There are three main types of defective products.
- Manufacturing Defect – If a product has a manufacturing defect, it means that not every product in its line was defective. Something happened during the manufacturing process to cause the item you purchased to become hazardous- it wasn’t designed that way. This could mean that only a handful of products are dangerous, or it could mean hundreds of thousands.
- Design Defect – On the other hand, if something in design was overlooked and the product went to market anyway, this is a design flaw and likely effects the entire batch of products.
- Inadequate Warning – In the information gathering step, you checked the packaging and instructional materials for warnings. Could an additional notice have protected you from harm? Is there a warning that should have been included but wasn’t?
Do Warranties Matter?
One of the big questions consumers may have if they’ve been injured by a product is if the state of the warranty matters. In nearly every case, warranties, whether implied or explicit, don’t mean anything when it comes to determining if you have a case. An experienced attorney should be able to confirm this fact.
Did You Alter the Product?
Altering the product in any way will very likely invalidate your case. Examples of alteration include using improper fuels and solutions, modifying or swapping out parts, and anything else that changes the out-of-the-box structure of the product. Modifications do not involve using accessories included with the product for their intended purpose and use.
Do You Have a Case?
If you’ve gone through all of the steps above, the last question to answer is, was it “Reasonable Use”? Did you use the product in the way it was intended to be used? In most cases, this should be a yes, especially if you’ve made it this far. If, however, you used the item for a use that is not “reasonable,” “common,” or “expected” your case may be invalid.