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When you purchase something at the store, on Amazon or through an advertisement on Instagram, you expect the product to be safe and work as expected. You probably wouldn’t even think twice about using it. But in some cases, people are injured from using everyday products the way they were intended to be used. An injury could be a rash, a cut, or something more serious such as blindness or even death. If you’ve suffered an injury from using a product the way it was directed, you may have yourself a product liability case.
As a consumer, you may feel deceived, having used a product you trusted that ended up hurting you. At the same time, you know that you may not be alone; the product has the potential to hurt others as well. And that’s exactly why it’s important to do something about it.
To understand if your situation is eligible for a legal case, it’s important to look at who is liable and what kind of product defect you’re dealing with. In the case of a product-related injury, liability could fall on one or more parties, including the retailer, the wholesaler, the manufacturer (or that of one part of the product), or assembly and installation teams. Where the liability falls may depend on what kind of product defect caused your injury.
There are three kinds of product defects: design, manufacturing, and marketing. Design defects result from a faulty design that leads to a product being unsafe. Manufacturing defects refer to mistakes or issues during the manufacturing process that cause the product to be unsafe or defective, even though the original design may have been safe. Marketing defects occur when a product is marketed improperly. For example, it may not provide sufficient instructions or safety warnings that would otherwise make the product safe. Some products are unsafe no matter what, like knives, guns, hot hair tools, and others. In those cases, the company is required to provide the appropriate warning labels, so you can read about the dangers of using the product and how to mitigate the risk to yourself and others.
If you are able to show that the product is inherently dangerous because of one of those defects, then you may have a strong case. If you’re unsure exactly which of these three defects occurred in the product that injured you, a personal injury attorney can help you identify the cause and the liable parties.
If you were injured by a product, your first step is to seek the medical care you need. Then, the key is to document, document, document. Keep any doctor’s notes, imaging scans, test results, or prescriptions the doctor provides you. If possible, keep any packaging and receipts that accompanied the product, as well as the product itself. Take photos or videos of your injury as well.
The next step is to reach out to an attorney with experience in product liability cases, like the team at Cok Kinzler. They’ll work with you to better understand your case, including who is liable, what the defect is, and what kind of compensation is necessary to address your injuries. All of the documents, photos, and records you’ve collected can be extremely helpful in building a strong case to bring the liable parties to justice and get you the compensation you need to recover from your injury.