When you spend your hard-earned money on a product, it is fair for you to expect that product to be safe and effective. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some faulty consumer goods slip through the cracks and can even cause serious injuries to their owners. In many cases, you may be entitled to compensation from the company that created the defective product. If you or a family member has been seriously injured by a defective product, it is important for you to understand the legalities of defective products and liability misconceptions. Today, The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze is shedding light on five misconceptions about product liability
Misconceptions About Defective Product Law
Misconception #1: You Can Not Win A Case If The Defective Product’s Warranty Is Expired
If a product has an express warranty that explicitly states it will function properly and be free of defects, and the product fails to live up to these words and causes injuries, it can certainly serve as the foundation of a lawsuit. However, even if the product warranty has expired or been voided, you can still be eligible for compensation. Even if a product does not come with a detailed written warranty, every state has legal language indicating that consumers have a right to expect that the products they purchase are free from dangerous defects.
Misconception #2: Product Liability Only Covers The Intended Uses of The Product
While it absolutely strengthens your case if you were injured while using a device exactly as intended, you can still sometimes win compensation even if your injury occurred in another way. Manufacturers are legally required to foresee typical alternative uses for their products. For instance, desk chairs are meant for sitting up straight at a desk. If you get injured because of a defect while pursuing a common alternative use of a chair, like leaning back in your chair or using it as a makeshift step ladder, you may still have a case.
Misconception #3: You Can Not Win A Case If The Defective Product Has Been Modified
If you were injured by a modified consumer product, you are not necessarily disqualified from receiving compensation. While it certainly strengthens your case if the product that injured you was in pristine factory condition, this is not strictly necessary. If a toy causes injury to a child, the case will not be thrown out just because the toy has been covered with stickers and scribbled on with markers. The plaintiff must prove that the product did not experience substantial change after it was sold; minor alterations do not excuse major defects.
Misconception #4: All Product Liability Cases Turn Into Large Class Action Lawsuits
Product liability cases need to meet many requirements in order to be transformed into class action lawsuits. Sometimes, it is better to stick with the product liability case so that you have more control over the case’s proceedings. While it is of course possible for product liability cases to be converted into large class action lawsuits, this does not always happen and is not the right legal course to pursue in all situations.
Misconception #5: You Can Only Win A Product Liability Case If The Product Itself Is Defective
Not all cases of product liability involve dangerous manufacturing or design defects. Sometimes, products that work perfectly well can still be dangerous because they were sold without appropriate warning labels. This is known as “failure to warn.” If you are injured by a product because you did not have all of the necessary safety information due to a lack of warning labels, you may be entitled to compensation. In addition, product liability can also come into play when products are not dangerous at all. For example, if the manufacturer of a product does not honor the terms of its warranty, you can take legal action against them.
Defective Products and Liability Misconceptions
If you have been injured by a defective product, it is important that you carefully consider your legal options. You need an attorney experienced in all the nuanced areas of defective product law in order to maximize your compensation. If you need an experienced attorney to represent you in a product liability case, please call The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze today for help.