If you stop and think about how many different products you use throughout your day, you’ll likely be able to count off hundreds of them. They may include health and beauty aids, a stove or microwave, a car, a chair, or a bed, and all the different peripheral components associated with them.
While you may not have initially realized that you use as many products as you do during the day, many of them exist. Each of these items carries a whole host of potential dangers, which could cause you harm. Below, we’ll highlight the many different types of product liability claims that you may consider filing if you’ve fallen ill, suffered injuries, or lost a loved one from using an item on the market here in Jackson, MS.
Ways To Classify Defective Products
There are three primary types of product liability claims, which are:
Brands used to focus on products being utilitarian (useful) more so than their aesthetics. Now it’s common for companies to focus more on ensuring a product looks good with less emphasis on how well it functions.
One of the dangers in brands relying on artistically inclined team members (designers) to create the aesthetic for their product is that they may not be attuned to safety when creating a design. Unless the party approving the design before manufacturing notices some inherent dangers the design poses, then an unsafe product can end up being released on the market.
Some examples of poorly designed products that have resulted in individuals getting hurt include:
- Products that melt
- Motor vehicle defects, leaving motorists vulnerable to having catastrophic car accidents
- Tables, chairs, and other furniture items that are unstable and prone to collapse
- A bike helmet that easily cracks with regular use
- The use of small parts like beaded eyes or watch batteries on products earmarked for small children
Product manufacturers must aim for consistency when fabricating products. They can accomplish this by ensuring their production equipment is properly calibrated and regularly performing quality assurance assessments to ensure their products meet standards. Companies that fail to have a reliable protocol for producing products risk manufacturing defective ones that could ultimately injure or kill consumers.
Some examples of manufacturing defects include:
- Incorrectly installed electrical circuits and other components
- The use of the wrong fasteners or bolts
- The use of the wrong raw materials in producing a product that results in its inferior construction
- A failure to attach critical product components
Failure To Warn Defects
Marketers, advertisers included, are responsible for ensuring consumers understand best practices for using a product and any potential hazards it poses.
Some examples of product liability claims that have been attributed to inadequate warnings include:
- Inadequate or inaccurate instructions or warning labels (ones that fail to warn consumers of risks a product poses)
- Ads that encourage others to improperly use a product or forward false claims
Proving a Defective Product Hurt You
There are a few primary elements you must establish to be eligible to file a product liability claim:
- You must show that the product’s design or manufacturing resulted in a brand producing a defective product.
- You must have used the product as labeled yet still have suffered harm.
Provided your injury, illness, or loved one’s wrongful death is attributable to one of the two situations described above, you’ll need to have evidence that proves that:
- You suffered some kind of injury or illness.
- The defective product caused illnesses, injuries, or death.
Proving liability in a product liability case amounts to more than simply showing proof that you purchased a product and presenting documentation that you now have an illness or injury. You must show causation, which means showing which particular aspect of a product caused your injuries or what part of the instructions or warnings caused you harm in the case of advertising.
It’s not uncommon for product liability attorneys like Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC to bring expert witnesses into Jackson cases to show how a designer, manufacturer, or advertiser engaged in negligence or breached their duties.
Understanding Negligence and Breaches in Mississippi Product Liability Claims
Product liability cases must additionally fall into one of the three following categories here in Jackson, MS to have a valid claim or reason to pursue a lawsuit:
It’s important to assess why the defective product ended up in consumers’ hands. One situation that may be negligence is if a product manufacturer purposely uses inferior materials to produce a product despite knowing its dangers. Another is if in-house procedures called for passing a product through quality assurance before distributing it, which didn’t occur.
Breach of Implied Warranty
The focus of this element is determining whether the product performed as implied.
An example of a breach of warranty might be when a consumer buys a pair of rain boots that are supposed to keep groundwater up to a certain depth from making contact with their feet. A consumer may have a valid breach of warranty product liability claim if they contract a severe fungal infection from the prolonged exposure to water because the boots weren’t waterproof under certain circumstances as prescribed.
Breach of Express Warranty
A breach of warranty of fitness is a type of legal liability that a manufacturer may face when their product doesn’t work as anticipated. Express warranties imply guarantees that manufacturers convey to consumers regarding their products.
An example of a situation that may constitute a breach of express warranty is if a piece of exercise equipment says it’s safe for individuals weighing up to a certain amount. If it doesn’t hold up when subjected to the weight of a person’s body that falls beneath the labeled limit, they may be said to have breached the express warranty.
Understanding Mississippi’s Strict Liability Standard
Mississippi’s strict liability standard may also apply in your Jackson product liability case. This standard allows you to hold a manufacturer liable for the damages their product caused you without proving that they were at fault or were otherwise negligent.
Injuries That Can Stem From Defective Product Situations
As referenced above, a dangerous or defective product can leave you with serious injuries or cause you to be diagnosed with an illness. Product defects can also lead to a person’s wrongful death.
Individuals who have survived their use of a defective or dangerous product may be left with injuries such as:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputations or other disfigurements
- Head injuries
- Internal organ damage
Diagnoses individuals may receive after using hazardous products include:
- Respiratory infections
- Lead, mold, asbestos, and other toxic exposure poisonings
- Choking or asphyxia (smothering)
A malfunctioning product or one that doesn’t include adequate warnings may also lead to someone’s preventable death.
The injuries or illnesses and other outcomes that stem from using a defective product may leave a victim or their family members with significant bills.
Damages You Can Recover in Mississippi Products Liability Cases
Mississippi law allows plaintiffs who are successful in filing one of the many types of product liability claims to pursue damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses associated with rehabilitation, including occupational or physical therapy
- Compensation for non-monetary losses like pain and suffering, mental anguish, or losses of enjoyment of life
- Funeral and burial costs
You may also be eligible for other damages, depending on the nature of the incident that hurt you.
How To Learn More About Your Rights After a Product Liability Incident
It can be a bit overwhelming after a product injures you or a loved one. You may be unclear about who to report the incident to and what to say. It may make you anxious knowing that medical bills and lost wages are continuing to mount and that your prospect of paying them off is quite dismal because of your injuries. A product liability attorney at Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC can help.
One of our attorneys can assess whether you have a valid product liability claim per Mississippi law and, if so, help point you in the right direction of filing a claim here in Jackson. There’s no risk in sitting down with our lawyers for a free initial consultation. Schedule a case evaluation to learn more about different types of product liability claims and your rights in your situation.
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