacturing process. For instance, a product may be missing certain pieces, causing it to malfunction.

Why Product Liability Laws Are Important

Product liability laws are necessary, especially as e-commerce has become quite widespread. These laws allow buyers to protect themselves so that they can recover money for losses, damage, and injury caused by a defective product. 

The compensation can cover damage such as lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills, and emotional distress. In case the defective product leads to death, the surviving family of the deceased can pursue a wrongful death claim. The laws allow the family members to receive compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income that the deceased person would have offered, medical costs for treatments necessary before death, and loss of the companionship of the deceased.

Product liability laws can also encourage businesses to improve their production processes and pay more attention to safety. Out of fear that they might have to deal with a product liability lawsuit in the future, companies might spend more on training their employees accordingly and getting high-quality materials and pieces for their products. 

Furthermore, they may spend more time testing their products to make sure they function accordingly, but also to write proper instructions and offer the right warnings. 

Lastly, product liability laws can also protect businesses against product liability cases. Firms can invest in product liability insurance that can help protect them if they are sued for a defective product. It can cover the cost of defending the business against a claim and investigating it. 

The Bottom Line

Product liability laws are very important. They protect victims of defective products and ensure they get compensated for their suffering, damages, and losses. Such a law can also help the family of a person that has died as a result of a defective product as it entitles them to compensation. 

However, make sure you file the claim on time. For example, in Colorado, a victim has two years from the date of the injury to make a product liability claim. If you do not understand the laws properly and need some help, do not hesitate to hire Denver product liability lawyers. An experienced attorney will make sure you prove the other party’s fault and can help you get the compensation you deserve.