We often take for granted that the things we buy and use every day of our lives are safe. We depend on manufacturers to design, produce, and quality-control their products. After all, we need our cars to get us to work, and we need our microwaves to heat our leftovers, and we need all these things to work safely. When they don’t, however, there can be devastating consequences, including everything from car fires to cancer.
While there are countless regulations in place to hold companies accountable, maintain safety standards, and oversee the safety of products available to us, defective products injure consumers frequently and severely. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, the median amount awarded by a jury in 2020 in product liability cases was $3,908,111, by far the most compared to other types of personal injury cases.
In this article, I’ll describe the necessary components of a successful product liability case, the types of manufacturer negligence in these cases, and how a product liability lawyer serving Northern New Jersey can help your case.
Components of a Product Liability Case
To succeed in a product liability lawsuit, a plaintiff and their legal team must do three things:
- Prove that the product was defective: There are three types of cases under product liability law in New Jersey, including 1) manufacturing defects, 2) design defects, and 3) failure to warn. I’ll describe these in greater detail below, but this is the equivalent to proving negligence in other kinds of personal injury cases.
- Prove that the defect caused the injury: Once you’ve established that the product was defective, you need to prove that the defect caused the injury. This may require that you gather and present sufficient evidence. The evidence for each case will be unique, but at Buttafuoco & Associates we commonly see things like medical records and expert testimony from doctors used as proof.
- Prove that the product was being used as intended: When you sustained your injuries, you must have been using the product for its intended use with reasonable caution.
Types Defects in Product Liability Cases
As with any personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent, but in product liability claims there are three specific types of negligence.
According to New Jersey statutes regarding product liability, these include:
- Manufacturing Defect: This is a flaw or irregularity that occurs during the production process, that results in the product being unreasonably dangerous to use.
- Design Defect: This is when the flaw in the original design of the product makes it unreasonably dangerous to use, even if it was manufactured correctly.
- Failure to Warn: This occurs when a manufacturer doesn’t provide adequate warnings about potential dangers associated with using a product, and that lack of warning directly contributes to an injury; failure to warn could also include failure to provide adequate or clear instructions. This is similar to other types of personal injury cases we see at Buttafuoco & Associates, including many construction site accidents and slip and falls.
How an Attorney Can Help You
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, it’s important to work with an experienced Northern New Jersey lawyer to help with product liability claim. While these cases can seem cut-and-dried, the process is both complex and ruthless, with teams of corporate attorneys doing everything they can to stop you in your tracks.
Some of the things an attorney can do include:
- Investigating the incident to determine the kind of product liability suit and what party may be at fault.
- Gathering and presenting appropriate evidence for your case.
- Representing you in court.
- Negotiating with insurance companies.
If you’ve been injured because of a defective product, get in touch with Buttafuoco & Associates for a free consultation.
Call 1-800-NOW-HURT. Our product liability attorney will fight for the compensation you deserve!