Posts made in October, 2014

Making a Claim for Unsafe Products

Posted by on Oct 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Just because you suffered serious injury from using a product doesn’t mean that you are eligible in Massachusetts to make a claim that the product was unsafe. In order to be valid, the claim must include certain elements, as Massachusetts personal injury lawyers you may consult with will explain.

First of all, you have to prove that there was an actual injury or financial loss because of the product. A near-miss does not count, even though the product was clearly dangerous or defective. For example, a brand-new ladder collapses just as you reach the window you are intending to wash. You manage to grab the sill and climb to safety. In this case you have no claim, although you can certainly report the incident to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Next, you need to show evidence that the product is defective in either the way it was made (manufacturing error) or the way it was designed (design defect). It can be easy or difficult, depending on the product. A product liability lawyer would know what expert to consult to determine if the product was defective or not if it is not easily apparent i.e. the ladder broke. It will also help a case immensely if there was no warning about the risks of using the product which may not have been obvious to the consumer, such as a load limit.

Once you have determined that the product is defective, the next thing you need to prove is that the product was the proximate (or main) cause of the injury. If in the example above, you fell down when the ladder collapsed and got a skull fracture, then you have a case. If you tripped on the ladder before ever getting on it and got a skull fracture when it fell on your head, then you don’t.

Which brings us to the last element you need for a valid product liability case: using the product as intended. If your injury occurred while you were using the product correctly and for the intended purpose, you may have a case. For example, in the example above, if the ladder was clearly labeled with a load limit of 350 lb and you climbed on it anyway knowing you weighed 450 lb, you were not using the ladder as it was intended for, which is for loads up to 350 lb.

If your case satisfies all the required elements, then you probably have a valid case. If you haven’t yet, consult with a product liability lawyer to help you.

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