Product liability claims generally fall into one or more of the following four categories: manufacturing defects, design defects, breach of warranty and failure to warn.
If you’ve been injured while using a product, then one of these categories of product defects may be to blame. By identifying which types of product defect(s) caused your injury, you can then proceed to make a product liability claim.
It’s always advised that any personal injury claim be made with the guidance of an experienced product liability attorney.
4 Categories of Product Defects in Product Liability Law
Product liability claims require victims to identify the type of defect that caused their injury. These defects are things that the manufacturer, designer or supplier should have prevented from occurring.
A manufacturing defect is one of the most common types of product liability claims. Manufacturing defects cause injury due to a flaw in the way the product was made – such as a manufacturing issue or poor workmanship at the factory where the product was built.
Manufacturing defects are not a result of a design flaw, so they are usually unique to the particular model or batch of product the injured party has purchased.
Manufacturing defect examples include:
- A bicycle with brake pads not properly attached.
- A children’s swing set with a broken chain.
- Contaminated food or medicinal products.
- A car airbag that failed to work.
To have a valid basis to make a manufacturing defect product liability claim, the injury must have been caused by the defect and not your own actions.
- A bicycle with a defectively manufactured steering part, causing the rider to lose control.
- Children’s toys that snap during use, cutting the child.
Design defects claims relate to the actual design of a product being inherently dangerous.
Rather than a manufacturing defect causing the injury, the defect was made long before – during the design process. A design defect causes all versions of the model to risk injuring the user, even if it was manufactured exactly as the designs required.
For example, a design defect could be:
- A safety guard on a power tool that does not prevent injury.
- Products that are dangerous for children, such as those containing small choking hazards.
- An electrical product that causes electrical shock during use.
- Beauty products that cause cancer.
Failure to Warn Defects
Failure to warn defects are a category of product liability claims which arise due to insufficient warnings or instructions about the product or how to properly use it.
Most failure to warn claims arise from products where the injured person had no reason to expect harm. In this category of claim the injured person should have been provided a clear warning on how to use the product safely or how to prevent injury when using the product as intended.
For example, a failure to warn defect may include:
- An oven with a handle that gets extremely and dangerously hot during use, but had no warning to use oven gloves to open the door, resulting in physical injury.
- Medical products that don’t list dangerous side effects.
- Warnings for weight limits on car seats.
- Power tools that don’t inform the user how to use safely.
Breach of Warranty Defects
Another category of product defect is a ‘Breach of Warranty‘ defect.
Product warranties promise that a product will perform in a stated way or provide a certain standard of safety. If a purchased product does not behave in the way the seller or manufacturer promised, then there is likely a breach of warranty.
There are two types of warranty claims: breach of express warranty and breach of implied warranty.
An express warranty covers products that have been promised with specific qualities. Such as an electrical product being promised as ‘waterproof’, but actually causes electric shock once in water. The consumer could claim a breach warranty for the injuries they sustained as a result of the breach of express warranty that the product was ‘waterproof’.
Alternatively, an implied warranty covers products that are implied to be safe because they are for sale. For example, if you go into Walmart and see a BBQ grill, then you’d expect it to be safe if used for its intended purpose. However, if the BBQ grill collapses while in use and burns you, then there may be a breach of implied warranty claim.
What Type of Product Defect Injured Me?
The guide above should point you in the right direction to see what type of product liability action you may have. However, don’t worry if you feel your case is in a gray area. Many product liability injury claims cover different types of product defects and can hold multiple parties accountable, such as designers, manufacturers and sellers.
Legal Advice for Your Product Defect Injury
As an injury victim, you deserve to be compensated for all injuries and damages that weren’t your fault.
Damages may include medical bills, missed wages or medical equipment expenses. You may also be able to claim non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and mental anguish as a result of a defective product.
To do this, you can file a product liability claim which is a type of personal injury claim.
Personal injury claims will put you up against insurance companies and lawyers that represent the at fault parties. It is advised that you consult a reputable and experienced personal injury lawyer who can help guide you through the process and win you the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Product Liability Attorney in Florida
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to a product defect, our Florida product liability attorneys can help.
We will fight aggressively on your behalf to win the compensation you deserve while taking care of communications and the stressful paperwork.
Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas have been providing exceptional legal assistance to Florida residents for personal injury claims for decades. Our consultations are compassionate and free of charge.
Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas is the personal injury and wrongful death division of Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. Our firm was founded in 1958 and is a U.S. News and World Reports Tier 1 Law Firm.
With decades of legal experience and resources, they are equipped to give you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve. Serving the state of Florida with offices in St Petersburg and Riverview, they are here for you.