Hurt By A Product? What To Know

Consumers expect the products they buy to work as advertised and to be safe while they do it. Almost everyone has experienced times when a product failed to live up to their expectations, but some products bring untold harm and cause personal damages for the user. When you are injured just using a kitchen appliance or other product in your home, you may be owed money damages from the manufacturer or retailer. Product makers have a duty to consumers. To help you better understand what product liability means and what your rights to compensation are, read on.

What Makes a Product Dangerous?

It's safe to say that product manufacturers don't set out to make bad products. When a product fails to live up to the safety standards, it's likely because of two main issues — manufacturing or design defects. 

Manufacturing issues are usually caused by a slip-up on the line. It might be where ingredients are added, how the product is packaged, or an issue with the cleanliness of components that come in contact with food, health, or beauty products. Manufacturing problems cause a large number of products to be released before a problem becomes apparent. For example, a peanut processing plant in Georgia allowed dangerous salmonella to contaminate peanut butter shipped to consumers all over the country. Unfortunately, nine people died and hundreds of others were sickened because of the lack of cleanliness at the facility.

Design defects are present from the beginning of the process but may not affect enough products to become obvious until consumers are hurt. The design process is supposed to undergo vigorous testing in real-life conditions to ensure the product performs well. One recent and wide-spread example of a design flaw causing injuries and death is the Takata airbag problem. Upon impact, the airbags produced by this Japanese manufacturer could release tiny metal fragments causing injury to occupants.

How to Act and Be Compensated

You are owed damages from a product injury that includes medical expenses, lost wages, lost or damaged personal property, and pain and suffering. To strengthen your case, retain all packaging and instructions from the product. Take photos of any damage to your possessions and of your injuries. Finally, be sure to seek medical treatment and keep up with your medical treatment expenses. You are entitled to be paid, but you must act fast. Speak to a personal injury lawyer from a firm like Carter & Fulton, P.S. about your product liability claim as soon as possible.