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When can consumers file defective product lawsuits?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Firm News

There is a common saying that buyers should beware. Those selling products often exaggerate or misrepresent their usefulness or value. People need to do their own due diligence, especially when making large purchases.

That being said, consumers have every reason to expect that companies should offer safe products that function appropriately. Unfortunately, not all products actually meet consumer expectations or even legal standards. Some of them are downright dangerous. A defective or poorly-designed product could cause personal injuries or severe property damage.

When can consumers file a lawsuit over physical harm caused by defective products?

When a company has made a provable mistake

Typically, a product defective lawsuit relies on a verifiable issue. Perhaps one particular production batch released to the public of an otherwise safe product had issues. New suppliers or employee mistakes could lead to unsafe versions of otherwise reliable products.

Other times, the issue may have to do with improper design. Companies may fail to consider how consumers might use the product or to warn consumers about known weaknesses in the design. Consumers generally need to connect an incident that led to losses with problems with a product.

When a defect has led to verifiable losses

Any product liability lawsuit requires that a plaintiff request a specific amount of compensation. That amount should have a basis in verifiable losses. For example, people can add up their current medical bills and likely future medical expenses to determine their medical costs. They may have lost wages if an injury prevented them from going to work. Defective products could cause car crashes or house fires. There could be substantial property damage losses to claim as well.

In some cases, a company recall could mitigate a degree of the organization’s liability. However, recalls do not automatically prohibit people from pursuing a product defect lawsuit. Companies often initiate recalls in an attempt to limit liability and avoid government litigation. Those hurt before the recall or not informed of the recall before the product failed could still have the necessary grounds for a lawsuit.

Holding companies accountable for unsafe products can reduce the harm caused by unsafe consumer goods. Businesses may have to reimburse people for the harm their products cause when they fail.