People are injured by unsafe products all the time. In fact, more than 34 million people are injured or killed by consumer products each year. Since there are so many product related injuries, you would think that product lawsuit settlement amounts would be astronomical. However, there are numerous factors that make winning a product liability lawsuit complicated. If you or a loved one has been injured by a product, here are three surprising things you may not know about product liability lawsuits.
Numerous Parties May Be Liable
If you've been injured by a product, you might naturally assume that the manufacturer is financially responsible for your injuries. However, it is more complicated than that. A whole line of entities may be responsible for all or part of your injury, depending on the type of injury you have and how you got it. Liable parties may include the parts manufacturer, the product manufacturer, the assembly plant, the wholesaler and the retail store. Who is liable depends primarily on who was negligent. If you're injured by a component of the product, you have to sue the company that made that component. However, if anyone else in the chain of distribution knew the product was defective, they might also be liable.
Some Types of Products Are Exempt
You cannot seek compensation for injuries sustained by certain types of products. These products are considered to be unavoidably unsafe and come with risks that you assume responsibility for when you use the product. Examples of unavoidably unsafe products include medications, vaccines, medical devices, guns, some bathroom cleaners and cosmetic products, such as perms and color. If you are injured by these products, you will have a hard time seeking compensation unless you can prove gross negligence. For example, if too much of a certain chemical was put into perm solution and you sustained a chemical burn, you might be able to seek damages.
You Must Be without Fault
If you used a product incorrectly or failed to read the directions or warning labels, you might not be able to seek compensation. In order to get paid for your injury, you must be able to prove that you used the product correctly and that you were injured because of some failure on the part of someone along the line of distribution.
Product liability law is complicated. If you or someone you know has been injured by a faulty product, talk to a personal injury attorney like John J Bublewicz Attorney At Law to find out what your rights are.