When products are defective, consumers have the ability to hold manufacturers responsible. Unlike other personal injury cases, however, in product liability cases, a consumer does not need to prove that a company was negligent in order to receive damages. Instead, the rules of strict liability often apply. People who have been injured by a consumer good may wonder -- what is strict liability and how does it apply in product liability cases?
Under strict liability laws, companies that manufactures consumer goods can be held liable for any injuries that result from a product defect. In these cases, it may be possible to hold a business that sold the product, a business that rented the product or the business that manufactured the product liable.
In order for a company to be held strictly liable for injuries caused by a product defect, certain elements must be met. First, the product must be unreasonably dangerous. A product is unreasonably dangerous when it has a manufacturing defect, design defect or was damaged during shipping.
Furthermore, the defect present in the consumer good must have caused an injury. This injury must have occurred while you were using the product in the way that it was supposed to be used. Using the product for something other than its intended use may not trigger strict liability.
Finally, the product must be not have been substantially altered from its original condition. In other words, the product must not have undergone any changes that affect how the consumer good functions.
When a person is injured by a consumer good, it is important to understand if the company can be held strictly liable. While this post can only provide a basic overview of strict liability law, an attorney can provide specific legal advice.