People are injured in the United States every single day. One of the most common causes of injuries that many do not think about is defective products. In fact, defective products pose numerous potential threats to consumers, and they don’t even know it. There are several different types of product defects that all consumers should be aware of:
- Design Defects – When an issue is present in a product from the design process, before it was even manufactured
- Manufacturing Defects – Problems that arise when the product is being manufactured or assembled
- Marketing Defects – When a product is improperly marketed, carries improper labeling, insufficient instructions, or inadequate safety warnings
These are the three most common types of product liability. It is important to note that it can be extremely difficult to prove liability when a product is defective, which is why it is important you understand the various types of product defects, as well as what steps should be taken if you have been injured by a faulty product. In product liability cases, a doctrine known as “res ipsa loquitur” changes the burden of proof in these types of cases. This means that, in the event this doctrine is invoked, the case will shift and the defendant will be asked to prove that they were not negligent, as opposed to the plaintiff proving that the defendant was negligent – and how so. Keep in mind this doctrine is not always relevant in product liability cases, but there is a possibility your case will shift this way, so it is something to make note of.
Steps to Take if You Have Been Injured by a Defective Product
If you have been injured by a defective product, you need to understand your rights and what steps you should take in order to receive both justice and compensation. As we stated above, product liability cases can be quite complicated, as there are numerous factors that contribute to who is responsible and who can be held accountable. When you have been hurt by a faulty product, you should do the following:
- Seek medical attention – It is imperative you are seen by a physician if injured by a defective product. Their assessment may be an integral part of any product liability case
- Talk to witnesses – If anyone was there to witness you getting injured by a defective product, talk to them and have them make a statement. With this, make sure you gather their information, just in the case you go to court
- Hold onto the product – One of the most important parts of any given product liability case is that the product in question is present. Be careful when handling it, but do not throw it away, whatever you do
- Collect all relevant documentation related to the product – This will include receipts, purchase records, instruction manuals, and anything else that came with or was used with the product
- Do not attempt to fix the product – If you have been injured by a defective product, do not try to fix it or alter it in any way. Doing so could compromise the integrity of your case
- Check to see if the product was recalled – Product recalls are issued on a regular basis, oftentimes without the public’s knowledge. One of the first things you should do if you have been injured by a defective product is check to see if it was recalled
- Contact an attorney – A knowledgeable product liability attorney will be able to guide you and help you navigate your case in an efficient manner.
If you have been injured by a defective product in Oklahoma, please contact Atkins & Markoff today.