I Have Been Hurt by Using a Defective Product, Who is Responsible for My Injuries?
There are many products on the market that we use today. Since the products are available to us, we assume that they have been tested, approved by the proper authorities and are safe. However, this is not always the case and injuries may occur. Products on the market that cause injuries may be found to be inherently unsafe and defective. A product may be defective in its design or in the way it was manufactured. The cause of the defect may determine the party responsible for any injuries you have suffered due to using the product. The liable parties will also depend on the type of product and the factual situation in which you were injured.
Generally, the defendant in a defective product claim will be the company who designed the product or manufactured the product. Design and manufacturing may have been done by different companies. Therefore, the source of the product’s defect is important to your cause of action. Additionally, the company in charge of testing the product, prior to being released to the public, may be a responsible party in your claim for injuries. If the company (often the product manufacturer) discovered harmful risks associated with the product and did not reveal those risks, or provide warnings of possible harmful side effects, they may in held liable for your injuries. The law provides a legal duty to warn consumers of any risks associated with a product; if the company failed to do this, they may be held accountable.
Furthermore, if the product you used was a medical drug or device, there may be additional parties held accountable for your injuries. Like with other products, the company who designed the product and the company who manufactured the product may be responsible for your injuries, depending on where the defect occurred. In cases of a medical product, the doctor who prescribed the defective drug or the pharmacist who dispensed the drug or device may also be held liable. If the doctor knew of potential harmful effects of the medical product and did not warn you, or did not adequately monitor you, he or she may have some responsibility. Additionally, your pharmacist must warn you of any known risks and dispense the drug correctly.
What Cause of Action Could I Have If I Was Injured by a Defective Product?
As the possible responsible parties may differ, so may the possible legal claims an injured party may bring. It depends on the situation and the injury sustained. Most likely you (or the injured party) may have claims for personal injury and product liability. However, if you were injured by a medical drug or device you may also have claims of professional/medical negligence against your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on the facts of your case, you could also have legal claims for negligence, breach of warranty, failure to warn or fraud. Lastly, in some cases, wrongful death may also be a possible cause of action. If the injured person dies as a result of their injuries, the decedent’s loved ones must provide evidence to the court that the victim died as a result of using the defective product.
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