Defective ProductsDefective Product Lawsuits and Product Liability Law

Defective Products

Every year, thousands of people are injured from defective and dangerous products and chose to hold the manufacturer liable for the injuries in a defective product lawsuit under product liability law. Although these defective product lawsuits are also personal injury lawsuits, they can be more complex because manufacturers of defective products are liable under different legal theories. If you are injured by a defective product, it is critical that you speak to a lawyer that has experience in product liability laws.


What is a Defective Product?

Any product that malfunctions, while being used for the purpose it is intended, is considered a defective product. If using the defective product results in a consumer injury, the product is considered unreasonably dangerous.

Defective product lawsuits are brought under state laws, and depending on the state, a defective product lawsuit may allege negligence, strict liability or a breach of warranty as to the defective product.

There are three different types of defects that can lead to consumer injury:

  1. 1. Design Defect – This is a flaw in the product before it is even manufactured
  2. 2. Manufacturing Defect – This flaw occurs after the design and before market introduction
  3. 3. Marketing Defects – This flaw a flaw in the advertising or labeling of the product. It could have anything to do with misinformation; from instructions, product purpose, warning labels, etc.


Who Do I Sue in a Defective Product Case?

The responsible party in a defective product case depends on the type of defect as noted above. Compensation for injuries arising from a defective product may be properly assigned to the manufacturer of the product, the manufacturer of a component or ingredient of the product, the company that assembles or installs the product, the wholesaler, advertiser or the retailer of the product.

It is important to note that you are not limited to file a claim against a single individual or company that is liable for your injuries. Multiple parties could be at fault for your injuries, you can take legal action against any of them.

If you believe your injury was caused by a defective product, be sure that you meet the following criteria before considering a product liability lawsuit:

  • The product was used in the manner that it was intended
  • Product directions were followed and warnings on the label were considered

If you used the product in the manner intended and the injuries were not warned about, you may have a product liability case and you should consider speaking to a product liability lawyer to compensate for your injuries.

Prior to filing a product liability lawsuit, you will be required to assemble personal injury evidence that links your injuries to the defective product.


How Much am I Entitled to for My Injury?

State law determines the amount you are entitled to collect in a product liability lawsuit. Each state has different laws and many states cap damages that are able to be collected. Below is a list of costs that may be compensated:

  • Economic damages including medical costs, disability costs, lost wages, and property damage.
  • Non-economic damages include loss of consortium, pain, and suffering.
  • Punitive damages may be compensable in some states depending on the severity of your injury and the actions taken by the responsible party.

Want to learn more? Read our personal injury compensation blog.


How Do I Choose a Defective Product Lawyer?

Choosing the right defective product lawyer can be a difficult decision. You need someone who has experience in and has the resources needed to take your defective product lawsuit through to trial. Product liability lawsuits are very complex and expensive, quite often your lawsuit will be against a large corporation who is profit-driven, not bound to any ethics or values. They are likely to fight your lawsuit as long as it makes financial sense to do so.

Before you commit to a lawyer, make sure that your defective product lawyer meets the qualifications you are looking for. Consider asking these questions:

  • How much experience do you have in product liability law?
  • Do you offer a contingency fee arrangement / how and when will I pay?
  • Are there any upfront costs such as a retainer fee?

One of the most important qualities to look for is dedication and commitment to your case. A lawyer that is paid based on a contingency fee is willing to invest in your case with their own money and will be there until the end since they do not get paid unless/until they are successful. A contingency fee arrangement is ideal in the case of product liability or defective product lawsuit.

At TorHoerman Law, we offer contingency arrangements to all our defective product clients. Since we make this large investment in clients, we can’t take all cases, we take only those cases that we believe we can win. Our entire team is highly invested in each lawsuit and client we take on.


Should I Join a Defective Product Lawsuit?

Generally, you will not be asked to join a defective product class action lawsuit. Instead, groups of similar defective product cases are often grouped together into “mass tort” lawsuits. Your case will still be handled as an individual claim. A mass tort just allows the judges and lawyers to address all the procedural issues at once, expediting the legal process for your case.

It may be beneficial for you to join a mass tort, especially if you are taking on a large company. While you probably will not get a manufacturer’s attention with just a single lawsuit, mass torts are an effective way to get recognition from manufacturers.

At TorHoerman Law, we specialize in a variety of product liability lawsuits. Our most common area of product liability litigation is defective medical devices and bad drug lawsuits.

Last Modified: March 19th, 2019 @ 02:00 pm