Defective Products Cause Many Injuries and Deaths
Defective products cause many injuries and fatalities in the United States every year. If you have been injured by a defective product, chances are you can file a personal injury claim for compensation. It is important to understand the reasons behind the defects and how liability is established.
Three Main Categories of Defective Products
There are three major ways a product can be defective:
- Manufacturing defects: This is the most common type of defect. When a defect is due solely to poor or substandard manufacturing, it assumes that the design was without fault. For instance, the infrastructure design meant to support the roof of the car was strong enough to withstand three and one-half times the vehicle’s weight, eliminating roof crush. However, at the time of manufacture, the factory used low-quality materials that were unable to do this, and roof crush resulted after a rollover. The occupants were severely injured, and the survivable room overhead was diminished. In this case, the manufacturer is liable for the injuries or wrongful death suffered by the occupants. The claimants or their families will be awarded compensation paid for by the manufacturer or their insurer.
- Design defects: Sometimes, the engineers design the vehicle without focusing on safety. When the manufacturer uses the designs and produces the vehicle, the faulty design causes an accident. For instance, let’s say the brake design was defective, causing it to fail while driving, leading to a serious accident.
- Failure to warn: The manufacturer, seller or designer did not provide a warning notice that despite using the product in the way it was intended, injuries could occur. This happens frequently with medications or medical devices. A prime example would be if the manufacturer knew that their baby powder contained asbestos and the product could lead to ovarian or lung cancer, they would be liable.
- Failure to conform to the warranty: Failure to abide by the warranty can be considered in a product liability lawsuit.
Do I Always Need to Prove Negligence in a Product Liability Case?
No, not always. Some states operate under the doctrine of strict liability. This means as long as the customer used the product in the way for which it was intended without modifying it, there is no need to prove negligence. This cuts down on the time needed to process the claim.
Alternatively, some states require that negligence be proven to file a product liability lawsuit.
Pure Comparative Fault
Even with strict liability, if the plaintiff modified the product in a way that would make it unsafe, they can be considered partly at fault. This is called comparative fault. In the example above, this means that the manufacturer is still responsible for injuries due to an unsafe product but that the amount can be minimized by the changes the plaintiff made when modifying the product.
Statute of Limitation for Product Liability Lawsuits in Louisiana
The time you have to file a claim beyond which the court will not hear it in Louisiana is short at 12 months. For instance, you have only one year to file the claim from the date of injury. However, using the state’s discovery rule, the time limit does not start until you know or should know that the defect caused your injuries.
Olinde Law Firm
If you were injured or a loved one died due to a defective product, you can file a claim for compensation. The Olinde Law Firm has been helping residents of New Orleans and the surrounding area do that for many years. Call us at (800) 587-1889 to schedule a free case review to get started. You can also reach out to us online.