If a dangerous or defective product has injured you, you will have an easy time getting compensation if you involve a product liability lawyer and in fact, the process might be much easier than other injury cases. This is because the theories surrounding this law have evolved over time within the product liability law.
You may actually be able to recover against a seller or manufacturer based on one or more of these factors, and depending on the law of the land.
- Breach of warranty
- Strict liability
The most commonly used theory is strict liability and is explained here.
Defining strict liability
In a normal scenario when you want to hold someone liable for your injuries, you must prove that they were negligent or careless, and that this is what led to the injuries. However, it is prohibitively expensive and difficult to prove to a manufacturer that a product sold to the public harmed you because of negligence or carelessness on their part. A consumer is not in a position to prove if a product renter or a retailer has good system to confirm the manufacturer’s defects, or if the defects occurred after leaving the manufacturer. Moreover, you cannot subject a consumer to a thorough check of each product in search of defects or in an attempt to find out it is dangerous.
Because of this, the law has come up with a strict liability doctrine, which allows the injured person to get compensation for the product manufacturer or seller without proving actual seller or manufacturing negligence. At this point, you may be wondering how strict liability works?
How it works
This law operates against a retailer or renter, not a manufacturer who rented or sold a product, and only if they are in the business of renting or selling the particular product regularly. This means that if the product that harmed you came from a garage sale, market stall or a thrifty stall that sells all kinds of things and not a particular item regularly, this law may not apply.
For the law to become effective for you, the following conditions must be satisfied.
- The product had an unduly dangerous defect that injured the consumer or user, and that the defect is because of faulty design during the manufacturing process, handling, or shipping
- The product caused the injury while being used as intended by the manufacturer
- The product had not been changed in any way or substantially from the original condition in which it was sold, in which case substantially means in a way that it affects the product’s performance