While an injury in a car accident on Interstate 64 (I-64) in Williamsburg, Virginia and a defective lawn mower that suddenly catches fire in Chesapeake, Va both fall under the guise of "personal injury claims," the process for pursuing financial restitution is quite different.
Understanding the Different Types of Defective Product Injury Claims
In an auto accident injury case, an injured party (i.e. the plainiff), need to establish that the other driver (i.e. the defendant) was negligent. This is often established through eye witness testimony or a police report on the collision. However, defective product injury cases are different because liability can be established through three distinct legal theories:
- Defective design – This means the defect was present in the product from the beginning, even before it was manufactured.
- Defective manufacture – These defects appear during the manufacturing process.
- Failure to warn – This involves defects during the marketing process and may include a lack of safety warnings, instructions for use and poor labeling.
Proving Your Defective Product Case Requires Meeting Higher Standard
- The product had a defect that foreseeably could cause harm;
- You were using the product for the purpose it was intended, without any alteration from its original condition when purchased; and
- As a direct result of a defect in the product, you suffered demonstrable damages.
Potential for Multiple Liable Parties
In many auto accident injury claims, there is typically only one liability party (i.e. the other driver). However, in product liability claims, there may be multiple parties who should be held responsible for causing your harms and losses. The manufacturer of the parts, the manufacturer of the product, the wholesaler and the retailer may all be at fault.