We seldom stop to realize how trusting we are in just about every facet of our lives. From our transportation to the toothbrush we use to clean our teeth, we assume that all will be safe. What happens when there is a product liability issue? You trusted that the product was going to safe, but then it turns out to be not so safe. Do you know what your options are?
Product Liability and the Average Person
Unless a product causes serious injury, the majority of people just let it go. There are some who will complain and seek some kind of compensation, but many don’t even bother to make mention of the inconvenience.
The hard facts are that some products can cause serious harm when they fail. Remember the Ford® Pinto? Known defects were overlooked by the company. How about the senior citizen who sued McDonald’s® for scalding hot coffee? She only wanted compensation for her medical bills, after sustaining serious burns from the spilled drink. When McDonald’s refused her request, she pursued a suit against them and ended up getting her medical bills covered, plus a lot more, as the company was hit with punitive damages.
In some cases, companies or manufacturers already know about the defect in the product. They crunch numbers and sometimes make the decision that letting it ride may be cheaper than making the necessary changes to eliminate the problem.
What You Can Do
When you are faced with a product that has caused harm or personal injury, you do have recourse. You can complain, and if it is serious, as in the case of the scalding coffee, you can pursue a personal injury claim, if the situation warrants it.
When no actual injury has occurred you can see about coverage under warranty. The product may be exchanged or returned for a refund. You can also check to see if the product has been recalled. If your item was registered with the company and a recall was issued, you may be entitled to a replacement or repair at no expense to you.
Types of Product Defects
There are three main categories of product defects. How the issue is handled, legally, depends on a variety of factors. A defect in design basically means the product was poorly designed or not designed to take into consideration all conditions of use.
There can also be defects in manufacturing. The product may be well–designed, but the problem is with the manufacturing. This is sometimes the case when automobiles are recalled for defective parts. Likewise, when warnings on products are defective, they leave consumers vulnerable to harm or injury.
If you believe that you have a product liability case, especially if it has resulted in personal injury, contact Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., for a free initial consultation. We serve people living in and around Port Charlotte, North Port, and Englewood.