When we purchase any new product or use a piece of equipment at work or at home, we expect these items to work as advertised. Unfortunately, a lot of items aren’t as safe as they’re supposed to be, and these defective products can cause injuries or loss of work.
In its most basic definition, defective means having a defect or flaw. An item or product that is defective has flaws that can cause problems, sometimes catastrophic ones. Even when these faulty products are used correctly, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, they will still break and create injuries to the consumer.
How Does a Product Become Defective
All products can be dangerous if they are not used within the manufacturer’s guidelines or according to any directions or warnings given. The following are the most common types of product defects:
Design Defects: Most often a product with a design defect is a result of poor design, not in the manufacturing of the product itself. A common example of this is a product intended for children that contains choking hazards.
Manufacturing Defects: An example of a manufacturing defect is when you get a notice in the mail about a defect with your car’s airbag, but it only affects a specific year, make, and model. The other years of your car’s make and model have not shown any issues and are deemed safe.
Marketing Defects: This is commonly a failure to warn scenario. When a product is manufactured and marketed to the public, there are usually warning labels associated with it. A potentially harmful product can be safe if the proper warnings are given and the product is used the way it was intended.
Damages Incurred from Faulty Products
A product that is defective can cause damage in several forms, from minor injuries to loss of business. Physical injuries can be minimal to severe, including:
- Head Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Loss of Life
Outside of the physical damages, there can also be damage to a consumer’s property or stream of income, such as:
- Totaled vehicle (personal or company)
- Damaged house or apartment
- Debt (medical bills, lost wages)
- Emotional damages (PTSD)
These are just a few of the many types of damages that can be incurred when you use a defective product.
Most Common Defective Products in West Virginia
There are many injuries from dangerous or defective products due to negligence in product manufacturing, and companies should be held liable for their mistakes. The following is a list of some of the most common types of defective products our law office has seen in the Charleston area:
- Manufacturing equipment
- Automotive defects on vehicles, such as tires, airbags, or seat belts
- Defective fire alarms
- Coal mining equipment
- Heavy equipment, such as trucks and soil-moving equipment
- Chemicals, tools, or other items commonly used at workplaces
- Household products and appliances
- Consumer products
- Railroad parts and equipment
- Unsafe sporting equipment or toys
A good way to help protect yourself and your loved ones against possible defective products is to do research on any products you want to purchase. Check if there are any current or past lawsuits or product recalls, and read product reviews online to see what other consumers have to say about the product.
The Law and Your Rights
While it can be nerve-wracking to file a suit against a manufacturing company, your safety and that of the rest of America should always come first. In the case of defective products, you, as the affected consumer, are protected from bad practices by the Consumer Bill of Rights. These are the original four consumer rights:
The Right to Information: All companies should provide consumers with enough information to make informed product choices. Product information given by companies should be truthful, complete, and appropriate for their products.
The Right to Be Heard: Consumers should always feel comfortable and safe to voice their complaints and concerns regarding a product so that any issue can be handled responsively and effectively.
The Right to Safety: This right defends consumers against injuries caused by products other than automobiles and implies that products should cause no harm to their users as long as the product is used as directed.
The Right to Choose: Every consumer has the freedom to choose which products you purchase and where you purchase them from. The federal government has made sure there is a healthy environment for competition as well as laws against price gouging.
By filing a defective product lawsuit against a negligent manufacturing company, you are not only fighting for your rights but also holding the company accountable for its actions.
DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC Are Here for You
No one wants to suffer an injury or other damage when using a product. That’s why our Charleston team of product liability lawyers at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC are here to help you with these unexpected accidents.