If you’ve been injured by the wrongdoing of someone else, you may be entitled to payment for your medical expenses, the pain you had to go through, and the time you missed from work.
Have you or a loved one been injured by a defective product? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages by bringing a products liability claim.
What is a Defective Product?
A defective product is a product that is unreasonably dangerous. Defective products can be the result of design flaws, manufacturing defects, or inadequate warnings and instructions. Some common examples of defective products include:
- Defective auto parts, such as brakes, tires, and airbags
- Defective medical devices, such as pacemakers and hip replacements
- Dangerous drugs with harmful side effects
- Defective consumer products, such as toys, electronics, and appliances
- Dangerous chemicals and toxic substances
Proving That a Product Was Defective
A product may be deemed defective if it has a manufacturing defect, a design defect, or fails to have adequate warnings. These defects are explained below.
A manufacturing defect occurs when a product is made incorrectly or with substandard materials. Manufacturing defects can happen at any stage of the manufacturing process, from the assembly line to the packaging and shipping of the product. Examples of manufacturing defects include:
- A car with faulty brakes due to a defect in the manufacturing process
- A medication that contains a harmful substance due to a mistake in the production process
- A toy that is missing a part due to an error in assembly
Manufacturing defects are typically the result of human error or negligence, and they can affect only a small portion of a product batch or the entire batch.
A design defect occurs when a product is designed in a way that makes it inherently dangerous. Examples of design defects include:
- A car that is prone to rollovers due to a flawed design of the roof
- A medical device that fails to perform as intended due to a poor design
- A baby crib with slats that are too far apart, creating a risk of entrapment
Design defects are usually the result of poor or inadequate planning, testing, or research during the design process.
Failure to Warn
A product can also be unreasonably dangerous if the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings or instructions for its safe use. This is known as a failure to warn. A failure to warn can occur if the manufacturer does not provide any warnings or instructions at all, or when the warnings or instructions are incomplete, inadequate, or not prominently displayed. Examples of products that may require warnings or instructions include:
- Prescription medications with known side effects
- Power tools with sharp blades or other dangerous components
- Chemicals that can be harmful if not handled properly
- Toys with small parts that can be choking hazards
To prove a failure to warn claim, the plaintiff must show that: (1) the product was dangerous in a way that was not obvious to the user; (2) the manufacturer knew or should have known of the danger; (3) the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions to protect users from the danger; and (4) the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the failure to warn.
Liability In Defective Product Cases
There are four ways to prove liability when you’re injured by a defective product in Nevada. These four ways are:
- Strict liability;
- Breach of warranty;
- Negligence; and
- Intentional misrepresentation or fraud.
These four methods can be used to establish claims against the manufacturer, the distributor, and the seller of the defective product.
In Nevada, strict liability is a legal doctrine that can hold manufacturers, distributors, and sellers responsible for injuries caused by defective products, even if they were not negligent. A plaintiff need only prove that: (1) the product was defective; (2) when leaving the possession of the defendant; (3) the plaintiff used the product in a manner that was reasonably foreseeable by the defendant; and (4) the defect caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Strict liability is based on the idea that the manufacturer, distributor, and seller are in the best position to ensure the safety of their products.
Breach of Warranty
Product liability claims can also be based on a breach of warranty. A warranty is a guarantee that a product will meet certain standards or perform in a certain way. There are two types of warranties that can give rise to a product liability claim:
- Express Warranty: An express warranty is a specific promise about the quality, safety, or performance of the product. These can be made either in writing or orally (such as in commercials). Express warranties are typically found on the packaging for a product, in the instruction manual for a product, and on advertisements about the product.
- Implied Warranty: An implied warranty is an unwritten guarantee that a product will be fit for its intended purpose and free from defects. Implied warranties are created by law and do not need to be specifically stated. There are two types of implied warranties: (1) the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose; and (2) the implied warranty of merchantability.
To prove a breach of warranty, you must present evidence of the warranty and show how the product failed to meet those standards.
Manufacturers, distributors, and sellers can also be liable for defective products under a negligence theory. This occurs when the plaintiff proves that: (1) the manufacturer, distributor, and/or seller owed a duty of care to the plaintiff; (2) they breached that duty; (3) the breach caused injuries; and (4) the plaintiff suffered actual damages. This method of proving liability can be used to hold manufacturers, distributors, and sellers liable when they knew or should have known that a product was likely to cause injury.
Intentional Misrepresentation or Fraud
Proving liability under an intentional misrepresentation or fraud theory requires proof that a defendant: (1) knew of a product’s defective condition at the time of sale or distribution; and (2) concealed (e.g., through misleading advertising) or ignored the defect.
Types of Compensation for Defective Products
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to several types of compensation, including:
- Medical Expenses: If you’ve been injured by a defective product, you may have incurred significant medical expenses for treatment and rehabilitation. You may be entitled to compensation for these expenses, including hospital bills, doctor’s fees, medication costs, and therapy.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries have prevented you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages. This can include wages you’ve already lost, as well as future earnings you may miss out on due to your injuries.
- Pain and Suffering: In addition to physical injuries, you may have experienced emotional distress, anxiety, and other forms of mental suffering as a result of your injuries. You may be entitled to compensation for these non-economic damages.
Our Experienced Team Can Help
Our experienced team is dedicated to helping individuals who have been harmed by defective products. We have the knowledge and resources to investigate and build a strong case on your behalf. We understand the devastating impact that a defective product can have on your life, and we are committed to helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Some of the ways we can help include:
- Investigating the product and determining liability
- Gathering evidence and building a strong case
- Negotiating with insurance companies and manufacturers
- Representing you in court
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, contact Roebuck Law Firm today for a free consultation. We are here to help you every step of the way.