Products liability is an area of personal injury law where a plaintiff who is injured by a product may sue the supplier of that product for damages. There are several types of products liability for which a manufacturer may be liable. Usually a personal injury claim regarding products liability will result from either a claim of negligence, manufacturing defect, design defect, or a failure to provide warning. It may also result in a combination of these issues.
A manufacturing defect will usually occur when the product is being made. It will generally be a result of a negligent act or an omission of an act by the maker of the product. When a product is not manufactured correctly, it is possible that it can cause injury to the user. Further, if it can be proven that the error occurred during the manufacturing process, then the plaintiff will be eligible for damages under personal injury law.
A design defect is slightly different. In this case, an error was not made during the manufacturing process, but during the design process. A product's original design was inherently dangerous to the consumer, regardless of the way it was made. It can be said that the risks of the product's danger to consumers outweigh the benefits. A failure to warn refers to the negligence of the manufacturer to provide adequate precautionary measures. In this case, the danger of the product is not obvious to the consumer. This is why it is the duty of the manufacturer to provide some kind of warning to the consumer.
It is considered fair for a consumer to trust a manufacturer. This means that if a product is on the shelves ready to buy, it is fair for the consumer to reasonably believe that this product will not cause injury. This is why many product liability cases are treated as strict liability. Strict liability means that the manufacturer will be responsible for the consumer's injury as long as the product is defective.
This means that even if the manufacturer was not negligently, the fact that a consumer was injured at all will usually be enough to collect damages in personal injury law. It must be proven by the plaintiff's personal injury or product liability lawyer that the plaintiff was not negligent him or herself. If a plaintiff was misusing the product in a dangerous way, then the manufacturer will not be liable.
A products liability case may also be formed under a breach of warranty claim. This means that the manufacturer provided the consumer with a written guarantee that the manufacturer then violated. This will usually form a strong products liability case because there is actual evidence that the manufacturer has broken the promise.