Proving fault in a product liability case
There are some defective or dangerous products made available to consumers out of the millions of products manufactured and sold in the United States every year. If you have been injured for such a product while using it, then you can recover damages through a product liability case.
Such cases hold any person responsible for making the product available within your reach and for damages arising out of your injuries caused by the product. As the injured victim, you need to prove that the manufacturer or the seller is at fault because of negligence.
You need to prove that there was negligence or carelessness during the manufacturing of the product that resulted in your injuries to recover damages. However, it is difficult to:
- prove that the manufacturer was negligent or careless during the production; and
- prove that any seller knew about the manufacturer’s defects or that they caused the defects themselves.
Thus, the law recognizes “strict liability” for this reason which helps injured people to recover damages from manufacturers and sellers of defective or dangerous products without having to prove that they were actually negligent.
What is strict liability?
If you have been injured by any product, you can recover damages from the manufacturer or the seller of such a product. Strict liability is only applicable if a seller is regularly in the business of dealing and selling such products. If in case you bought a product from a seller who sells different types of products without regularly selling any particular kind of product, then strict liability may not apply.
Proving fault in strict liability
No matter what the manufacturer or seller of a product may say in their defense, a claim for strict liability can be made if all three conditions exist:
- The product had an “unreasonably dangerous” defect or hazard that was not ordinarily imaginable to consumers Such a product may have been dangerous due to any design, manufacturing, or marketing defect.
- The product caused injury while being used the way it was meant to be used.
- The product was not altered in any way that it may have affected how it performed. Meaning, it is in exactly the same condition as when you bought it.
Consumer’s role in proving fault
If you had the product for some time and if the defendants can prove that you continued to use the product even after being aware of its hazards, then it already is a successful defense for them—which means you may have lost your right to claim any injury damages in a strict liability claim.