When you purchase a product, you expect it to be safe. You trust that the company that made the product will have taken all necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Unfortunately, this is not always the case—sometimes products are defective and can cause serious harm to the consumer. Although this is commonly thought of through the scope of toys or electronics, product liability claims may also apply in specific car accident cases. Read on to learn more.
What is Product Liability?
Product liability is a company’s legal responsibility to compensate consumers for injuries or damages caused by their products. This usually occurs when a product is defective in some way and causes harm to the consumer. There are three main types of product defects that can lead to liability: design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.
A design defect is a flaw in the product’s design that makes it unreasonably dangerous to use. An example of this would be if a car’s brakes were designed in such a way that they regularly failed. This defect would make the car unsafe to drive and could easily lead to an accident.
A manufacturing defect is a mistake that occurs during the product’s manufacturing process. This could be as simple as a loose screw in a car’s steering wheel. Although this defect might not make the car dangerous to drive, it could still be considered defective.
A marketing defect is a problem with the way the product is marketed. This could be an issue with the product’s instructions or warnings. For example, if a car’s manual does not warn the driver of a known safety issue, this could be considered a marketing defect.
Common Examples of Car Crashes Caused by Product Defects
There are many different ways that product defects can lead to car accidents. Some of the most common include:
- Tires that blow out or have tread separation
- Airbags that do not deploy
- Seat belts that break or come undone
- Brakes that fail
- Gas pedals that get stuck
- Accelerators that get stuck
- Steering wheels that come loose
- Electrical shorts that cause fires
These are just a few examples of how product defects can cause car accidents. If you have been in an accident and believe a defective product may have played a role, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
How Product Liability Claims Differ from Other Car Accident Cases
Product liability claims are different from other types of car accident cases in a few key ways. In order to succeed in a product liability claim, you may need to prove that the company was negligent in remedying the issue or alerting consumers of the defect. This is because companies are strictly liable for injuries or damages caused by their defective products.
In some states, the statute of limitations for product liability claims is different from other types of personal injury claims. This means that you may have a limited amount of time to file. If you wait too long, you may be barred from recovering compensation. Remember, Louisiana maintains a statute of limitations of one year for product liability claims, while Texas requires a claim to be filed within two years.
Does This Include Recalls?
If the manufacturer has recalled a product, this is an indication that it is defective and could lead to liability. However, it is important to note that not all car accidents caused by recalled products will give rise to a successful product liability claim.
For example, if you are in an accident and your car’s brakes fail, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer. However, if your car’s brakes were recalled but you failed to have them repaired, you may not be able to recover compensation. This is because you knew or should have known about the defect and did not take action to fix it.
Car Crash? Call Our Louisiana Attorneys
Crashes can happen when you least expect them to, and when it results from a product defect, it can be challenging to know where to turn. Our attorneys in Shreveport and Covington have extensive experience helping injured individuals with a myriad of car accident claims and can help you pursue justice. Call (318) 221-1508 today to discuss your potential legal options.