Proving Fault in Product Liability Cases

Aug 30, 2015 — by Gary Zucker
Tags: Product Liability Personal Injury Wrongful Death

Words of duty and responsibilityUsing a damaged, poorly designed, or improperly produced product can cause serious harm. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective item, you may have a viable product liability case. These lawsuits can be quite complicated because there are so many parties involved. The manufacturer may, of course, be partially responsible. However, other people along the distribution chain may also share responsibility. It is important to work with qualified attorneys when dealing with this type of case. The team at Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C. has plenty of experience with product liability. We will work tirelessly to obtain the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses and other bills. To learn more about proving fault in product liability cases, contact our Brooklyn practice today.

What Is Product Liability?

Product liability cases involve items that do not meet the reasonable expectations of the user. There are many type of defective products. Motor vehicles and their various parts are some of the most common items involved in product liability suits. For example, badly designed tires or malfunctioning brakes can cause serious or even fatal auto accidents. Other defective products could include toys, kitchen implements, electrical tools, furniture, and much more.

There are four basic types of product liability cases:

  • Poor design
  • Mistakes in manufacturing
  • Inadequate testing
  • Poor marketing (This could include insufficient warning labels and instructions.)

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Product Liability?

To have a valid product liability case, you must be able to prove that the product was defective. You should also show that it caused you direct harm. You must have suffered specific physical, emotional, or financial damages. There are a number of parties who can be held liable for these damages. Products go through a long line of fabrication and distribution before they end up in your hands. Therefore, any of the following individuals could be legally responsible for the defective product:

  • The manufacturer: The person or company directly responsible for the design and fabrication of the item. This party could be a multimillion dollar company or a sole proprietor
  • The retailer: The store, dealership, or website where you bought the product
  • Go-betweens: Wholesalers, distributors, and suppliers

Understanding Strict Liability Laws

In the past, product liability cases were extremely difficult to prove. Therefore, most states, including New York, have enacted strict liability laws. Under these regulations, a defendant can be held liable, even if he or she did everything possible to prevent harm to users. This does not mean that anyone can sue for product liability. To win your case, you and your attorney must be able to prove:

  • The product was designed, manufactured, or sold in an unsafe manner
  • The product directly caused your personal injury
  • The product was not altered in any way before your accident

In addition, as the plaintiff, you must prove certain things on your end. If you used the product in an unsafe manner or in a way that it was not intended to be used, you may not have a valid case. In some cases, other circumstances may be involved. If these events were the primary cause of the accident, rather than the product itself, this may affect the legitimacy of your claim.

Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C. Will Work Tirelessly to Prove Fault

In some ways, it is easier to prove product liability than other types of personal injury claims. Nevertheless, you still need a lawyer who understands the intricacies of defective product law. Contact our firm today to benefit from our knowledge, expertise, and hard-hitting representation.

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