What Types of Legal Claims Can I Bring for an Injury Caused by a Defective Product?

Defective products are products whose manufacturing, design, or failure to warn makes them inherently dangerous. Given the unforeseeably hazardous nature of defective products, thousands of unsuspecting consumers experience traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, soft tissue injuries, burns, and other serious injuries every year. If you were injured by a defective product, you may have a negligence, strict liability, or other type of claim for damages against the manufacturer, designer, seller, importer, or distributor. An experienced Virginia Beach defective product attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you identify the liable party, calculate how much compensation you are owed, and determine the best way to approach your product liability claim. 

Defective Product Statistics

Defective products pose a serious threat to those who use them, potentially causing injuries or even death. Listed below are some statistics that can help highlight the scope of defective products:  

  • Product-Related Injuries: In 2019, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the federal organization responsible for product safety, estimated that roughly 240,000 people were admitted to hospital emergency rooms nationwide for treatment of injuries associated with defective or dangerous consumer products.  
  • Product-Related Deaths: The CPSC reported that, in that same year, 50,900 deaths were also caused by defective or dangerous consumer products. These deaths resulted from a wide range of faulty products, including appliances, toys, motor vehicles, electronics, and many other consumer goods.
  • Common Causes: The CPSC has identified numerous causes of injuries related to defective products, such as fires, falls, choking hazards, burns, poisoning, and lacerations. Defects including manufacturing errors, design flaws, improper instructions, and inadequate warnings are major contributors to these and other injuries.

Bear in mind that data regarding defective and dangerous product injuries varies based on the time frame studied, geographical location, and reporting methods. Also, not every injury caused by a defective product is documented or reported, which can lead to the prevalence of these injuries being underestimated. 

Legal Claims for Injuries Caused By a Defective Product

In cases of defective product injuries, there are several types of legal claims that can be brought. A skilled Virginia Beach defective product attorney can steer you in the right direction based on jurisdiction and the facts of the incident. Some of the more commonly used legal claims that are pursued in product liability cases include:

  • Negligence: A negligence claim asserts that the seller, distributor, or manufacturer of a defective product violated their duty by failing to exercise due care in distributing, manufacturing, or designing the product. To prove negligence, the injured party must show that the defendant had a duty of care, violated that duty, and that the violation was the direct cause of their injuries.
  • Strict Liability: Unlike negligence claims, a strict liability claim does not require the plaintiff to prove negligence. Rather, it focuses on the hazardous nature of the defective product and the role it played in causing the injury. For most product liability claims, Virginia does not observe strict liability. There are, of course, a few exceptions surrounding extremely dangerous activities, such as those involving natural gas, electricity, and blasting. It may also apply to the sale of contaminated food products. In these cases, the affected consumer doesn’t need to identify and prove a specific failure of the company, but only that the foodstuff was tainted and caused illness.
  • Breach of Warranty: When a consumer product is sold, an express or implied warranty regarding its safety, suitability for a specific purpose, or quality is created. If a defective product violates either of these warranties, the plaintiff could have a valid breach of warranty claim. These claims are based on a failure to warn about possible hazards or a failure to satisfy a promise. 
  • Product Misrepresentation: If the seller, distributor, or manufacturer misrepresented or made untrue statements regarding the product’s capacity or safety, and the plaintiff trusted those statements to their detriment, a product misrepresentation claim can be pursued. These claims focus on misleading or deceptive product information.  

In Virginia, product liability attorneys usually consider filing both negligence and breach of warranty claims in these cases.  In some cases, misrepresentation claims may be warranted as well.

Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

It is crucial to consult with an experienced Virginia Beach defective product attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to correctly determine which of the above-listed legal claims you should pursue based on the circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries. We can review the facts, collect vital evidence, and advise you on the most effective way to seek financial compensation for your damages. With more than 70 combined years of experience, our firm attorneys have achieved positive outcomes in many defective product cases, like the $2.5 million jury award we won for a client who died when his ride-on mower went up in flames. 

In fact, Mr. Shapiro himself has designed multiple products and currently holds 18 patents, both foreign and domestic. He has also worked closely with engineers on the design of consumer products he invented and licensed one of his patents to Radio Flyer wagons. So, clients who partner with our firm reap the benefits of working with an attorney who has both legal and practical experience in this field. To schedule your free consultation, call (833) 997-1774 or fill out our easy contact form. Our offices are located in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton, and Portsmouth.