How do I prove that a manufacturer is at fault for my injury?
Suffering an injury while using a product is something that most of us never really imagine, but it’s something that happens far more frequently than most of us realize. While some people might imagine that product injury claims only happen with more inherently dangerous products like power tools or automobiles, the fact is that many different classes of products are susceptible to defects, and sometimes those defects can cause grave injuries.
If the manufacturer has released a defective product, which could be due to problems with the design, manufacturing, or even a failure to warn, and you’ve suffered an injury as a result, then it may be possible to hold the manufacturer, distributor, or even the retailer at fault for the injuries. Although in order to prove that a manufacturer is at fault for your injury, there are a few things that you should bear in mind.
A person injured by a defective product may be able to recover compensation and prove fault through one of three theories: strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty.
Strict liability is the most commonly cited theory and applies in particular to product liability cases. Normally, in a personal injury case, you must be able to prove negligence, showing that someones’ carelessness directly caused your injuries. One can imagine how difficult it would be for an individual to prove how and when in the process a manufacturer was careless. For this reason, the law has developed the doctrine known as strict liability, which allows a person injured by a product to recover compensation without showing that the manufacturer or seller was actually negligent.
You can make a strict liability claim without showing that the manufacturer or seller acted with negligence or carelessness if all three of the following conditions exist:
- The product had an unreasonably dangerous defect that injured you. The defect can come into existence during the design, manufacture, or even during handling, or shipping.
- The defect caused an injury while the product was being used in the way it was intended to be used.
- The product was not substantially changed or modified from the condition in which it was originally sold.
It’s important to note that a strict liability claim can be brought against the manufacturer and possibly the seller, but only when the seller is in the business of regularly selling or renting those types of products. So, if you’re buying it from a garage sale or thrift store that sells all kinds of things, then strict liability may not apply.
Furthermore, if you knew about a particular safety defect but continued to use the product, then you may have given up your right to claim injury damages. This may come to light based on the condition of the product or your description of your use of the product to the manufacturer or seller’s insurance company.
In many ways, proving fault for defective products and receiving compensation for your injuries is easier than those who are injured in other ways, but by no means are they always an open and shut case. Every defective product and injury claim is different, which is why it is important to work with an experienced lawyer who knows how to build a strong case, can prove fault, and will help you get the compensation you need for your injuries.
The team at Greenberg & Stein has more than 75 years of combined experience and has handled all manner of defective product and personal injury claims across New York City. For your free, no obligation legal consultation about your defective product claim, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free case evaluation and a plan for how to proceed. Call us today at 888-411-3966 to schedule your free legal consultation.