When you buy a product, whether it be an industrial machine, a vehicle, a toy, or something else, you have the right to expect the product to be reasonably safe for its intended use. Manufacturers also have a responsibility to design and make safe products, and they must disclose and warn the public about any foreseeable hazards. When a company ignores or hides these defects, consumers can suffer injuries – in some cases, even fatal ones.
The personal injury lawyer who represents you may also guide you in calculating the types and amounts of your recoverable damages, which may include:
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If a defective product injured you or your loved one, you might be entitled to financial compensation. Our Houma defective products lawyers are passionate about holding the responsible parties accountable for their negligence. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we are ready to fight for you during this difficult time. Reach out to us today for a free case review.
Product Manufacturing, Design, and Marketing Defects
Depending on the type of defect that caused your injury, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer, wholesaler, or distributor.
Manufacturing defects occur when there is some type of error during assembly that was not intended to be part of the product. According to the theory of strict liability, a manufacturer or distributor is liable for any injuries a consumer suffers due to a defective product.
Even if the manufacturer took reasonable care throughout the manufacturing and distribution process, the plaintiff only needs to prove that the defect that caused the injury was present at the time of departure from the distribution channel or factory.
A manufacturer may create a product according to design specifications, yet it could still cause an injury due to a dangerous design. A design defect is a flaw in the product’s original blueprint that can potentially damage anyone who uses the product. As opposed to a manufacturing defect, a design defect will be present in all manufactured products. An example of a product with a design defect is a coffee cup that heats up too much, potentially causing burns.
To determine the existence of a design defect, you will need to consider the following factors:
- Was the original design unreasonably unsafe, even before its production?
- Did the manufacturer know – or should they have known – that the product’s design could cause injuries to users?
- Did the manufacturer have the option to use a better and safer design that is economically feasible without altering the purpose of the product?
If any of these questions are affirmative, the injured party likely has grounds for a defective design claim and should contact a Houma defective products lawyer as soon as possible.
Marketing defects refer to lapses, mistakes, or lack of proper warning in a product’s marketing. As noted above, a manufacturer must disclose all information regarding the safe use of any product through appropriate warning labels. If any party in the supply chain distribution failed to include warnings that could have prevented foreseeable injuries, they might be held accountable.
According to the American National Standards Institute, warning labels on products should be easy to read, offer a clear explanation of any potential dangers, and illustrate the safety risks with pictures. In general, warning labels should:
- Inform consumers about the impending hazard
- Disclose the severity of the risk associated with certain use of the product
- Inform the consumer of the potential effects of the hazard
- Explain how to avoid the hazard
Manufacturers should develop a warning label with the typical setting of how the product is used and the target audience in mind. There are color-coded keywords that should be used to alert consumers of the potential hazards of a product:
- Danger (Red) – Potential hazards that will result in serious injury or death
- Warning (Orange) – A hazardous condition that could result in serious injury or death
- Caution (Yellow) – A hazardous condition that could result in moderate or slight injury
The Statute of Limitations for Defective Product Cases in Houma
The state of Louisiana sets a firm deadline for personal injury lawsuits, including defective product liability lawsuits. Known as the statute of limitations, CC Art. 3492 requires you to file a lawsuit within one year of the date when you suffered an injury.
Damages You Can Recover in a Defective Product Liability Case
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a defective product, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your damages. With a successful defective product liability claim, you may be eligible to recover damages such as:
- Current and future medical costs, including emergency care, prescriptions, and rehabilitation
- Lost wages, if you lost income while you recovered from your injuries or if you cannot work again due to a permanent injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
What Makes a Successful Defective Product Liability Claim?
A defective products lawyer can thoroughly investigate and walk you step-by-step through your case to make sure that you prove the following elements:
- You suffered injuries:You must be able to prove that you suffered actual injury or monetary loss as the result of a defective product.
- The product was defective: You must prove that the product had a defect and that the manufacturer failed to warn you of the risks of the product.
- The defect was the cause of the injury: You must be able to prove that the product defect itself caused your injury.
- The product was used as intended: You must have used the product in the way intended by the manufacturer or how the manufacturer would expect a reasonable person to use it.
Contact a Houma Defective Products Lawyer Today
Being injured by a defective product through no fault of your own can lead to debilitating injuries, emotional stress, and financial constraints. Our Houma defective products lawyers believe that you should not have to pay for losses that were caused by another party’s negligent actions. We are here to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
If a defective product injured you or someone you love, contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 282-9205 for a free consultation.