A defective product refers to a product that causes someone harm, injury, or death. Manufacturers and designers may be liable for lawsuits or wrongful death suits and for covering damages in the event that this occurs. As wrongful death is particularly catastrophic and significant, wrongful death attorneys can provide the necessary legal information and representation for loved ones of the deceased.
Each batch of manufactured products usually contains a certain amount of defective parts and materials. The company is responsible for ensuring the defective item does not cause severe injury or death. If they do not perform this duty, the company will be open to liability and litigation with insurance companies and individual parties.
When a defective product causes injury or death, loved ones can file a lawsuit or a wrongful death suit to receive damages as compensation for loss of the deceased. Claimants should gather evidence to prove a business’ negligence in following and implementing safety procedures.
Wrongful Death Damages
A successful suit means claimants can receive economic, non-economic, and punitive damages, depending on the factors of the case. Punitive damages apply when damage goes beyond mere compensation and monetary damages intend instead to punish the defendant. In a defective product case, manufacturing companies engaged in an extreme or unreasonable level of negligence may have to pay the victim additional punitive damages.
Defective Product Liability Claim
In all states across the country, a valid defective product liability claim is dependent on the proof of certain specific factors. There may be additional elements depending on the relevant state.
Loss, Injury, or Death
A critical part of a products’ liability claim is proof that actual harm was caused. Claims are invalid without evidence that monetary loss, injury, or death occurred.
Claimants need to prove that a particular product is defective. They can argue there was an error in a product’s make or an unreasonably dangerous defect in the product’s design. Claims are also more likely to be successful if it can be demonstrated that the product’s danger is not obvious to a reasonable person. The courts may also assess whether warnings and instructions provided by the manufacturer are reasonably sufficient.
Injury Caused by Defect
A successful claim establishes a link between injury and the defect. Essentially, it should eliminate other possible causes of the injury or death.
For instance, an individual that gets into a car accident while speeding may have greater difficulty filing a successful claim. Regardless of the car’s propensity to flip over when turning corners, manufacturers will argue that an accident occurred because of the driver’s reckless driving and not because of the car’s design. Even if a successful claim is launched, compensation will likely be limited because harm may be caused by factors additional to that of the defect.
Product Used as Intended
The victim of a defective product should also have been using the product in the way that manufacturers intended. The manufacturer is not required to design their products to promote safety across uses beyond its promoted intention.
However, the manufacturer’s specifications do not always have to be followed closely. Manufacturers still have to provide a level of product safety where they may reasonably expect an ordinary customer to use the product.
A successful defective product claim ensures victims and their loved ones receive compensation from the manufacturer that created or designed the product.