If you have been injured by a defective product, our Detroit product liability lawyers can help you recover compensatory damages from the liable party. Product liability claims can be brought against a number of parties. However, it is important to understand the type of defect a product has and then to file the claim against the correctly identified liable party.
Here at TorkLaw, we help you fulfill the legal requirements when filing a product liability lawsuit. We also work with you to counter any objections raised by the other side. Here is a look at various aspects of product liability cases and laws as they apply in Detroit, Michigan.
What is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to holding an entity accountable for a defective consumer product which has resulted in proven injuries to the customer. This type of liability covers medications, electronics, automobiles and virtually any other consumer products.
The party held liable for defective products is usually the seller. However, a number of other parties may also be taken to account for the product. These include the manufacturer of the product, the wholesaler, the entity marketing the product, and the retail store seller who directly sold the defective item to the consumer.
A product is deemed liable when it fails to meet the stated or implicit expectations. For instance, if the product description on the label says that it is safe to use when it is not, the issue of liability can arise. Similarly, if a product is generally expected to work in a certain way but didn’t and caused injuries, this can trigger a liability lawsuit by the consumer.
If you are not sure whether an injury caused by a consumer product is covered under product liability, you should consult Detroit product liability lawyers.
Types of Defects Covered by Product Liability Claims
When you file a product liability claim, you must be able to prove that the product in question is actually defective. In order to do so, you first need to understand different types of product defects. Here is a look at these.
Design Defects: This type of defect is a part of a product from the very beginning. When citing this type of defect, you must prove that the design of the product was faulty. For instance, if the design of the product makes it dangerous or unsafe to use, the company that designed it can be held liable. Design defects are easier to prove when the plaintiff can show that an alternate design could have been used without any significant difference in the final cost.
Manufacturing Defects: A manufacturing defect is one that does not conform to the standards of design, marketing or manufacturing as defined by the manufacturer itself. In other words, if a product falls below the standards set by the company that is making it, manufacturing defects may be cited in a liability lawsuit. The issue of proving how the negligence occurred is central in such cases. In most cases, ‘thing speaks for itself’ rule applies when the manufacturing defect is obvious. In other cases, the court may require you to prove only that a product was defective. That would be evidence enough for the case.
Marketing Defects: When a product is not correctly labeled, intentionally misrepresented, marketed without making clear its possible dangers or otherwise sold with insufficient instructions, a liability lawsuit can be brought forward based on marketing defects.
In the case of all these types of defects, you must first be able to demonstrate that the cited defect in the product directly caused your personal injury.
Michigan Product Liability Laws
Michigan has a number of product liability laws which apply to all lawsuits brought against defective products. These are as following:
- Michigan has a three-year statute of limitations for product liability claims. This means that all such claims must be filed within three years of the injury or knowledge of the defect that caused injury.
- You can seek both economic and non-economic damages in product liability cases. Michigan laws do place a cap on the non-economic damages. For product defects causing injuries, the cap is set at $280,000. For defects resulting in death or permanent disability, the bar is raised to $500,000.
These laws apply to any product liability suits you may file in Detroit. It is important to consult Detroit product liability lawyers before you file a claim though. This is because the state laws also allow for a number of exceptions in the claims related to defective products.
Exceptions in Product Liability Claims
Even if a product was defective and caused an injury, you may not be able to file a lawsuit against the seller or manufacturer. This will usually be the case when:
- You had clear knowledge that the product was defective
- It was very likely that the product would cause the injury
- You still used the product and disregarded the knowledge you had regarding the product
In such a case, the defendant can argue that your injury was deliberate and self-inflicted. Another common defense used by the defendants in product liability cases is that you modified the product after purchasing it. The manufacturer can then argue that the product was misused in a way that could not be foreseen by the manufacturer.
Why Hire Detroit Product Liability Lawyers?
Product liability lawsuits can be quite complex. You must be able to demonstrate how a given product is defective, who is liable for the defect, how is the defect directly connected to your injury, and what is a fair amount of compensation. You also have to face the formidable legal teams assembled by companies and businesses to counter such lawsuits.
This is why it is vitally important to have experienced lawyers on your side. Here at TorkLaw, our attorneys work with you to make sure that you get a fair compensation for any injuries caused by a defective product. We help you counter the objections raised by the other side and fulfill all the legal requirements of the claim.
Call us today for a one-on-one session with our attorneys. Discuss your case with us and see what we have to offer.