Every once in a while, you may hear about a product being recalled for being “defective” in some way. These product recalls are essential for ensuring the safety of consumers and getting potentially dangerous products out of the marketplace. But what exactly does it mean for a product to be defective?
What is a Defective Product?
In simple terms, a product is considered defective when it poses a potential risk of harm when it is used as intended. Manufacturers have a legal responsibility to ensure the products they sell will not hurt people, and that they will take steps to protect against possible problems that could result in harm to consumers. When they are negligent in that responsibility and allow a faulty product to be sold to someone, they can be held legally responsible for any harm caused by that product.
How Can a Product Be Defective?
There are three broad categories of product defects, which are as follows:
- Manufacturing Defect: A product with a manufacturing defect was originally fine, but was damaged or tainted during the manufacturing process. A chair may have a damaged leg that makes it unable to properly support a person’s weight, for example, or frozen hamburgers may become tainted with toxic chemicals when they are being processed and packaged.
- Design Defect: A product with a design defect has some problem with its intrinsic design, which makes every product of its type potentially unsafe. For example, a car may have a steering wheel that suddenly locks up while someone is driving, or a medication may have dangerous side effects that were not identified due to inadequate testing.
- False Advertising: In a false advertising case, the problem is not with the product itself, but rather with how it was marketed or labeled. An electronic device may be falsely labeled as waterproof, or an advertisement may show children playing with a product that is not safe for children to use.
How Can Defective Products Hurt People?
When a product has a defect, it can result in serious harm to anyone who uses it. A malfunctioning power tool may break and injure its user, or send shrapnel flying that can injure bystanders. Improperly stored food can easily breed dangerous bacteria and fungi, which can sicken anyone who consumes it. Toys constructed with toxic materials can poison children and cause health problems that can affect them for their entire lives.
What Happens if I Get Hurt By a Defective Product?
If you or someone you love has been injured or sickened due to a defective product, your first priority should be to seek immediate medical attention. After that, however, you should make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer with experience handling defective product cases. With guidance from an attorney, you can give yourself the best possible chance at a positive outcome to your case.
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should contact the Tennessee personal injury lawyers at the Keith Williams Law Group. With convenient offices located in Nashville and Lebanon, our lawyers will work with you to create a litigation strategy that protects your legal rights and serves your personal needs. For more information or a free consultation, please contact us at (615) 313-3999 or visit our contact page.