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What You Need to Prove in a Product Liability Claim

The Element of a Defective Product Case

What You Need to Prove in a Product Liability ClaimThere’s a common misperception that because a product is on the shelves, adequate safety testing has been done to ensure that it doesn’t pose an unreasonable risk of injury to consumers. For a variety of reasons, that’s not always the case. If you have been hurt because of exposure to or while using a consumer product, you have the right to bring legal action to recover for your losses. Here’s what you’ll need to prove in court.

You Must Show You Were Injured or Suffered Some Kind of Loss

You don’t have a claim simply because a product was defective or posed a risk of injury. You must have sustained an actual injury or loss. For example, if the brakes on your car are defective, but you discover it before you turn on the car, there’s no injury. Likewise, if a product malfunctions and almost causes injury, you don’t have a claim.

You Must Show the Product Was Defective

There are three types of product defects: manufacturing defects, design defects, and marketing defects. A manufacturing defect relates to the fabrication, construction, assembly, or making of a product. A design defect refers only to the way a product is configured. Marketing defects usually involve a failure to provide adequate warnings on product packaging.

You Must Show the Product Defect Caused Your Injury or Loss

There are two types of cause that must be shown—actual cause and proximate cause. Actual cause requires you to show that, but for the defect, you would not have sustained an injury. Proximate cause requires that the consequences of the defect were reasonably foreseeable.

You Must Show You Were Using the Product As Intended

Using a product for a purpose, or in a way, other than as stated in the packaging, or reasonably expected, won’t necessarily prohibit you from recovering for injuries suffered. However, unless your nonconforming use of the product was “reasonably foreseeable” by the manufacturer, designer, or other responsible party, you’re unlikely to have a successful claim.

Contact Howard D. Popper, P.C.

For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after the wrongful death of a loved one, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton. Currently, all our client communications are by phone, text message, or online videoconference.

We handle all product liability claims on a contingent-fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.

Prior results are no guarantee of a specific outcome in your case. Your results may vary based on your particular facts and circumstances.