What Constitutes a Defective Product in Personal Injury Cases?
You may have noticed that product liability law encompasses many modern products. Current examples include artificial joints, mesh implants, and even asbestos.
In reality, the only thing these products, and indeed all product liability cases, have in common is that a serious injury must have arisen from a product.
Note, that the vast majority of modern products are made safely. Today’s product engineers know that whether it’s a bridge, toys, drywall products or anything else, there are government and trade association standards which regulate design. Frequently, designs are computer- and field-tested before they are marketed.
In a small minority of product cases, however, either the design is defective or the product is manufactured in a defective way. Many of these defective products never cause any injury or if they do, the injury is mild.
In these cases, however, the designers have ignored important safety features and the results can be catastrophic. Thousands of Americans annually are injured by defective products, yet few will seek any compensation for their injuries.
Many times, injury victims never realize that they have rights or that their injury was proximately caused by poor product design. Our firm recently heard of a case where a utility worker was seriously injured on the job by a piece of drilling equipment. The equipment clearly was designed to drill into dangerous places, and it could have been argued that the worker should have known about the damage. Also, product designers are not required to “design out” all risk. But in the utility worker’s case, the danger could have been lessened, simply by attaching a warning on the side of the piece of equipment. Believe it or not, there is a field of engineering which deals with the adequately warnings. The failure in this particular case to warn the utility worker (even when the danger may have been obvious) might result in substantial compensation to the worker.
All of this suggests that seriously injured victims should not be left to wonder whether a claim can be filed or not. A brief consultation with an experienced Virginia products liability lawyer can allow you to find out for sure.