When you buy a product, you expect it to act as advertised. When the product does not meet your standards, you may be able to return it or just accept that you bought a dud. However, when a defective product causes an injury, you can file a personal injury claim to hold the company liable for their defective product.
In a product defect or product liability lawsuit, the injury victim can file a claim to get compensation for the cost of the defective product, medical bills, lost wages, and other losses associated with the product defect. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will be able to investigate your case, identify all the parties responsible, and work to get you the maximum compensation after a product injury accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Common Product Defect Accidents
We all use hundreds of products in our daily lives. Most of the time they work as designed. Even if they don't work properly, they may not be dangerous. However, some defective products can put us in danger of injury or death. Some common product defects that result in an injury or accident may include:
- Exploding batteries,
- Medical device defect,
- Medication or drug defects,
- Tire defects,
- Brake defect accidents,
- Vehicle acceleration defects,
- Seat belt defects,
- Flammable clothing,
- Defective children's toys,
- Defective household appliances,
- Food poisoning, and
- Hazardous chemical defects.
Liability for Defective Products in Colorado
When a product defect causes an injury, the injury victim may have no idea why the product malfunctioned or who was responsible for the defect. Fortunately, product defects generally fall under strict liability. This means that the injury victim does not need to show that any individual was negligent. Instead, the injury victim can recover by showing that the product was defective and the defective product caused the injury. Product liability defects are generally based on one or more of the following:
- Design defect,
- Manufacturing defect, or
- Failure to warn defect.
Liability in a product defect claim can extend up the chain, from the business or individual who sold the product, to the manufacturer, designer, or distributor. This gives the injury victim more opportunity to make sure they are compensated for their losses. Talk to your Colorado personal injury lawyer about who may be liable for your injuries after a defective product accident.
A design defect involves a product with a dangerous design element. These products present a risk to consumers, even if they are manufactured according to plans. Businesses who put out products with design defects may not have conducted the proper tests to identify the dangers or simply ignored the risks in favor of profit. If a consumer is injured because of a design defect, the consumer may be able to file a product defect lawsuit to be compensated for their injuries.
For example, a car design has the seat belt wear against a sharp metal edge when the seat belt is extended or retracted. Over time, this wears the seat belt down and makes it less effective. This may be a design defect because the design of the vehicle makes the seat belt less safe when used as expected.
A manufacturing defect involves a product that had some problems during the manufacturing process. This could involve a lack of quality control, switching to using substandard materials, or not ensuring a sterile environment in manufacturing. Even if a product would be safe as designed, a manufacturing defect could introduce dangerous elements that put the user at risk. If a product fails or injures someone because of the way it was manufactured, the user should be able to file a claim for compensation.
For example, a drug manufacturer is supposed to provide a sterile environment when producing a drug. The manufacturer does not properly clean the equipment and a bacteria is introduced to the drug. This may be considered a manufacturing defect when users are made ill because of the bacteria in the drug.
Failure to Warn Defects
A warning defect or “failure to warn” defect generally involves a product that could be used in a dangerous way and the consumer needs to be warned against any dangerous uses, beyond the obvious dangers. When a product can be used in a foreseeable way that puts the user or others at risk of danger, the manufacturer should provide a warning against such use.
For example, a consumer buys a cordless electric drill. The spinning drill bit would be obviously dangerous and may not need a warning. However, the drill tends to catch fire when used in humid environments. This may not be an obvious risk and the consumer should be warned against the risk of catching fire.
Strict Product Liability Claim in Colorado
In order to recover in a strict product liability claim, the plaintiff generally has to prove the following elements:
- The defendant was a manufacturer of the product;
- The defendant was engaged in the business of selling such products for resale, use or consumption;
- The defendant sold the product;
- The product was defective and, because of the defect, the product was unreasonably dangerous to a person who might reasonably be expected to use, consume, or be affected by the product;
- The product was defective at the time it was sold or left the defendant's control;
- The product was expected to reach the user or consumer without substantial change in the condition in which it was sold;
- The product did reach the user or consumer without substantial change in the condition in which it was sold;
- The plaintiff was a person who would reasonably be expected to use, consume or be affected by the product;
- The plaintiff had injuries, damages, or losses; and
- The defect in the product was a cause of the plaintiff's damages.
Damages in a Product Defect Claim
The damages in a strict liability product defect accident generally depend on the extent of the injury. A minor accident may involve a visit to the hospital and a couple of days off of work. A more serious or fatal injury can involve extensive damages and impact the victim and their family for the rest of their lives. The injury victim can file a lawsuit to seek an award for compensation related to their losses, including:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Property damage,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of earning potential,
- Future medical care, and
- Loss of consortium.
Denver Product Defect Accident Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented their clients and families in Colorado who were injured in an accident due to a faulty product. Our attorneys understand how these businesses operate to avoid blame and will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.