A product liability claim is something that most people are vaguely aware of, on the fringes of their experience. They know that if you’re using a cell phone and it explodes in their hand, they might be able to sue the manufacturer to recover damages, but that’s about the extent of it.
The truth is, these cases can get pretty complex, and there are a number of approaches that can be taken. Explore the legal theories that can come into play when seeking a product liability claim in Chicago, how they apply, and why having an experienced product liability lawyer is so important.
Legal Theories of Product Liability
There is a range of different legal concepts and theories that can play into your product liability claim and can change not only the way you approach your claim but the damages you can recover. These theories include the common strict product liability claim, the claim of negligence, a breach of warranty approach, or a fraud claim.
Strict Product Liability
This is the most common claim when it comes to a product-related injury case. This is because it requires the fewest elements to prove, and opens the door to a solid general range of compensatory damages.
The three elements that have to be demonstrated to back up strict product liability include:
- The manufacturer sold a defective product.
- The seller or manufacturer knew that the product was unreasonably dangerous before selling, and did not use proper warnings.
- This danger caused the injury you suffered.
Most injury cases involve negligence, but it’s not usually required for product liability. For negligence you have to prove that the defendant in some way owed a duty of care towards you, to produce products that bore no risk when used properly. You must then show that the actions of the defendant violated this duty of care and that this violation is the reason your product failed and you were injured.
The reason this isn’t usually used in product injury claims is that it’s not necessary to prove the duty of care under strict liability, so it forms an extra burden of proof that isn’t needed.
Warranty Breach Claims
Warranty claims can be tricky to prove, especially if there is no existing written warranty. In such cases, you first need to prove that there was an explicit or implied guarantee of the product’s performance and that the product failed to live up to this guarantee (or warranty).
Fraud is sometimes used as a theory in product liability as it can open the door to punitive damages against the manufacturer. In such a case, you’ll need to prove that the manufacturer in some way deliberately presented the product in a manner they knew to be untrue. This misrepresentation was done in a way so as to get you to buy the product, and you got hurt as a result of the false way the product was represented.
Get Help from an Injury Lawyer
A Chicago product liability lawyer is your best bet when pursuing a product injury claim. The manufacturer will likely have armies of experienced attorneys and powerful insurance companies in their corner, and you need someone who can protect your rights. Call Disparti Law for help with your product liability claim and get the best chance for compensation today.