Whether you’re buying a car or the latest cleaning gadget, you should be able to make purchases with confidence that the product functions safely and as intended. Unfortunately, poorly-designed and improperly manufactured products continue to make it onto shelves and into the hands of unsuspecting consumers.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues hundreds of consumer product recalls every year, while the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recalls approximately 4,500 medical devices and prescription drugs annually. Some companies also choose to voluntarily recall dangerous products, including contaminated food items, dangerous baby products, and more.
There is no question about it—Mississippi consumers are being put at risk every day by dangerous, unsafe, and defective products.
If you’ve been hurt by a dangerous product, do you know what goes into proving a manufacturing defect case? Without understanding everything that goes into these types of complex product liability claims, you cannot hope to recover the full amount of compensation you are owed.
What Is a Manufacturing Defect?
Product liability claims generally involve one of three types of defects: design, instruction/warning, or manufacturing. Here’s what each defect involves:
- Design – The product was faulty, dangerous, or defective in its design.
- Instruction/Warning – The product was not accompanied by necessary instructions or warnings for safe use.
- Manufacturing – The product was correctly designed, but an error occurred during the production or construction process.
A manufacturing defect may affect every product, a few items, or only those produced in a certain plant or factory. If you are injured by one of just a handful of defectively manufactured products, you may be facing an uphill fight to prove your claim and recover the money you are owed for damages.
Proof Needed in a Manufacturing Defect Case
There are three requirements you must meet to successfully recover compensation in a manufacturing defect case. These are that:
- At least one component of the product was defectively manufactured,
- The manufacturing defect caused you to suffer injuries despite normal use, and
- You suffered a financial loss as a result.
Let’s take a closer look at the proof required for each of the above elements.
At Least One Component of the Product Was Defectively Manufactured
Manufacturing defects can occur at a variety of points during the production process. Consumer products are typically constructed out of a variety of components, including those that are manufactured by other companies and in other factories.
Correctly identifying which part of a product is defective, where it occurred, and at what point during the manufacturing process is difficult. This is a task that requires skill, knowledge, and expertise. Knowing where to look during product liability investigations is a talent that the attorneys at Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC have developed over years of representing clients injured by dangerous products.
We know that manufacturing defects often involve:
- Inferior products or materials
- Electrical circuits that have been installed incorrectly
- Faulty fasteners or bolts
- Missing or incomplete components
- Incorrect assembly
You Suffered Injuries With Normal Use of the Product
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, the most important thing you can do is document it. Take pictures of your injury at every stage, including shortly after it occurred, at various points throughout the healing process, and when your doctor has determined that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Go to the doctor as soon as you realize you’ve been injured. This will create a verifiable, third-party record of what you’ve been through and how it has affected you physically. Be sure to go to all follow-up appointments and take all medications as prescribed.
Examples of proof that will support your claim that you were injured include:
- Pictures of injuries
- Medical records
- Written statements from doctors or therapists
You Suffered a Financial Loss as a Result of Your Injuries
Any financial losses related to your injury are compensable in a product liability claim. You’ll need proof of the losses you’ve suffered, though, which is why we recommend keeping records of everything following an injury. It’s much easier to prove to the insurance company what you are really owed when you can provide:
- Medical bills
- Health care transportation costs
- Bank statements
- Evidence of missed work
An attorney can also help you calculate the value of less-tangible losses that have still had a profound impact on you, such as mental anguish or loss of enjoyment in life.
Strict Liability in Product Liability Cases
A defective product is considered to be a strict liability offense. This means that the negligent company, manufacturer, or distributor responsible for the defect is liable for any resulting injuries regardless of intent. You do not have to prove that the at-fault party intended to cause harm or that they even realized their actions had the potential to cause harm.
Instead, you must only prove that the product was defective, it caused you harm through normal use, and you suffered damages as a result.
Unfortunately, large corporations and businesses do not make it easy for injury victims to recover the compensation they are rightfully owed. These companies and their insurers have their own teams of lawyers who are ready to discredit what happened to you, limiting your right to a full and fair settlement.
Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC Will Fight for You
No one deserves to be injured by a product that they believed to be safe and effective. If you were hurt, let the experienced trial attorneys of Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC be your steadfast advocates. In all that we do, we strive to provide unparalleled legal representation and guidance to Mississippi victims who have been harmed through no fault of their own.
We are in this to help people. That’s why our law office provides free case evaluations to injury victims and their families, and we take most cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case for you. Reach out to our law office today so that we can schedule you for a no-cost meeting with an experienced and compassionate attorney.