Injuries can occur at work or home from defective equipment. Safety equipment is designed to protect you, the consumer, from injury and harm.
However, when the manufacturers or retailers of these products do not take steps to ensure they work appropriately, you can hold them accountable for your injuries and related costs.
Most defective safety equipment claims arise on the job site, whether it is a construction site or other form of employment. Employers are required to protect their employees and utilize the proper equipment. However, even the most cautious employer cannot protect an employee from a defective product.
Product liability statutes protect consumers, employers, and employees from harmful products sold on the market. When a piece of safety equipment is defective, the manufacturer falls under strict liability.
Other instances could apply, such as negligence or breach of warranty. However, claims with product liability as the main complaint are governed at the state level. Therefore, the state determines which laws apply and if the manufacturer or retailer is liable for strict liability or another form.
When a safety component is defective, a person injured by that defective product can bring an action against the responsible party via product liability. They can then seek damages under one of the three theories.
In a negligence claim, to hold someone liable for your injuries you would show that the defendant was careless. In a strict liability case, you do not have to do that. These products are sold to the public or your employer, and it is hard to prove that the individual was careless making the product.
The consumer cannot prove that the product or system for checking defects failed. That is why the law established the strict product liability rule. This allows you to seek damages for a defective product and seek compensation from the manufacturer without showing that the manufacturer or retailer was negligent or careless.
The rule of strict liability is simple: all manufacturers and retailers are held to a higher standard. In that standard, they must ensure that all products they sell are safe for consumer use – even if they are safety products.
If a product is defective, the manufacturer is liable automatically. However, three conditions must be present in the case for strict liability to apply:
Negligence is more common in personal injury claims, but also applies to defective product claims. In this case, four elements must be present for a case to qualify for negligence-based lawsuits.
Sometimes there is no defective safety equipment, but instead, the manufacturer violates their warranty.
The breach of warranty claim is based on the expressed or implied warranty from the defendant to the plaintiff. The warranty is one that is stated by the seller or manufacturer to the buyer. The warranty can come in the form of an advertisement or a printed warranty on the product.
However, if the warranty is breached, the manufacturer or third party could be liable. If the product is guaranteed to be safe for use in that guarantee, then it must remain safe during use. A defective product would be the breach of warranty.
Once you have established that you have a defective product and a theory of the product liability statute applies, you must then identify the parties who are responsible for your injuries. These are the defendants in your injury claim, and you will file your lawsuit against these parties for your compensation.
For a product liability lawsuit to be valid, the product must be sold to the consumer or employer marketplace. A contractual relationship is not required for a product liability claim, though there was once a requirement in the past.
Responsibility for your defective safety equipment might not solely be in the hands of the manufacturer. In fact, these types of claims typically generate multiple defendants based on the chain of supply and distribution.
Some parties who may be named in your lawsuit include:
Strict liability and product liability does not apply to a product that you purchase at a garage sale or from an unauthorized source. Private sales and distributions do not count because the manufacturer cannot be held responsible for how individuals treat their products and resell them to the public.
Safety equipment, under the liability theory of law, means that you must show that your product was defective, and the defect in that safety equipment is what led to your injury. Three main types of defects could lead to an injury while using safety equipment. These include:
Safety equipment comes in many forms. Moreover, despite the laws regarding safety, and the burdensome rules and regulations requiring manufacturers to be more cautious when creating equipment, people still suffer injuries from defective products daily in the United States.
Equipment with defective components is no longer protecting someone. Instead, it puts them at risk for severe injury or even a fatality.
Some types of defective safety equipment can include:
Defective safety equipment might be easier than other types of product liability claims. This is because you must only show that the safety component of the product was defective. While the product itself might have worked, the safety component did not. Therefore, the product did not protect you from harm as it had promised.
In these cases, you may have strict liability or breach of warranty; depending on the state and the product.
Horrible things happen when safety devices are defective. Therefore, you are likely to have monetary losses, physical harm, and emotional trauma. Defective and dangerous product claims only apply if there are damages.
A big defense strategy for defective safety equipment is the use. You must prove that you were using the product as intended and following instructions. The manufacturer is not liable when you suffer an injury because you misused or blatantly ignored instructions for the product.
If you were injured from defective safety equipment, you can file a lawsuit and seek damages.
However, you need an experienced product liability attorney to assist you.